Thank you God, for your many provisions for me. Help me to always keep in mind what are your greatest and most important gifts.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:1-10
6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare[a] of their slaves.
False Teachers and the Love of Money
These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
- 1 Timothy 6:2 Or and benefit from the service
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectSome believe that God blesses his followers with wealth; others, that Christians should give up material possessions. What place do you think that money should have in the life of a Christian?
‘False teachers,’ says Paul, ‘are greedy, and see their ministry as an opportunity to exploit others for their own financial gain.’ Christian leaders must learn contentment. This is a thought repeated in Philippians 4:11,12 and Hebrews 13:5. Paul is not saying here that Christians should aim to live in destitution, but he is saying that if our basic needs are met, we should be content with that (v 8).
Money in itself is not evil—Paul had stated earlier that everything God created is good, although it should be received with thanksgiving (4:4). Giving thanks reminds us that it is only through God’s goodness to us that we have food, clothing, housing, and money. Things go wrong when we allow money to become an idol and driving force in our lives, taking the place that God should have (vs 9,10).
Paul’s words in verse 7 reflect Ecclesiastes 5:15 (‘naked … as everyone comes, so they depart’). Jesus also warned against storing up treasure on earth, encouraging us rather to put our energy into generating treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19). How might we do that?
What would ‘godliness with contentment’ look like in your context? Read Agur’s prayer in Proverbs 30:7-9 and put it into your own words to reflect your situation.
I confess, Father, that I sometimes confuse the difference between what I want and what I need. Give me a wise and generous heart as I relate to all that you give me.
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