Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
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Means to an End
by Katie Borden
I’m so thankful that today’s text includes that oft-misquoted verse: “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” It’s such a great line to start us thinking about the financial resources we have, how we view them, and how their presence affects our lives.
Notice that this verse doesn’t say that money itself is the root of all kinds of evil, but rather the love of money. Remember what Martin Luther says about where our affections are pointed: “whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” So perhaps we would do well to take stock of our hearts and consider how we truly view our money, and whether money is really the object of our affections. I find myself asking this question of my own motivations when faced with this scripture: are my resources a means by which I can joyfully bless others, or am I viewing wealth as an end unto itself in my life?
Rather than making our wealth the end goal (something which Paul reminds us is unreliable anyway), we as Christians have in mind the end goal of “life that is truly life” (v. 19). Of course, the good news of the Gospel is that Christ has already secured for us true, everlasting life in him, and there is no amount of wealth that can increase that promise or remove that promise from us. And praise be to God for that good news in Jesus!
What are we to do with our wealth, then? Why all of these instructions in 1 Timothy?
Because as Christians, wealth can be a means of blessing others and building up the body. But it is not our end. We are free from the life-sucking rat race that wealth-comparison and insecurity cause those for whom wealth is their god. We are free from the need to amass more and more for ourselves, and we are also free from burdening ourselves with guilt over having resources at our disposal, especially when we consider them in light of the opportunity they give us to generously bless those who are in need.
Whether we are or are not rich in resources is not the point; the ultimate goal of our hearts is the point. Thanks be to God that in Christ we are free to use our resources as a means to the end of bringing God glory by the way we love and care for those around us! That is the true richness of life.
God, thank you for the freedom to serve you in love. Thank you for fixing in my heart the desire to seek after you. And thank you that, when the eyes of my heart wander away from you, you graciously bring me back to you. Amen.