1 Timothy 6 Lesson

Contentment

Today we will begin the sixth and final chapter of Paul’s first letter to Timothy.   Before we do, let us review what we have learned so far:

  • CHAPTER 1:  Paul reminded Timothy that the goal of their instruction is to love with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.   He encourages Timothy to “fight the good fight”, “keep the faith”, and to “keep a good conscience.”
  • CHAPTER 2:  Paul talks about submitting to God and following His rules for authority.   We discussed how having or not having authority does not impact anyone’s value in the eyes of the Lord.   What God values is our love for Him and each other.
  • CHAPTER 3:   In this lesson, we discussed leadership and the qualifications for church leaders.   Our study looked at how God wants leaders that are in place to serve others, not themselves.
  • CHAPTER 4:   This chapter warns us not to neglect the spiritual gifts that God has blessed us with.   We discussed how God wants us to encourage one another to put our gifts to work for the Lord.
  • CHAPTER 5:  This chapter focused on the role of being a mentor.   Each of us can be a mentor and a mentee at different points in our lives.   We also looked at how a good mentor is motivated and energized, cares about developing others, and is willing to commit their time.

Now in chapter 6, Paul writes to Timothy concerning the love of money and the importance of being content.   Our focus verse for today’s lesson is:

  • “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” – 1 Timothy 6:8-9.

It is a dangerous thing to get caught up in the pursuit of money and material possessions.   The devil knows how to tempt us.   He will use whatever he has at his disposal to try and take our focus away from God and onto the things of this world.  

Advertisers have gotten good at making us feel that we “must have” something.   They try to tell us that what is important is that next vacation, or living in a nicer home, or driving a better car.   The point that Paul is making is that we need to be content in whatever circumstances God has provided for us.  

To illustrate this point, consider how Jesus taught us to pray:

  • “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.   Your kingdom come.   Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread.   And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.   (For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’).” – Mathew 6:9-13.

The prayer is simple, reverent, and asks only for the necessities of life.   There is nothing materialistic or excessive about Jesus’ prayer.   That is because God does not intend for His followers to spend their time always looking for the next best thing.  

There is an old expression that says:

“Even if you win the rat race, you are still a race.”

As Jesus warned us:

  • “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25.

Knowing this, why would we spend our time trying to get rich?   That does not make sense if our hope is to get to heaven.  

Paul wrote:

  • “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” - 1 Timothy 6:10.

To please God, we need to spend less time doing what the world thinks is important and more time on what God tells us is important.

So how does God want us to spend our time?   Here are four scriptures that help answer that question:

  1. “You shall love the Lord your guard with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.   This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Mathew 22:37-38. Jesus tells us that nothing is more important to God than us showing our love for Him.   We show our love to God by keeping His commandments as mentioned in John 14:15. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
  2. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mathew 22:39. This is the second most important commandment, behind only loving God.   To love our neighbor means taking the time to get to know them.   There is an old saying that says, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”   The more we demonstrate the love of Jesus, the more receptive people will be to hearing the gospel.  
  3. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8. God wants us to think about beautiful things!   We need to be careful what we are putting into our minds and make sure they would be pleasing to God.
  4. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:19-20.   God wants us to share the gospel.   He wants us to talk about Jesus with people that we meet and to tell them how important our faith is to us.   If somebody has a question about why our faith is important to us, God wants us to have an answer.   1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

CONCLUSION

God wants us to be content with whatever He has provided for us.

We will end today’s lessons with the following quote from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

  • “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.” – Philippians 4:11.

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What do you think it means to be content in the Lord?

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