Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 118:22-29 | Jeremiah 37:1-38:28 | 1 Timothy 6:1-21 | Proverbs 25:28
Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 6
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV).
Money can be a major stumbling block or a major blessing. The scripture has much to say about how we handle it.
On the one hand, Paul tells us, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (9-10). Clearly, loving money too much gets us into all kinds of trouble.
Instead of covetousness and greed (being consumed with making more and more), Paul suggests contentment. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Whatever our situation, we should be thankful and content. We look to God for our daily bread and to meet our needs and we learn to trust him.
But Paul also recognizes that money can be a source of blessing and an opportunity for us to bless others. He has advice for those “who are rich in this present world” encouraging them “not to be arrogant or put their hope in wealth which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us everything for our enjoyment.” He goes on to encourage them to be generous and willing to share knowing that as they do they lay up treasures for themselves in heaven.
Thanksgiving, contentment, generosity and willingness to share: these are attitudes that keep money a blessing rather than a stumbling block. Understanding that God is the source of every blessing puts all things in perspective. Our hope is not to be placed in money, possessions or things. Our hope is in God and God alone.
Father, thank you for your provision and blessing. Enable me to be a wise steward in the handling of possessions, laying up treasures in heaven rather than being consumed by the treasures of earth. Root out greed, and the idolatry of money and things. Plant generosity and gratitude firmly in my heart instead. Amen.