Day 9

Guard the Heritage

from the 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus reading plan

1 Timothy 6:2-21, Psalm 90:1-17, Matthew 27:11-14

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:2-21, Psalm 90:1-17, Matthew 27:11-14

I have the gift of always ordering the right thing off the menu. Most of the time, I just look at my husband and ask, “Do you just want me to order for us?” (In truth, it’s more of a statement, than a question.) And 99% of the time, I end up with the best dish.

But that other 1% of the time, I end up disappointed and usually blame what I consider to be an erroneous menu description, perhaps one that highlighted the wrong ingredient. Or maybe I’d assumed that something would be roasted and instead is raw—that sort of thing.

When reality doesn’t measure up to our expectations (whether it’s a movie we’ve been wanting to see, a meal at a fancy restaurant, or a blossoming relationship), it can be devastating. Paul is warning the church at Ephesus about this very thing: false teaching leads to bad fruit. And he is calling on Timothy to guard the truth, the legacy of the faith.

Paul chides those who claim to speak the gospel but believe that “godliness is a way to material gain” (1 Timothy 6:5). He lists signposts of their wayward focus: envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, constant disagreement. He warns Timothy, but then he takes it a step further.

Paul’s warning is not passive. This passage is full of strong action words that charge Timothy and his congregation with the weighty responsibility of representing the faith. John MacArthur wrote that this passage outlines what a man of God should be known for—by what he flees from, follows after, fights for, and is faithful to.”

And what is the north star for this calling, for our calling as Christians? What is the standard to which we should evaluate the things, people, and ideas we flee from, follow, fight for, and are faithful to? What tells us what we should guard? Scripture, that’s what.

When Paul uses the word “guard” in verse 20, he uses the Greek word phylassō, which appears approximately 30 times throughout the Bible. Jesus used it when He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).

We represent the Word of God. We image God Himself. We are mirrors, reflecting the beauty of Christ out into the world. And Paul dares us to do so with integrity to the faith as written in the Holy Word.  

In a sermon on this passage, Ligon Duncan said:

“Paul calls on Timothy and his congregation, and us, to retain the truth, to hold fast to it; to refrain from dabbling in worldly speculation and false teaching; to realize that false teaching will lead sheep over the edge into destruction; and to be utterly dependent, as we hold fast to that truth, on the only thing that can hold us up, which is the grace of God.”

Thanks be to God that we have such a steadfast anchor in the person of Christ and in the Word. And in a world marked by postmodernism, swaying between “your truth” and “my truth” and, so often, no truth at all, I pray that we will lean on the Father’s grace as we guard the heritage of our faith.


Melanie Rainer is a bookworm from birth who makes her days writing, editing and reading in Nashville, where she also joyfully serves as the editor of Kids Read Truth. She has an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, spends as much time as she can in the kitchen, and can’t wait until her two daughters are old enough to read Anne of Green Gables.

Post Comments (36)

36 thoughts on "Guard the Heritage"

  1. Ngozi says:

    When did Timothy recently admit that he was a big fan of her? At the Golden Globe I guess? Timothy said that about all the actors he met in all the award events that he had been attending since January of this year and Im still waiting for his reaction on J. Law who confessed that she have a crush on him . Recently, he appeared at the Jimmy Kammil Late Night Show, and not once did he say anything about it to at least, let her know hes still interested in her, if its really the case. Imo, he wont say a thing about it because he got his heart on someone else.

  2. Sabrina Michelle says:

    This reading was amazing real in modern application.❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. Sara says:

    I love the prayer at the end, may we indeed guard the truth of scripture and challange ourselves to hold our lives against it’s standard

  4. Kara says:

    I loved the scripture choices today! Thanks SRT for leading us and we walk in truth!

  5. Natasha Pavez says:

    Oops! Mistype! I loved the verses in today’s reading about contentment – and that we aren’t to let the wrong things be our priority. I’m praying that I keep God and His word as my focus instead of the things of this world!

    1. Danielle Mutz says:

      Yes, Natasha, these verses stood out for me too. It is so easy to be discontent with our situation, but instead we need to be content in our identity in Christ.

  6. Natasha Pavez says:

    I loved those verses in today’s reading about

  7. Debi says:

    I love theMacArthur quote: we should be known by what we flee from, follow after, fight for and are faithful to.

    1. Teresa Tate says:

      me too

  8. Kelly Chataine says:

    Evil suspicions are one of the signposts, a warning of trouble. I have been isolating myself due to our current situation. Through my isolation, I began to think and be suspicious. God means for us to be in His Word, know His Word, and live His Word but not in isolation. God helped me reach out and I have wonderful Christian women to meet with and discuss God’s goodness!

    1. Rachel says:

      Kelly, I have been encouraged at the way you identify a sin struggle and then quickly turn in obedience and do something about it. Your situation is more difficult than I can imagine, and I’m thankful that you share with authenticity and vulnerability. xo

      1. Kelly Chataine says:

        Thank you, Rachel!

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