Rags and Riches (Help me to be Content)
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” Many of us desire from time to time or perhaps all the time, to have larger homes, more spending money, more free time, or just the ability to buy something we want without looking at the price tag and mentally running through the budget numbers before making our way to the checkout line. Though it's no harm to dream of an easier life or simply one with less financial stress, the desire to become rich can lead to trouble if it becomes an idol.
In this short study I have included much of 1 Timothy chapter 6 but I encourage you to read the chapter through along with it.
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This chapter is more than a simple "beware of the love of money" warning. There is much to consider when one is contemplating wether or not they are content, and if not, how to become so. Contentment in Christ means understanding that the things of the world should mean little to us and are simply tools we need to survive while we await our Savior's return and ultimately go to our new home in heaven.
There is nothing wrong with having some worldly things that make your life easier. Go ahead and buy that upgraded coffee maker that tells time and makes an amazing cappuchino if you can afford it. It's when we desire more with an uncontent attitude toward what God has already provided for us that we walk in dangerous waters.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”
We cannot grow closer to god by having more money, more time, better health or better friends. We do it by spending time in His word and putting actions to the things it tells us to do. Growing closer to God in your daily life can have an invisible effect on your life. Though you may not see the changes, others will begin to notice. One thing we can be sure of, if we do not make the change in our hearts to be content with our life as God has given us, He will teach us to be content and that may be a very hard lesson to learn.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
If we lean on God for His provision, and work to do the things He instructs us to do, He will always take care of us. That is His promise. We may not understand His methods but we have to remember He can see a much larger picture of our lives than we can see ourselves. If I Knew what would happen in my life tomorrow, I might make different choices in my life today. God Knows, and He will lead you in the right direction but He leaves it up to you to choose that path.
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”
As far as riches and money are concerned, remember they are all wood, hay, and stubble. Even good health is something tangible only in this world. We cannot take them with us when we leave this earth and while we remain here, they can detour us from the righteous path God has set for us. Focus instead on gaining wisdom, growing your faith and sharing the love and salvation that is Jesus Christ with every person in your life.
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Beware of anyone who teaches or tells you differently. Remember the enemy is like a snake. He has had many years to practice leading wise men and women down the wrong path with a few enticing words. Don't just believe what you read or what you are told simply because you trust the person who informed you. Read your Bible and pray. Ask God to reveal His words to you and be content in knowing that He loves you and He is watching over you.
“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.”
I pray you all have a blessed day little sparrows and walk into this new day seeking God's direction and contentment with the life He has given you.