With so many unique challenges before us it is easy to lose sight of what is really important. The Bible has a great deal to say about priorities and it is important for us to ensure that they are aligned correctly on an individual basis and also on a congregational basis. First Timothy 6 lists some items that the church must prioritize.
Sound Doctrine (1 Tim. 6:3-5) –Those who do not concern themselves with sound doctrine are guilty of prioritizing self over salvation. They are described as proud, ignorant, and obsessed. They are sick with conceit, greed, and covetousness, the result of which is a corrupted mind that has no regard for truth. The church must “withdraw” from such individuals (v. 5).
Godly Living (1 Tim. 6:6-16) – In contrast to verses 3-5, verse 6 makes clear that godliness is not a means of financial gain, but rather contentment. Some dedicate their lives to pursing things of worldly value, but God’s people must recognize this as foolishness (vss. 6-10). True contentment is found in godliness and therefore we must be sure to prioritize things of genuine value (vss. 9-12). This means running away from evil, relentlessly pursuing things that are good, fighting the good fight, and keeping a firm hold on the prize.
Proper Focus (1 Tim. 6:17-21) – Three commands make up this section. First, trust God (v. 17). Tragically, too many put their trust in things that are “uncertain,” when we should all put our trust in the only thing that is certain–God. Second, excel in good work (vss. 18-19). The church should constantly be involved in in work that does good for the Lord and other people. Third, guard the gospel (vss. 20-21). The gospel had been “committed” to Timothy’s trust. The language describes the gospel as a deposit which had been placed in Timothy’s care. He was to guard and protect it from those who would cause harm (cf. 2 Tim. 2:2).
Take a moment to reflect on your congregation. What things are prioritized? Is there sufficient attention given to preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God? Are the classrooms and the pulpit healthy? Is worship done in spirit and in truth? Is there an emphasis in developing godly men to lead? What about service, godliness, and a proper focus? The church should make time for self-introspection to ensure we are focusing on things God would have us focus on.