1 Timothy 6:6-19 (NRSV)
Verse 6Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; Verse 7for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; Verse 8but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. Verse 9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. Verse 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. Verse 11But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Verse 12Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Verse 13In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you Verse 14to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, Verse 15which he will bring about at the right time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Verse 16It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. Verse 17As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Verse 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, Verse 19thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
The question for this day is: To whom do we give our praise and attention — the god of wealth or the God who richly blesses us? Do we care for our possessions or do our possessions hold mastery over us? Paul warns Timothy that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Instead he calls for "godliness combined with contentment" based on the knowledge that God provides everything for our enjoyment, and the willingness accordingly to be generous in sharing our possessions with others.
We have learned that winning the lottery can be stressful and not that fulfilling when friends start to multiply their payout for a piece of the action. Wealth can eat at the soul and destroy a life of contentment when it demands more of your time. God calls us to care for what has been entrusted to us and to be satisfied — to be gracious as God has been gracious to us. To enjoy the wealth of life in Christ.
Creator God, enable us to care for your creation. Help us be good stewards of your land, your people, and the air we breathe. Forgive us for possessing more than we need and can use. Amen.