November 25, 2010


1 Timothy 6:6-10

Godliness with contentment is great gain … If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8


Do you ever sigh with contentment after a good meal? It’s a great feeling. In some cultures people have a saying that goes like this: “Full stomach, happy heart.” But how long are we content? Soon after the meal we become hungry again. And even if our stomach is full, our hungry eyes may desire more.

In 1 Timothy, Paul is showing amazing virtue when he declares he is content to have food and clothing only. In other words, he is content with enough to live on from day to day, trusting that God will provide for each day. Paul’s contentment did not rely on gathering up possessions. He realized that stuff doesn’t last, and it can be taken from us at any moment. Paul’s relationship with God was the source of his contentment.

Some people seem to think godliness is a means to financial gain, and thus contentment. They think that if God loves you, he will always bless you physically. They say if you claim a financial blessing in the name of the Lord, it will be yours. That is wrong. God does not promise we will be full of anything but the Holy Spirit.

Being a Christian does not mean you deserve many fine things. It means Christ has called you out of darkness into the fullness of life. But fullness of life is not measured in goods; it is valued in immeasurable grace. Be content with that; it is life’s greatest treasure.

With you, Lord, we have all things. May we give thanks and be content with the treasures of grace that you give us so freely. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Dr. Kent Van Til and his wife have been missionaries in Central America. He has taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has written a book on poverty and is currently writing an introductory textbook on Christian ethics. He and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters.

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