Summary: A sermon on godliness with contentment.
An American Idol: Wealth I Tim. 6:6-10
INTRO.: Idolatry is one of the sins God hates most. The very first commandment of the Decalogue is Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” Yet, sometimes we worship things that are not God. We put them before God. We strive to be able to amass more and more things ‘til we have no time to worship or work for God.
Luke 12:15-20 records a parable told by Jesus to teach “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." It’s the story of a man whose life is all wrapped up in his possessions.
Notice the little word “all” in 18. He is not thinking of those in need around him. He is not planning to tithe to the synagogue. He will not acknowledge any debt to God or man. “All my grain and my goods.”
You see, his wealth is his god. His idol! This he has in common with many in our culture. So many live for bigger houses, faster cars, more money, more thrills and frills.
Well, the Bible has something to say to Christians who are tempted to live this way.
Read Text. Let’s consider some of the Biblical teaching about wealth:
I. A principle: Godliness with contentment is great gain:
A. Contentment is not an easy goal if we pursue it in the world’s way.
1. No matter how much wealth we have, it never seems to be enough.
2. The world thinks contentment and security come from wealth. These things can’t be bought.
B. Contentment comes from trusting God:
1. No matter how little or much you may have, there is no security out side God’s care.
2. Eccl. 5:10
3. The key to contentment is seen in Heb. 13:5, 6
II. An observation: 1 Tim 6:7 “we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
A. ILLUS.: We lost our luggage in Chicago a few years back. I was reminded of the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”
1. That’s why they never put trailer hitches on hearses.
2. This is the lesson the foolish farmer learned.
B. Our earthly wealth is all temporary and transient:
1. Jesus said moths and rust destroy it and thieves break in and steal it. Matt. 6:20
2. He admonishes us to lay up treasures in Heaven where they are secure.
III. A decision: 1 Tim 6:8 “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
A. Paul means he will survive on the bare necessities.
1. Because he knows God is with him.
2. "Add not to a man’s possessions but take away from his desires." Epicurius, Gr. Philosopher
3. I’ve known wealthy men who never get all they want. I am richer. I have everything I want.
B. We are all called upon to set certain priorities:
1. I have a relative who said, “ I know what I need and it isn’t much. Just a nice home, a good car, and a sailboat.”
2. Which is more important, people or things?
3. ILLUS.: “Satisfied Mind.”
IV. A warning:
A. There is great danger in wealth:
1. Strangely, the greater the wealth, the greater the danger.
2. It isn’t that there is good or evil inherent in money, it’s how we use it or how we get it that makes it evil or good.
B. We may fall into a trap seeking to be rich:
1. ILLUS.: A wild hog is tempted by the smell of bait. He enters the trap, greedy for the bait. The bait is soon consumed, but he is trapped.
2. The desire for wealth is the bait which draws one into a trap. There is never enough and we soon find ourselves headed for “ruin and destruction.”
V. God offers a plan: 11, 12
1. ILLUS.: the printer and the potato chip.
2. This man recognized the peril of wanting more and more.
3. He saw his family as more important than his bank account.
1. Here is a list of qualities more important than money.
2. These attributes belong to those who focus on their relationship with God.
C. Fight the good fight of faith:
1. It isn’t always easy to live for Christ.
2. We struggle against an enemy out to destroy our faith and rob us of eternal life. He is fierce.
CONC.: There is no particular virtue in being poor. Neither is there any sin in being rich. Wm. Barclay compared money to a brick. He said you can use it to build a cathedral or you can smash someone’s head with it.
The Christian’s goal in life should be godliness and contentment.
(By Rhodes & Hayes)(Starrite Music)