Each day of this New Year, may God help us to keep our eyes on Jesus.
Oh, how many complaints we have about what we’ve done to the world, and oh, how many praises are due our wondrous, forgiving, healing, redeeming Holy God as this poem aims to show:
We’re happy to have the Apostle Paul back with us in today’s Bible readings. Last month we discussed the spiritual gifts each of us has been given to up-build the church Body of Christ, but lately, many of us have money on our minds. Even our churches need it to keep the doors open and ministries going. So this time, Paul, I’d like to ask you about the attitude Christians should have about money. Is it important at all?
Paul: Of course, but we gain more through godliness and contentment with what we have. We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it, so if we have food and clothing, we can be content with these.
MHS: Okay, but what if we win the lottery or invent a video game that makes us rich?
Paul: People who want to get rich get more temptations! Or they get trapped by all sorts of senseless, harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
MHS: I see the dangers of loving money more than God.
Paul, nodding. Love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. Some, who are eager to be rich, wander away from the faith, which pierces them with many pains.
MHS: So, how do we avoid this?
Paul: As for you people of God, shun all this! Instead, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.
MHS: Sounds hard!
Paul: Then fight! Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life you’re called to and which you acknowledged in front of witnesses and in the presence of God, who brings all things to life – including Christ Jesus, who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made a good confession too.
MHS: To be rich in faith – yes, that’s what I want! That’s what all of us in all of the churches want!
Paul: And I charge you all – I give you custody of the Lord’s commandments, so you may keep them without blemish or blame until our Jesus Christ comes again at just the right time. And He will! For He is the blessed and only Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords. In Christ alone dwells immortality and unapproachable light – such as we have never seen – and never could see without Him. So to Him give honor forever and eternal control over your lives. Amen?
Paul: As for those who are already rich, command them not to be haughty or to set their faith and hope on unreliable riches but on God who richly provides everything that’s truly delightful!
MHS: Yes! Thank you, Paul, You’ve helped a lot. Is there anything else you want to say before you go?
Paul: Just do good! Be rich in good works. Be generous and ready to share, thus storing up the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so you may take hold of a life that really is life. Guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid disrespectful talk, and avoid arguments that make you miss the point of faith.
MHS: Good words to live and love by! Thanks again, Paul. God bless you and your writings to the church.
Paul: May the grace of God be with you all.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase of today’s Daily Bible Reading in the Epistles, 1 Timothy 6:6-21