Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/17/2020

Randall Caselman

 

Biblical Wealth & Contentment

 

  Amazing isn’t it that we live in a world focused upon money, things, wealth. We believe a little more of each will make us Happy, Content. This Western Culture Ideal sets us in opposition to God and Biblical Truth; yet we will not let go of our worldly thinking. Listen! Here are God’s thoughts on the subject: The Hebrews’ Writer closes with these words, “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”(Hebrews 13.5).

 

  Paul advises Timothy and us: “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 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… 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. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1Timothy 6.6-10 & 17-19).

 

  Then there’s Philippians 4.11b-12… “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I 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.”

 

  Indeed, we live in a Consumer Culture that’s designed to keep us focused upon things, not upon God and our fellowman. This is evident by the way we’re currently treating both God and one another.

 

What is God’s teaching on

Wealth& Contentment from these verses?

 

  Godliness with Contentment is the way to live. In other words the truly wealthy individual is the one who lives by God’s Ideal not the World’s Way. Paul is saying that contentment is more important than riches. Can I say that again? Contentment is more important than riches. Contentment is the greater gain! "Godliness with contentment is great gain."

 

  Wealth is Temporal. Wealth stays here when we’re gone. Wealth is of this world only. Wealth will not survive death; "We brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing out of it." But how we treat others lives forever! It was Jesus who parted those on the right and left saying: "As often as you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me.” Funeral shrouds have no pockets! Hearses don’t pull U-hauls. Money stays here; how we treat our children, parents, friends and enemies follow us into judgment.

 

  Wealth is Tempting. People who want more and more and more of this world’s goods fall into temptation, into a trap that plunges into ruin and destruction. How much plainer could God have said this? We do need to know here that the amount we have is not the subject, it’s our attitude toward it, the love of money, things, is the evil. Question! Is becoming rich the driving force in our life? Are we placing things before God and our fellowman? A poor man can love money the same as the rich. Godliness, not wealth, must be the motor, the engine, that drives who and what we are; only then have we given wealth its rightful place in life.

 

  Wealth is a Trust from God. "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."  We must be careful that we know the difference between enjoyment and hoarding. There are right and wrong ways to enjoy God’s blessings:

• First… Know Who they come from.

• Be Thankful.

• Don’t Be Selfish… Use them for God’s glory and the betterment of those less fortunate around us.

It was David who said: “Lord, don’t make me so rich that I forget You."

 

  Wealth is to be Shared. "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and willing to share." In God’s economy: Wealth, Prosperity, Success are not measured by how much we accumulate, but by the amount of good we do with what we have.

• In God’s economy some of the poorest are those with the largest bank account.

• Some of the wealthiest have very little of this world’s goods.

 

  Ironic isn’t it? That the Bible teaches we don’t really begin to enjoy our wealth and prosperity until we begin to give it away? “More blessed to give than to receive!” Indeed, we are to be conduits of God’s grace, conduits of God’s blessings.

 

  I tell Preacher Students, those who desire to share God’s Truth. “When you preach on Money, Materialism, and Racism, expect eyes to glass over, hearts to harden, necks to stiffen.” But here is the conclusion of the whole matter from the lips of Jesus: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6.19-21 & 24).

 

—Randall Caselman