The Bottom Line

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.                1 Timothy 6:6-19 (NIV)

Lectionary texts: Jeremiah 32:1-15, Psalm 91, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31

The texts this week could be summed up for me in the well-known verses of Proverbs 3 that say I should trust God and not my own understanding. Good words. Wise words. But when this life is kicking me in the ribs and kidneys and I am finding it hard to raise my hands in praise, I reach back and just cling to three simple principles that, above all else, I know to be true. These three points have been stated over and over and over and over throughout Scripture from beginning to end.

God loves me. Before anyone knew I existed, God knew and loved me with the love of a perfect Father. Because His love is perfect, He doesn’t give me everything that I ask for. He gives me what I need and what is best for me.

I love God. Through good and bad, joy and the darkest of days and nights, my love for God is there. I no longer pout and slam shut the door to my life like a petulant child but pull out a chair and call God to come and talk to me like an adult. I want our relationship to work so that means I have to put in the time and effort to make it work. God is always there before me showing me how to communicate and love.

God is all about His Kingdom. The first two points about love lead to the third point about the eternal plan to be together for all eternity. It’s about family taking care of each other and welcoming each other home.

The Scripture today, like any other passage, can reveal layers upon layers of “good stuff” but all points lead back to God’s great love and plan for His children. Joshua said, “Choose who you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Jesus said, “Abide in me” (John 15:4). Paul said, “Three will remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Jesus is coming back for His Bride. Am I ready in my beautiful gown? Will I be surrounded by a long Chain of Grace, people who have joined hands with me to meet our Bridegroom?

Whether this week is filled with blessings or days in a difficult journey or some of both, let us keep these simple principles in front of us and allow God’s Spirit to grow their roots of faith deep and strong.

The Anchor Holds written by Lawrence Chewning and sung by Ray Boltz

 

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