6-8: "There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these." - Paul continues to provide Timothy with a framework for living life as a Christian.
10: "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains." - If God is not the center of our lives then evil will be.
11: "But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness." - Six characteristics of Christianity to seek, pursue, and embrace.
12: "Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - Christians are not to be passive and meek. Instead, we are to pick up the cross of Christ and fight for all that is good.
17: "As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." - Enjoy what God provides.
18-19: "They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life." - How we are to spend eternity depends greatly on the treasures we store. Our good works will not open the gates of Heaven but they will lay the foundation for a life filled with rewards.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you content?
What are you trying to take with you from this world? What are you trying to build or create? What issue or dream has captured your heart? Where are you seeking contentment? To what ends will you go to achieve it? Do you find contentment in a larger home or a bigger car? Do you think that a little higher income will solve your problems and bring contentment? Are you focused on your self-image, your acquisition of stuff, or a dream vacation for fulfillment? In your pursuit of contentment, have you "pierced (yourself) with many pains?" Can you find contentment in the life you now have and in the blessings that God has provided? Do you enjoy the life God has given you?
Do you pursue righteousness in everything you do? Is your every action aligned with God's will and plan for your life?
Are you godly? Is becoming Christ-like a realistic goal in your life?
Are you known for your faithfulness? Are you able to step out into every ministry opportunity God brings your way with the trust that God would not lead you into situations you are not able to handle?
Do you love? Do Christ's commandments of loving God, your neighbor, and yourself permeate your every action?
Are you enduring? Do you accept that you are in this for the long haul? That in life there are no quick and easy answers?
Can you be gentle? Does everyone who comes into your life recognize that you are a Christian by your kind and gentle manner?
Are you fighting the good fight? Recognize the Paul is not telling you to meekly stand to the side and let the world run roughshod over your beliefs. Are you willing to stand up for what is right without become self-righteous? Are you filled with enough love for others to fight for their salvation? Can you step into the fray and get your hands dirty from the building of God's kingdom? Promises of the Gospel:
Life provides us with myriad of opportunities to become dissatisfied with who we are. The television blasts images of happier, wealthier, healthier, and more contented people into our living rooms every moment of every day. We compare our selves to these images and slowly become dissatisfied with our lives. If only…we had more wealth. If only…we had more beauty. If only…we had more friends. If only…we had brighter smiles. Then we would be happy. Paul's message strikes at the heart of modern men and women. Contentment in what we have is not today's norm. It does not fill our hearts with competition and desire. It does not drive the world economy. It will not make us successful in the eyes of the world. However, it will bring our focus towards God where it belongs. It will set our priorities straight and our goals in line with God's plan. When our faith grows strong enough to trust what God has in store and to recognize that He loves us for the creation He has formed, then the attributes of Christianity listed in these verses flow forth. We are known by our love and because of it God's kingdom is created here, on earth, and everywhere we walk. "Take hold of the life that really is life."