Good morning, today is Tuesday and this is STC’s foundations podcast. My name is Alan and today we will be considering 1 Timothy chapter 6, verse 6-8. The full reading for the day is v 6-10 and you can hear that at the end of this thought.
Before we jump into today’s verse, I’d like to ask you a question, “if you could change anything in your life what would it be?”
A little bit more money? Easier kids? A flatter stomach? A boyfriend? A new car? A new job? Healing for that long standing illness? A little bit of direction? A way out of a tough situation? A few more hours in the day? If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
Yesterday we looked at Paul’s instructions to those in slavery, to we who are under authority… live differently, stand out, show proper respect to your masters…
Today in V6 Paul continues:
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.
So what would you change in your life?
Maybe when you reflected on this question you hit upon something big, a real area of discontent or pain. Maybe life is going ok and the change you thought of wasn’t a biggy.
But what does it mean to be content? And how does godliness fit in?
“God, there’s so much in my life I want to change… I’m feeling pretty discontent right now, but you say be content… so I guess I’ll just put up and shut up and pretend that it doesn’t matter!”
“Oh, and while we’re at it I’ll have a go at being a little more godly. I guess I’ll try and be a little nicer and maybe smile a bit more… even if it is through gritted teeth!”
This does not sound like great gain to me?
And if this is Paul’s advice then I don’t think I’m signing up. Paul, you’ve offered me no help whatsoever! Thanks!
Or… could there be a little more to Paul’s words than this. I really hope so!
Lets take ‘Godliness,’ godliness can sound like it’s something that we do, a list of things that we should be, that we need to work hard at. Just another thing on the tick list – Remember to buy onions, tick, be more like God, tick, put the recycling bin out, tick.
But that is not what the word means.
Godliness means, reverence, devotion, it is the heart response to the things of God. Its awe, its thankfulness, its heartfelt and God-prompted.
It’s that moment when you glimpse the power of God
It’s that moment when you are overwhelmed by his love
It’s that moment when you experience his grace and forgiveness… when you know it deep in your heart, not just in your head.
It’s that moment when you know, when you really know that he has got you and he won’t let go.
We know that in this life we will suffer hardship and persecution. We know that becoming a Christian doesn’t give us a pass to miss out on suffering, heart ache and pain.
Godliness speaks of our connection with the Father, our awareness of his presence, his faithfulness and his care.
Godliness is our source of comfort, joy and strength through the toughest of trials.
Godliness is our calling to God, to sit at his feet before anything else, to seek his presence, to be filled with his Spirit.
Then ‘contentment’ no longer means we have to put up and shut up and pretend that is doesn’t matter. ‘Contentment’ is knowing that we have what God wants to us to have, no more, no less. Contentment is knowing that we are on track, following where he leads, doing his will. Contentment is trusting that the father knows what he is doing, that he is faithful and trustworthy.
But Contentment is still able to cry out in the garden, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” [New Living Translation]
To accept Jesus in to our lives is to accept his invitation into relationship with the Father… deep, intimate, life changing…
To meet with the Father means a giving over of our wants, desires and plans for our lives and receiving his life as a gift.
To receive the Spirit means being strengthened and empowered to do his will… for better for worse, for richer for poorer.
Father, I pray that today we would come and sit at your feet. Lord, that we would know your love and your presence, and your pleasure over us. Father, in the hard times I pray that we would have our eyes open to see you at work, Lord, our ears open to hear your reassurance, and Lord, our hearts open to follow, to trust you with all that we have. Fill us with your Spirit now as we wait on you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
BIBLE READING: 1 Timothy 6:6-10
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. 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. 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.