It’s funny what you think about as you’re sitting in church, as my eyes wandered further down in 1 Timothy chapter 6 trying to be a Berean as I usually do to get the full context of the chapter and book, I read this from Paul to Timothy “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you”. That’s not the funny part, there is nothing funny about guarding the truth, but what struck me as funny is what John Stott said that ran through my head as I was reading 1 Timothy 6:20-21. How I remembered this I don’t know and where I heard this or read this I couldn’t even tell you. But he said something like this referring to guarding the truth “like a dog worrying over a bone”
I chuckled as I was reading 1 Timothy 6:20-21 thinking of a dog licking a bone, digesting everything about it, not letting any of the juices go to waste, that’s how we are to treat the word of God. Then the dog hides the bone and worries over that bone and guards that bone, he protects that bone, he sleeps with thoughts about that bone. So Paul says “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you” Just as my dog Luna is resting her eyes, but content that her bone is safe and sound between her front legs and paws. John Calvin said “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”
Everybody can’t be right, only the word of God is right, so we guard it, we protect it, but it needs no defending, Spurgeon said Speaking of the word of God “Open the door and let the lion out; he will take care of himself.” Because its active and alive Hebrews 4:12 and it will accomplish what He desires and will not be void Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
That’s why Paul commanded Timothy in front of God and Christ “JUST PREACH THE WORD” 2 Timothy 4:1-3 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
I get the idea that Paul knew that Timothy would have to deal with teachings that were WRONG and if their wrong they can’t be right… They are opposed to the true word of God, whether coming from different religions or ideologies or even from within the church, where we have this idea that God is JUST love, love and more love, always positive and encouraging with no justice, no wrath, no discipline and no rebuke and no conviction… He just wants to love over everyone! Paul realized that professing Christians had been and will be taken up with these false teaching and ideas that are contrary to the word of God.
I remember when the book The Shack came out, professing Christians flocked to the book store to buy it and it was the talk of the church. I constantly hear christians talking about how they love Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey, how the book Love wins have effected their lives. The only book that can effect our lives eternally is the living word of God, these fore-mention books and people are nothing but WRONG! and the “knowledge” they have is something we don’t want. “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you”
I love Paul’s trade mark benediction “Grace be with you” If you are just a professing Christian and not a possessing Christian of God’s grace Matthew 7:21-27 , you need God grace to save you, if you indeed are a true believer in Jesus Christ, you need God’s continuing grace upon your life to sustain you and keep you on the straight and narrow path Matthew 7:14. Grace To You, Amen!