1 Timothy 6:6-11 Message 31
Having completed the instructions to Timothy on the pastor’s ministry to the church, Paul exhorted Timothy on the testimony of the believer’s –
b. Personal life. 1 Timothy 6:3-21
Last week we learned that the pastor is to practice and to preach that believer’s will –
1). Be careful in fellowship. “…any man…” including Religious teachers, withdraw themselves from evil and give themselves to listen and obey ‘wholesome words’.
Today we will be instructed that we are to –
2). Be content in material pursuits. 1 Timothy 6:6-11
1 Timothy 6:6,7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
We should begin with the second statement which will help us to formulate a plan for our lives, seeking wisdom and direction from the Lord.
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
Adam was created from the dust of the earth, and from that time, life transferred generation to generation, with each generation returning to dust, bringing nothing into the world and taking nothing out. It is important to know that life began as the work of God in the Garden of Eden and ends with each person’s body of flesh returning to the dust of the earth.
Consider two facts –
One, contrary to popular opinion, life does not begin at conception. There is no time that life does not exist, it is transferred from the man and the woman to the child.
Two, because we begin with nothing and end with nothing, we should plan carefully what we will do between these two points, birth and death, to bring glory to God.
Now think about the first statement –
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
Paul learned this truth from the Holy Spirit and shared with us this lesson for our benefit –
Philippians 4:10-13 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
He was instructed by the Lord by word and by the deeds of those that loved the Lord. Do you think that Paul may have seen this Godly character in action through the life of Barnabas?
Notice also Paul’s use of this word ‘contentment’ in 2 Corinthians 9:8, the only other place that it is used by Paul and it is translated ‘sufficiency’
We should look carefully at the context –
2 Corinthians 9:7-11 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
We note we are to have a plan to use that which we receive. Paul also speaks to the attitude of the believer in the use of that which is in his control –
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Do you believe the thought would be-
Be content with the things that you have because this is probably all that you will ever get!
Or do you believe the thought would be –
Be content with the things that you have because you will bless others with the abundance that you have to give away?
“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”
You see contentment is not an emotion, it is a plan! Your contentment is the foundation of the plan based on the Word of God to provide for the ministry of the Word of God in whatever form the Lord leads.
Now we turn to the outline of the message today –
a). The Reward 1 Timothy 6:6
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
b). The Realization of facts 1 Timothy 6:7-8
1 Timothy 6:7-8 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
c). The Rejection of greed and envy. 1 Timothy 6:9-11a
1 Timothy 6:9-11 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things…
God has prepared the animals with natural instincts to be warned of dangers in their paths –
Proverbs 1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
God has also prepared men with natural instincts and above these, words of warning!
We know from our own natural instincts to beware of danger. The Lord speaks of ‘falling’ in these verses – to be drawn over the edge by our own instability. Think about this –
Stand in the middle of a walkway, no problem.
Stand in the middle of your drive, no problem.
Stand in your front hall, not problem, Yet –
Stand on the edge of a cliff and we become unstable!
Stand on the edge of a tall building and we become unstable!
This is why warning signs are posted – to add to our natural warning system.
He has declared that the love of money, the greed that provokes men to the desire to be rich will “Drown men in destruction”. Imagine if you will the struggles of one who is drowning in water – the fear, which quickly turns into panic, the struggle to reach the surface, the burning in the lungs, need to gulp in air instead of water, the flailing and kicking about.
Now imagine all of these things in a person’s life who is drowning in the need, not for air, but for power, for riches, for prestige, for control over others. When they cannot get what they believe they need, they begin to fear, panic, flail about, get angry, disappointed, discouraged if they do not get what they want. They “pierce themselves through with many sorrows.” They do this to themselves, destroying their lives and those around them.
The Lord instructs us for our good and it is an amazing thing that men reject the counsel of God to their own destruction!
When we hear and obey the warnings from God, we will be able to enjoy –
d). The Rejoicing from God’s blessings. 1 Timothy 6:11b
“… and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
The result of God’s Working in and through our lives – the Fruit of the Spirit.
Will you listen to Him now as a believer?
Will you make a plan for your life to use that which you have as God directs. Remember that we bring nothing in and we take nothing out. Set up a plan to insure that the gains during your life are used to the glory of God.
Will you listen to Him now as an unbeliever?
None of this has to do with you at this moment, but that can all change if you will turn to the Lord in repentance and faith, calling on Him for salvation.
On either hand, do not live your life like a drowning man!