Guard and Cultivate

How do you protect yourself from the lusts of deceit and cultivate your relationship with God?

1 Timothy 6:20-21

20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.

As Paul signs off on this letter to Timothy, He echoes the charge that God gave man in regards to creation which we find in Genesis 2:15, 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”  We have been given much to guard and cultivate.  As I read this, however, I don’t hear Paul saying it as an order, but rather as an exasperated cry, for many have gone astray from the faith.

It is disheartening to see someone chose slavery over freedom, especially after they have already grasped ahold of freedom.  They are tricked and lied to in a convincing manner to chase after the empty promises of the world instead of standing on the solid foundations of God’s Promises.  It is too easy to get sucked back into the “lusts of deceit”.

Paul’s instruction throughout this letter was designed to help us understand how to guard ourselves against these things.  His desire for Timothy, the Church at Ephesus, and any other self-proclaimed believer and follower of Christ is that we guard ourselves against these falsehoods and constantly work to increase our growth in our relationship with God.  He echoed these same principles in his letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Have you guarded your hearts with the love of God?  Do you pay attention to the empty chatter and deceit of this world which is warring against you and trying to pull you from the Kingdom of God?  How often do we listen to what the world tells us without realizing the falsehoods and deception in the empty promises of worldly living?  We have been offered an important relationship to guard and cultivate.  How much importance do you place on your relationship with God?

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