1 Timothy 6:6-11, 18-19, But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. … That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
The apostle Paul loved Timothy like a son. And, of course, Paul loved the church at Ephesus, which Timothy was pastoring and Paul had started. In both of Paul’s letters to Timothy, we find wonderful lessons not only for those of us in “church work,” but for all of us who name the name of Christ.
In his message to Timothy, Paul was very clear, there are some things we need to FLEE FROM (covetousness and love of money) and there some things we should FOLLOW AFTER (righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness). In other words, we need to FLEE FROM that which is temporal, and FOLLOW AFTER that which is eternal!
Colossians 3:1-3, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Covetousness and the love of money has caused many to stumble and err from the faith. We see this truth played out over and over again, not only in the scriptures, but throughout church history.
Of course, Jesus warned his disciples and all who were listening to Him as He spoke in what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 6:19-24, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Jesus was just confirming a truth found in the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 8:10-14, When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
For 2,000 years now, God’s people have been trying to prove Jesus wrong when He said that a man could not serve both God and money.
How about us today?
If we aren’t careful, we will fall into the devil’s subtle snare and find ourselves FOLLOWING AFTER those things that we should be FLEEING FROM, while neglecting to FOLLOW AFTER that which is eternal!