1 Timothy 6

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs

1 Timothy 6

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 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.

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time – God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might for ever. Amen.
17 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. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 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.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.

Grace be with you all.

Reflection

This is the final chapter of Paul’s letter to his young friend, Timothy.

The first two verses are actually still part of what Paul was writing about in chapter 5 - this is all to do with Paul’s understanding of good conduct and witness whatever the circumstance. Verses 3-5 discusses false teachers, and verses 6-19 look at finances and godly living. Paul then ends his letter commanding Timothy to guard what has been entrusted to him and oppose ungodliness (20-21).

Paul says in verse 10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

John will often ask the question at gift days: “how much money is enough?” And the answer is, of course, “just a little bit more”.

I’m sure that for most of us a little extra cash would be appreciated right now. But Paul wants to encourage the Christians in Timothy’s church not to crave after wealth and material things, but to show gratitude and godly contentment (6).

This verse is easily misread or taken out of context. It doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil, it says love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money can be used for good, and love of money is just one of many enticing evils that lead us astray.

So for Paul this is a question of the heart. Is our desire to accruing wealth stronger than our godly contentment? Do we recognise God as the provider who deserves the rightful place at the centre of our lives, or would we rather be master of our own security?

Paul has seen there were Christians who had wandered away from the faith in their pursuit of money. They had been caught in its snare and it caused them many griefs (10).

Jesus, we trust you to provide for all of our needs. Please give us all we need. Would you fill us with your love that provides everlasting security, and would you have your place at the centre of our lives.
Amen.

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