Godliness with contentment

Summary: Godliness with contentment is a sermon based on 1 Timothy 1:6-10 which talks about the love of money. This can also be titled ‘Where is your treasure?’

Introduction: The world have one drive for their life, money, money and money. That is because people feel that the money is the key to success. The Bible is not against having money, the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Do you love money or God more? Where is your treasure?

1 Timothy 6:6-10 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1. Love of money is dangerous because of its nature.

a. Love of money ignores the true gain.

Many people think money is the only true gain in this world. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. True gain is godliness and if there is godliness, there is contentment.

Now if all you want is money, you’ll never have true gain that because you’ll never be content. The genuine great gain comes from true godliness which is inseparably linked to contentment. This means self‑sufficiency. To seek nothing more, to be content with what you have.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.

1 Corinthians 9:9 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Again emphasizes that our sufficiency is of God. Philippians 4:11-13 11….for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength. I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

And so what Paul is saying to us here in this passage is that if you love money, you really ignore the true gain. True godliness, on the other hand, brings about true gain. Why? Because true godliness produces contentment.

Now listen carefully. Riches is not related to how much you have, it’s related to whether you’re content with what you have. You are rich when you are content.

John B. Rockefeller, the wealthiest American of all time, owned oil refineries once said, “I have made many millions and they have all brought me no happiness.”

John B. Rockefeller, “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.”

Henry Ford, “I was happier when doing mechanic’s work.”

The only thing that makes you rich is satisfaction or contentment and that the true gain, not money.

Where do you find satisfaction?

Psalm 631-5 1O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.2So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

Psalm 107:9 For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Isaiah 55:1-2 1“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

Somebody said, “Money is like sea water, the more you drink the thirstier you get.” So the danger of loving money as to its nature is that it tends to ignore the true gain and happiness that can only be found in true godliness.

b. Love of money focuses on the temporal.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

You come into the world naked. Every baby is born naked, they don’t even have a name tag. We bring nothing in, and they take nothing out.

Job said in Job 1:21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.

Illustration: Alexander the Great Alexander was a great Greek king. As a military commander, he was undefeated and the most successful throughout history. On his way home from conquering many countries, he came down with an illness. At that moment, his captured territories, powerful army, sharp swords, and wealth all had no meaning to him. He realized that death would soon arrive and he would be unable to return to his homeland. He told his officers: “I will soon leave this world. I have three final wishes. You need to carry out what I tell you.” His generals, in tears, agreed.

“My first wish is to have my physician bring my coffin home alone. After a gasping for air, Alexander continued: “My second wish is scatter the gold, silver, and gems from my treasure-house along the path to the tomb when you ship my coffin to the grave.” After wrapping in a woolen blanket and resting for a while, he said: “My final wish it to put my hands outside the coffin.” People surrounding him all were very curious, but no one dare to ask the reason. Alexander’s most favored general kissed his hand and asked: “My Majesty, We will follow your instruction. But can you tell us why you want us to do it this way?” After taking a deep breath, Alexander said: “I want everyone to understand the three lessons I have learned. To let my physician carry my coffin alone is to let people realize that a physician cannot really cure people’s illness. Especially when they face death, the physicians are powerless. I hope people will learn to treasure their lives. My second wish is to tell people not to be like me in pursuing wealth. I spent my whole life pursuing wealth, but I was wasting my time most of the time. My third wish to let people understand that I came to this world in empty hands and I will leave this world also in empty hands.” he closed his eyes after finished talking and stopped breathing.

A Spanish proverb says, “There are no pockets in a shroud.”

Material possessions are bound by time and space. And that’s why Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jesus said, “Don’t be so foolish as to spend your life putting your fortune into what is going to stay here. It has no o eternal value at all.”

In Luke 12 the Lord instructs about the parable of the rich fool: Luke 12:15-21 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

So is the person who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. You amass all your bank accounts and all your securities and all your possessions in this world and you are poor if you do not invest with God. Ask yourself, what am I doing with my money?

c. Love of money obscures the simplicity of life.

1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

The more money you have the more complex it gets, right? And the less you can enjoy it because you sit around worrying all the time about what you’re going to do with all this money. Or you spend all your time racing around like a maniac from one place to another buying stuff you don’t need, stacking it on shelves and hang it in closets, putting it in the garage, and then taking to the scrap yard. It’s absolutely unbelievable how much we have that is useless. Money really is a barometer on the condition of the heart in so many cases.

A person who does not have much money will have no decisions to make. You just eat and sleep and enjoy life at the basic level.

What we’ve done with all of our money is replace people with things, replace conversation with entertainment, replace thanking God with wants.

The substance of Christian experience should be relationships. My time in relationship to God, my time in relationship to people I love and family and friends, but that gets all clouded because of the love of money.

Matthew 6:25-33  25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

How can you be content?

a. Cultivate a thankful heart.

Thank God for what you have. Realize that the Lord is the owner of everything you have and thank God for it. Whatever you have, whatever you don’t have, be thankful. Which is to say I recognize, God, that Your providence has put me exactly where I am with what I have and what I don’t have and I want You to know I’m really grateful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ..give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

b. Discern your needs from your wants.

Discern your needs from your wants and be honest about that. If you just start asking yourself that, that will be a tremendous controlling factor on your next trip to the mall. What do you need? A tremendously simple question that could put a tremendous amount of money into the kingdom of the Lord. Don’t buy what you don’t need and can’t use to make you more effective in serving Him. So you ask yourself, how will this purchase enhance my ability to serve God?

