Summary: It is so easy to "mess up" with money, but the Scriptures give us clear instructions on how to guard our stewardship.
TRUE RICHES Vs. UNCERTAIN RICHES
TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:6-19 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: America has a standard for comparing the relative value of those things that are in the material realm. We use what we refer to as the Gold Standard.
For ages people of all lands and cultural groups have defined value according to the standard of gold.
The Lord has a different standard for considering value. In this study, I wish to consider with you what I believe should be the spiritual standard that appraises true worth or value. Verse number 6 gives us the standard that I am referring to, “godliness with contentment”. We will closely examine in our Text what this truly means. We must understand and know what God considers to be of true worth and value. In making this study, I will be contrasting true riches vs. uncertain riches.
I will look first at, I. The PROBLEM of Uncertain Riches; II. The PROTECTION Against Uncertain Riches; III. The PROSPERITY From Certain Riches.
I. THE PROBLEM OF UNCERTAIN RICHES. (Vv. 6-10)
One would think that money would be the problem solver rather than the problem maker. Sadly, money is not the panacea to ones problems. There needs to be much teaching regarding this statement when considering that so much of what we do and experience is related to money and to our spending habits. It has been said that you can tell much about a person by the way that he spends his money. When a person puts his confidence in that which he has, including money, he is doomed to failure. The expression has been given, “He is so poor, because he only has money”. In these verses, we will notice some of the problems pertaining to uncertain riches.
A. Uncertain Riches Can Be A Distraction. (Vv. 6-9a)
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare” (V. 9a)
1. Can get you “out of focus”.
The love of money that results when one puts his trust in uncertain riches can certainly cause one to get out of focus. This happens when one commits that sin that “doth so easily beset us”. This sin is the sin of taking ones eyes off of Jesus (Hebrews 12). Anything that causes us to take our eyes off of Jesus will get us out of focus spiritually. The love of money can certainly do this. I personally have witnessed people who began to make money and more money and then turned that money into a god of its own. They trusted their money and their job for their provisions. They were out of focus spiritually and no longer knew where they were going.
2. Can get you “out of faith”
Men ought to walk by faith rather than by sight. The trusting in uncertain riches lays a snare that will trap you suddenly and get you out of faith. It will hinder your faith walk and it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11). The love of money traps many a good person. It happens so suddenly. People began trusting in their uncertain riches rather than their God.
B. Uncertain Riches Can Bring On Defilement.
The phrase “many foolish and hurtful lusts” means exactly what it says. There will be many lusts that will consume the person who follows after riches. Satan has many appetizing packages in which to put his devices. Lusts of many different kinds have brought down many strong men and women. Satan has had much time in which to plan his traps and snares. When riches consume a person, he is also defiled.
C. Uncertain Riches Can Bring About Destruction.
The phrase, “which drown men in destruction” shows just how devastating the pursuit of uncertain riches can be. The drown word indicates this. To me, one of the most horrible and helpless ways that a person can die is by drowning. I have often thought about the drowning person; it generally happens so suddenly and unexpected. That is what is being expressed here in our Text. People have the potential of drowning in there own riches.
The Scriptures tell us also, that such have “erred from the faith”. This means by them trusting in uncertain riches that they in error have departed from the faith of the Scriptures. Money has a way of causing displaced trust. Instead of trusting God for the needed provisions, these who trust in uncertain riches trust in their riches only. God certainly is not pleased when this happens.
In addition to those who erred from the faith, they have also “pierced themselves through with many sorrows”. People have killed over money, stolen, lied, cheated and on and on the list goes. These are some of the ways that sorrows come upon people when they put their trust in uncertain riches.