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Living and Teaching the Godly Life

(1 Timothy 6:2-21)

Lesson 2 -- third quarter 1997
June 8, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

We are too comfortable with wealth.
Where are you headed!

Now, now; let's not get too defensive! (Since I didn't quit writing, please don't quit reading.) So the truth stings a little? Good! That means we still have enough life and sensitivity in us to allow us to hope for our own recovery. I'll try to be gentle and considerate; after all, this "shot" is going into me also.

Badges, trophies, ribbons, monuments, certificates of achievement--we all have them. Oh, you say you don't? I understand why you say so, but I think you are mistaken. Once you read about some of mine, I suspect you will discover some of your own.

I live in a rented house. My children (of whom the oldest is 14) have never known their dad to own another watch than the one on my wrist at this moment. I drive a vehicle I purchased nine years and 177,000 miles ago (when it was already eleven years and 147,000 miles old). I do not have a savings account. And these are all supposed to be badges of my conservatism, monuments to my simplicity, and my certificates of achieving the status of stranger and pilgrim. Perhaps they are; likely they're not. In part because I am quite comfortable with wealth. So don't pity me; I have two computers, a laser printer, a microwave, a fridge, at least three pairs of shoes, and....

What do you have that you think proves you are not attached too much to material possessions? What do you point to as justification for saying the bulk of today's printed text doesn't apply to you? I'll grant you that you may never have thought of these things in quite this manner. I'll even grant you that even in the deepest part of your being, these things just don't mean this to you. But I'm telling you, I think too many of us are guilty of pursuing and coddling stuff. We've got lots of it, and we've got plenty of desire for more of it, and we are comfortable with both conditions: wealth and covetousness. Do verses 6-11 and 17-19 somehow not apply to us?

I suppose some of us will latch on to the fact that God "giveth us richly all things to enjoy." Great! I say, "Praise the Lord!" for the bounty He showers upon us. And I also say, "Lord, help us!" to enjoy bounty the way He intends for us to enjoy it (v.18).

Where are you headed? Beware that you are not falling "into temptation and a snare." Think again about the focus and purpose of your life to ascertain that you still "follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." Will the course you plot and the path you tread bring you finally and safely to the place where you can "lay hold on eternal life"? Remember: on the one hand you are to "flee these things," and on the other you must "fight the good fight of faith."

Oh my friend, "keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ"! To Him be honor and glory! Not to us, for whatever we may give up for Him is not worthy to be compared with His sacrifices for us. So let us determine once again to gladly put all our hoarded resources at His disposal, and with Him continue "climbing on the upward way."

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