Paul sees Timothy as completely different than those he just talked about who pursued financial gain. A true Christian minister is to pursue righteousness, love, endurance, and gentleness. I can sense the Lord working on several of those in me right now. I’ve grown vastly in each through the years and still have a ways to go. It lines up with the fruit of the Spirit as well as qualifications for elders. Basically, the qualifications for elders are godly character all around. So we aren’t meant to pursue money, but godly character and living. We aren’t supposed to seek fleshly or natural things, but things of God. We are to pursue eternal things rather than temporal. Our focus, then, must be on eternity rather than just this present life. But looking back on our salvation, the moment of calling as well as the present resting and future glory, keeps our eyes on the eternal and that helps us run the race through the present well. It’s not that running poorly will negate eternal life to come. We can’t earn or lose salvation by our actions. Instead, in order to run well, to fight the good fight, to be a good soldier, we have to constantly cling to the eternal life promised to us. We have to operate as children of the King who are loved and accepted and valued rather than from the flesh trying to earn things on our own. When it gets hard, when the enemy tempts us to despair or think we are not children of God or brings up guilt and shame, remember the good confession, our baptism witnessed by others that saw the Lord moving in us. “When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there, Who made an end of all my sin.” Jesus made His confession before Pilate and we confess Christ. All sin is gone. That is how we endure. That is how we walk righteously in love and gentleness. Look to Jesus. One day Jesus will return and we will carry on until then, whether we live to see it or not. Paul used to think Jesus would return in his lifetime. Many of the churches believed so. But in his latter years he realized that may not be the case but trusted in that return nonetheless. We do the same today. Even so, Lord, come! But until then, I will keep looking at and for Jesus, the King of all kings and Lord of all, author of creation, the only eternal One who we cannot even approach apart from Jesus. His glory is unfathomable and one day we will see it to the fullest extent we can. Oh what a glorious day that will be! Nothing here is better than that. Nothing even compares. Who cares about the riches of this world when that is coming? It’s all worthless. So why do I let those things tempt me and steal my attention so much?