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February 27 | 1 Timothy 6:6-10


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Godliness and Contentment

by Dan Kidd


This week we began by reading a passage from Mark about a wealthy young man that approached Jesus seeking to know what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. When Jesus lovingly responded that all he had left to do was sell all his possessions, give them to the poor, and come follow Jesus, the man left with his head low. The passage ends with Jesus saying to his disciples, "But many who are first will be last, and the last first."


In today's passage, we hear Paul instructing his young disciple-in-training, Timothy in this vein. "But godliness with contentment is great gain." Godliness with contentment. If only we would make ourselves content then we would be perfectly prepared to inherit eternal life. But, I suspect, if you're anything like me, you'll recognize that contentment—being truly satisfied suspended in this very moment with exactly what I have—is essentially as elusive as godliness. Which is to say I'm just about as able to make myself content as I am to make myself godly. Because godliness is only ever really a consequence of God's gracious formation over me. And contentment is predicated on our faith in the trustworthiness of God; faith itself being a fruit of God's Spirit. Contentment relies on a trust in the Lord that can only be trained in us by the Lord.


Note how Paul describes the trap of loving of money to Timothy, "Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." That is, those with ambition for more wealth, more financial security, lost their way as their trust in God's care for them blurred out of focus. Perhaps they strived and saved towards tomorrow's unknown worries. Or maybe the prospect of living more comfortably was more alluring than the strange treasure of contentment. At any rate, some who were once first in the line come to see that they are now last in line. This is an important warning to us, if for no other reason than that we desperately want to avoid the griefs that come with not trusting in God's provision.


If I truly trusted myself to be in the Lord's care tomorrow, what would I do with the things he provided me for today? Let it be that "if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."


PRAYER

Lord, we ask that you would grow in us sufficient trust in your faithfulness to provide what we need. Give us, today, our daily bread. Give us neither too little nor too much, but exactly enough that we would depend entirely on you and that you would train us to rest in contentment. Lead us not into the temptation of wanting to get rich, but deliver us from the harm and ruin of evil. For those who need our generosity, stir us and enable us to offer it. Remind us, again, o Lord, of the many ways you have provided for us, and of all that you've promised.






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2 Comments


dceppley
Feb 28

What a beautiful prayer Dan.

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robin.lorms
Feb 27

GOOD MORNING, DAN. I LOVED THE WAY YOU INCORPORATED THE LORD'S PRAYER IN YOUR CLOSING PRAYER.

YEARS AGO I SPENT TIME IN THE WOODS CONTEMPLATING THE CONCEPT OF CONTENTMENT. I THOUGHT OF A SYNONYM FOR CONTENTMENT AND THE WORD "SATISFIED" CAME TO MIND. AS A SERVANT OF THE LORD, MY SATISFACTION, CONTENTMENT IF YOU WILL, IS IN DOING THE ASSIGNMENT IN SUCH A WAY THAT GOD IS GLORIFIED. HE IS SATISFIED AND I AM SATISFIED. THE MORE I FOCUS ON SERVING HIM THROUGH SERVING OTHERS THE MORE CONTENTMENT I EXPERIENCE.

I KNOW MANY RICH PEOPLE WHO ARE NEVER HAPPY LET ALONE CONTENT. ALWAYS A LITTLE MORE AS AARON SAID IN SUNDAY'S SERMON.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTARY OF THIS SUBJECT.…


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