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

c. Spend less than you make.

Proverbs 21:20 There is a treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

So when you go to buy something ask yourself this, does the Lord need this? Does the Lord want this? Is this going to serve Him better? Is this going to bring Him glory? Is this going to enable His Kingdom to advance? Is this going to enable me to accomplish what I need to accomplish? He is the conscious owner of everything I possess. That helps me in the decision process.

Ask yourself this question, “I spending less than I make?” You would be staggered to find out what a high percentage of people regularly spend more than they make and are in debt that they’ll never get out of in their life time. They’re total prisoners. They have no ability to be at all in charge of their resources. Spend less than you make.

If you use your Credit Card, you are spending the money you don’t have.

d. Save some.

Proverbs 21:20 TLB The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

e. Give sacrificially to the Lord.

That should be your highest joy. You should be coming in here so anxious for the offering that you can hardly stand it, just so that you have the privilege of giving to God. Laying up treasure in heaven for the work of the kingdom.

So the nature of money love makes it dangerous because it ignores the true gain, it focuses on the temporal and it obscures the simplicity of life…the simple joys of being content with whatever you have and building your life around relationships and honoring God rather than the complexity of attaining riches.

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2. Love of money is dangerous because of its effects.

Effects are what it does to you.

1 Timothy 6:9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap….

a. Love of money leads to sinful entrapment.

People who love money want to get rich and that love money are greedy. They fall into temptation, present tense. It’s kind of an over and over situation. And a snare. They’re continually in the process of falling into all kinds of sins that trap them.

I have seen people who spend their money to eat. They go out and eat out and that becomes their fancy. And they literally cannot after a period of time eat at home. They’re controlled by this overpowering trap to go out and waste money eating, eating, eating, eating. And much of our eating today has little to do with food and a whole lot to do with entertainment and environment.

The greedy person is tempted initially to reach out for what he wants. Think about the gamblers. People start to gamble for money and it became so compulsive that it literally controls their life.

What happens with the love of money is that it allures you, you reach for that and you’re trapped in some complex situation, you become a victim of it. It’s a trap. And Satan sets the trap and holds you in it as long as he possibly can.

Deuteronomy 7:25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God.

In other words, stay away from money, silver and gold, because it traps you to get into a lifestyle you can’t let go of. It is like a trapped animal. You reach out for the bait, you’re caught. Money love is a trap and it makes people bond slaves to itself.

b. Love of money succumbs to harmful desires.

1 Timothy 6:9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires…

You get involved in the love of money and not only will you be trapped but you’ll be controlled by your passion, controlled by your desire. Here is this person like an animal caught in a trap thrashing all over the place trying to get free. They become victims of their own lust.

James 4:1-2 1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.

Chasing money is not the way to happiness, it’s the way to being trapped in sin and being a victim of your lusts and desires and evil habits that control you. So loving money is a temptation, which to entrapment, which eventually leads to sin.

c. Love of money leads to eternal judgement.

1 Timothy 6:9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

The love of money ultimately drown men in judgment. The word plunge means just that, to submerge, to drag to the bottom like a sunken ship. They just go out of sight, they’re just gone. The word destruction here is the destruction of the soul. It is complete eternal irreversible loss. Love of money damns people. It plunges them into an ocean of eternal destruction.

When Simon showed his love of money, Peter said in Acts 8:20 May your money perish with you.

Peter talks about false teachers who teach wrong doctrine out of love of money. 2 Peter 2:3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. Love of money will lead to eternal destruction in hell.

James 5:1-5 1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

In other words, you’ve been fattened up like an animal to be killed.

Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.

You see, the love of money is dangerous. It leads into sinful traps. It leads to a life of desire that is irrational and only brings harm. And it ultimately leads to the terrible tragedy of judgment. So money is dangerous from the standpoint of its nature and its effect.

Examples of love of money.

And finally the danger of money is lastly emphasized by the proof of that danger through an illustration in 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 

There are some living illustrations of people who passionately pursued money. And what did they do? “They erred from the faith.” What does that mean? They were led away from the body of Christian truth and faith. They departed from the truth. They chose money over God and went away from the truth. You can’t serve God and money and they chose money.

Paul is talking of some living examples of his time who Timothy knew. 2 Timothy 4:10 Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.

Who are the some who did this? Well I can think of one, Judas who having loved money erred from the faith. In proximity to Jesus Christ, one of His disciples, and yet he chose over the Son of God 30 pieces of silver. You think it was smart to choose 30 pieces of silver over against the God of the universe? But that’s the whole point, foolish lusts, foolish impulses, harmful ones. And such who do that err from the faith and secondly, pierce themselves through with many griefs, or sorrows. They literally ran a spear right through the full length of their own soul and brought consuming grief. Certainly Judas was dissatisfied, grieving, disillusioned with a condemning conscience and he went out an hanged himself. He pierced himself through, believe me, with many many griefs and he will be pierced with them forever and ever in hell. That’s no way to live.

So Paul says this is something that’s already been out there for you to see, some have tried to live after the love of money, they have erred from the true faith and they have literally skewered their souls forever.

How should we live? We should live with the pursuit of God, not a pursuit of money.

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

That should be our pursuit. And anything we possess in this world is only to be used to bring about the advance of the one we really love. Money love is deadly. It ignores the true gain, it focuses on the temporal, it obscures the simple joys of life, it leads to sinful entrapment, it succumbs to harmful lust, it exposes to eternal judgment. How much better to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?

Let’s divorce ourselves from loving money and reaffirm our love for Him. Let’s pray.