RUNNING TOWARD – THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIAN LIFE
To “Follow After” in 1 Timothy 6:16 and 2 Timothy 2:22 is the word dioko in the original Koine Greek language. The principal meaning of this word is
1) to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after, to press on. Figuratively it is one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal.
Paul therefore is giving young Timothy 7 divine pursuits of the Christian life that are to be set as the goal, to run swiftly after and to be pursued until caught.
To the first list in First Timothy 6:16 – righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness – we add peace from the second list in Second Timothy 2:22 to get the 7 things Paul advises us to run after and to catch. Oh what a pleasant pursuit!
These are not possessions we can hold with the hand but are gifts from God held in the heart.
Of the 7 things Paul tells us to follow after 6 of them are listed as fruits of the spirit but one – RIGHTEOUSNESS. The first pursuit listed in each verse is RIGHTEOUSNESS. Striving to enter into the rest of God’s righteousness has to be the first pursuit (Heb 4:10,11).
Righteousness – The requirement of God for all of His blessings. The status no man can achieve without God. We are being encouraged by the Apostle to run after something that is given to us as a gift.
God has designed man not to earn what he needs but to receive it. Jesus tells us in Matt 6:33 that the primary research of life is righteousness. It is the reason for which we are created. When we chase righteousness we find Jesus Christ – the righteous one. He declares His righteousness to us and then gives it to us!![bctt tweet=”God has designed man not to earn what he needs but to receive it. “]
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
So much of man’s energy is spent buying things that can’t satisfy him believing that life’s necessities are earned, bought or bartered.
God tells us to seek
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:33.
God tells us to come
Is 55:1-3 1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which I’ve satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Jesus sets us free from the bondage to tilling dust with sweat on our brow. He sets us free to live with His divine attributes in our hearts. Given freely as the fruits of receiving.
The good tree that bears good fruit is us…we are God’s planting. He waters us, he gives us nutrients to grow and His Holy Spirit produces fruits from righteousness – godliness, charity, faith, patience, meekness, peace.
So fellow runners. Let’s take Paul’s sound advice. Don’t walk but Run! from fornication, idolatry, greed and youthful lusts and run after Jesus the author who gives us His righteousness as a gift and the finisher who gives us all the things along the way of the great race we are running.