Summary: As we run the race of faith, we run away from the love of money and we run after godliness with contentment. We run striving with the strength that comes from God’s promises
Run the Race of Faith
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit works contentment in our hearts today is 1 Timothy 6:6-12 [Read the text]
Dear friends, who find contentment in Jesus:
A story is told about New York City. There are millions of pets in New York. However when a pet dies there’s no where to bury it unless you have a jack hammer. So the City offered to dispose of your pet for $50.
A woman thought she could make easy money. She placed adds offering to do the job for only $25. How did she dispose of the pet? She would go down to the Salvation Army store and buy the best looking suitcase she could for under $5. She would place the deceased pet in the suitcase and then take a ride on the subway.
Without fail, as she sat dosing, someone would come running along and snatch the suitcase. Sometimes she would even call out: “Stop! Thief!” They just kept running. But what a surprise they had later on! They had run and snatched the suitcase looking for happiness but found only a dead animal.
How often don’t we run after things in life, thinking that they will be a suitcase of happiness, only to be disappointed in the end?
The Word of God for today does urge us to run, but it doesn’t urge us to run after happiness. Rather it urges us 1) to run away or flee from the love of money, 2) to run after or pursue true godliness, and 3) to run striving with the strength of God’s promises. This is the race of faith. Our theme today is Run the Race of Faith
Run away from the love of money
Who needs this warning?
Run the race of faith. Run away from the love of money. The Holy Spirit gave Paul these words to write: “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” (1 Timothy 6:9-10 NIV).
Who is this warning for? Is it just for the rich people, those who have lots of money? How can money hurt us if we don’t have it? But notice that Paul is not warning us against money, but against the love of money. That can include rich or poor.
You see, there is nothing wrong with having money. The Lord blessed Abraham with wealth. He blessed Job as well. He may bless us with earthly wealth. Money is not a root of evil, but the love of money is.
Paul does not say that only people who are rich fall into temptation. Rather he says “people who want to get rich,” whether they actual become rich or not doesn’t matter. He warns us against wanting riches and being eager for money. No matter how much or how little someone has, if they love money they will always want more. This warning is for the poorest and the richest person in the world and all of us in between.
So when Paul says “But you, man of God, flee from all this” (1 Timothy 6:11 NIV), he’s talking to you and to me. “Man of God” doesn’t only refer to people how are especially spiritual. It refers to everyone who belongs to God through faith in Jesus. It means you, who have been reborn into God’s family through the water and word of Baptism. You and I have been called to be his child. Flee from the love of money. Run away from it.
What’s the danger in the love of money?
Why? What’s the danger in the love of money? Why do we need to run away from it? Let’s take another look at Paul’s words: “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” (1 Timothy 6:9-10 NIV).
Not a pretty picture, is it? One of the worst things that can happen to a runner is to fall. As you and I run the race of faith, one of the worst things is to fall into the love of money.
The love of money leads to all kinds evil. It’s like a root. Think of creeping Charlie or crab grass. The roots lies hidden. They spread and infect the lawn and then they sprout and grow all over the place. So also the love of money by itself can’t be easily seen from the outside. Like a root it grows and infects our heart. Then it sprouts and produces all kinds of sins: greed, worry, selfishness, cheating, stealing, lovelessness, self-centeredness, anger when we feel short changed, stepping on others to get what we think is ours. Like a weed the love of money crowds out time to serve our Lord, read his word, talk to him in prayer, join him worship.