December 13th

 

Riches

6Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9But 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. 10For 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.
 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12Fight 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. 13I 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, 14that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, 15which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
 17 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. 18Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:6-19
NKJV 

Riches and the love of money can be major distractions to our walk with God.  Our human nature is naturally drawn to riches since they offer temporary power and fulfillment of many fleshly desires.  Paul wrote that the desire to be rich opens us up to temptation and snares.  These can drown us in sin and pierce us with “many sorrows,” as they lead us away from God.   

The spirit of the world repeatedly tries to lure us away from godliness with contentment.  The world promotes faith in wealth and security in the increase of possessions.  When we place our faith in those material things, we have turned away from faith in God and the snare is already set.  Paul’s definition of contentment was having food and clothing.  He urged Timothy to flee the desires for riches and pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness.”  He urged him to have an eternal perspective, settings his eyes on Jesus, who will soon be fully revealed as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.   

We too can apply Paul’s advice to our lives.  If we are placing faith in our wealth, then we need to shift our faith back to God and ask for his help in escaping the snare of the love of money.  If we are rich already, we should:

In doing these things, we will be storing up for ourselves a good foundation in heaven in the age to come when Jesus is fully revealed.  The joy we receive in honoring the Lord will help us reap the benefits of eternal life even now in our present life.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God in heaven, thank you for the true riches that I have through Jesus Christ.  I pray that my heart will be focused on these eternal riches and not on the temporal riches of the world.  I thank you for the money that I have and the ability you have given me to earn money.  Please forgive me for any love of money that I have fostered in my heart.  Please forgive me for any times when I have resisted your convictions to be generous with money, and especially in supporting your kingdom work.  Help me to be a generous giver and to see money as a tool for your kingdom.  Thank you, Father. I praise you now and forever, Amen.”