“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40
Back in Matthew Jesus teaches us to love God and love people. Throughout the Bible we see that God wants us to use money and to use material things, but not to love them. This is another one of the great conflicts between our faith and the society that we live in because our society’s world view is to love money and love material things and so when we adopt that same mentality we end up using people and using God.
In this passage Paul is turning our inverted agenda back to loving God and loving people.
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (v6)
The center of the message is this: there is a great wealth to be pursued but it isn’t money, it’s true godlienss with contentment. When your focus is God, other things and money inpartiular do not become such a big deal, it also makes it our perspetive of the value of money more clear. When our love is for God and for people the knock-on effect is that we are more content with what we have materially and often are freed to use this things that we have for serving God and people.
It is an age old proverb that money can’t buy you happiness. This isn’t a Christian saying, but it has a Christian messgage. But even though we know it, we can still find ourselves persuing money more than God. What can we do abotu this? Paul gives us some advice:
one when we were born we had no money, when we die we won’t have any either (v7)
two we should be content with what we have, everything else is a blessing (v8)
three don’t let the pursuit of money be your highest goal because it is a dangerous path (9f)
four love God more than money and persue faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (v11)
five share what you have with others (v18)
Have a look back through todays passage and make a list of of the things that Paul conects with the pursuit of money. Make another list of the things conected with Godly living. Compare the two lists next to each other and pray that God will help you as you choose to follow Him and pursue righteous iving and contentment as a great wealth.