Summary: Avoid the "love of money" by Putting all your Hope in God, Becoming Rich in Good Deeds, and Guarding your life against the downward pull of materialism.
I Timothy #6
CHCC: May 20, 2007
For the Love of Money
This is our final sermon in the First Timothy series. I enjoyed studying this letter because it addresses very real problems any Church Congregation might have to deal with. In fact, of the 13 letters attributed to the Apostle Paul, I’d say it is one of the most PRACTICAL.
This final chapter is just as practical as the rest of the letter. And what could be more down-to-earth than the topic of MONEY? Most people have heard the quote “Money is the root of all evil.” Well, that’s actually a MIS-quote of what Paul told Timothy in I Timothy 6:10.
Paul did NOT say that money --- in and of itself --- is evil. It’s the LOVE of money that causes trouble. Here’s exactly what Paul told the young preacher named Timothy: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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.
It’s not money, but the LOVE of money that is at the root of all sorts of evil. When Homicide detectives try to solve a murder, the first thing they do is look to see who would gain financially from the death. Crimes of all kinds can be solved is you “follow the money.”
I read a recent survey where people were asked, “What would you be willing to do for $10 million dollars?” Two-thirds of Americans polled said they would do one or more of the following:
§ Give up American citizenship
§ Abandon their Church
§ Withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
§ Kill a stranger
§ Become a prostitute for a week
§ Leave their spouse
§ Put their children up for adoption (Man’s Control Dissipates Power by Rick Stacy)
If you asked me, that’s a pretty good description of “all kinds of evil!” Paul gave Timothy practical advice for how to avoid the ruin, destruction, and grief that comes from the love of money. The first step is to PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD.
1. Put your Hope in God I Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I can take my Sunday morning snooze now. This part is for someone else! I may be many things … but I am NOT rich!” Well, don’t doze off yet. By First Century standards, every one sitting in this Worship Center today IS a rich person. In fact, by the standards of most of the World today, all of us are incredibly wealthy.
I found a Website where you can plug in your Annual Income and find out how wealthy you are in comparison to the other 6 billion people on the planet. (The website www.globalrichlist.com is listed in the sermon notes part of the bulletin this morning … so you can take a look when you get home.)
I put in the very modest figure of $12,000 dollars per year. That is the official relative poverty level for a family of 3 in the USA. What I found is that someone living on the edge of poverty in our country is among the 12% richest people in the world. Most of us are probably at LEAST in the top 10% of the Richest people in the World. So guess what: when Paul talks about those who are rich in this present world --- that’s US!
Our first instruction is this: Put your Hope in God --- not in your income, or your 401 K, or your credit cards, or the government, or the lottery, or inheriting from granny.
How can you tell if you are putting your Hope in God? Well, Paul put this command in the context of our MONEY. So it stands to reason that your check book is going to SHOW where you are putting your Hope. When you get home today, take a look at your check register … or whatever method you use to keep track of your spending. What is at the top of your list? What do you spend money on consistently, month after month or week after week? What kind of priority does God have in your budget?
Years ago a man in the first church I served said something I didn’t understand…at least not at that point in my life. He said, “I used to think I couldn’t afford to tithe, now I know I can’t afford not to.” You see, I had grown up tithing since I was a small child. (My dad taught me to bring the two dimes to church that represented a tithe off of my two dollar allowance.)