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“Eternal life”—the treasure worth “grabbing”

November 13, 2021

Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 6:5-12

5 There is constant bickering between people whose minds are ruined and who have been robbed of the truth. They think that godliness is a way to make money! 6 Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have. 7 We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: 8 we’ll be happy with food and clothing. 9 But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.

11 But as for you, man of God, run away from all these things. Instead, pursue righteousness, holy living, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Compete in the good fight of faith. Grab hold of eternal life—you were called to it, and you made a good confession of it in the presence of many witnesses.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Paul wrote ironically to his younger friend and ministry partner Timothy about some people who saw “godliness” as just a way to make money. Then he added in verse 6, “Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have.” The inner “profit,” the truest measure of any person’s wealth, is not on their bank statement but in the state of their soul. Paul knew the pleasures of material wealth are often temporary. He didn’t want those pleasures to blind Timothy, or the members of the church he led, to God. “They need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment,” he wrote (1 Timothy 6:17). After noting that spiritual dangers go with a lust for money, Paul told Timothy forcefully, “Run away from all these things” (verse 11).

  • By the measure Paul suggested to Timothy, how rich or poor are you? Spend some time doing an honest assessment of your “contentment quotient.” If it is high, reflect on whether it has always been that way, or what has raised it. What could happen that might disrupt your contentment, and for what reasons? If your “contentment quotient” is lower, ask God to help you raise it. Consider asking the most contented person you know what values and choices led them toward their current state of contentment. In a culture flooded with messages meant to make you want “more” no matter how much you have, how do you intentionally “run away” from those pressures? How can you avoid either pride or shame related solely to your material “success”?

Dear God, help me to be a faithful steward of the money and things I have, to use them for your glory. May I never allow them to turn into a spiritually deadly trap that hides you from me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Wendy Lyons Chrostek

Wendy Lyons Chrostek

Wendy serves as the Location Pastor for Resurrection Leawood in the greater Kansas City metro area.

I recently read an article about Chuck Feeney. He is a former billionaire who in the fall of 2020 gave all of his money away to charity. “He has nothing left now – and he couldn’t be happier.” When asked why he has sought to give all that he has away, he said this: “I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to give while you live than give while you’re dead.” *

There was something so true about what he said that resonated deeply with Paul’s words–“We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it.” What Chuck Feeney has figured out, and what most of us have also experienced, is that there is great joy in being able to give. Let me put this another way-–have you ever purchased something and had a hard time using it because you were saving it for a special occasion? It could be as simple as a candle that you don’t want to light, or an outfit still has the tags on it. You have these things that you know will bring you joy if you use them, yet you are saving them and not really using them because you are waiting for just the right occasion. You could say the same thing about your finances. You could hold onto them, waiting for the right time to share them, or you could find ways to bless others with these gifts.

When we are able to help others, through financial gifts or time well spent, what we experience is immense joy. How might you find ways to share what you have been given? Is there a way that you are being called to extraordinary generosity? However you find ways to give, I encourage you to write down how you feel after you give, and then also reflect on how it felt when someone experienced delight in receiving what you have to offer.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.