KEY THOT: Paul begins this segment of 1 Timothy 6:6-19 by stating that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v.6, NKJV). In other words, we should live an uncluttered life that is God-focused. The reason he gives for this charge is simple: “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (vv.7-8). A stripped-down “minimalist” lifestyle should be the goal of all true disciples of Jesus Christ.
In fact, he has this warning for those who are focused on acquiring more and more of this world: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (vv.9-10). Some may ask, "what’s wrong with wanting to be rich? Without money, how can we survive in this world?" Paul's answer is this “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (v.10). Covetousness is listed as one of the eight thou-shall-not's in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shall not covet…” (Exodus 20:17).
But what if we are already rich? Many Singaporeans may not consider themselves rich and still have the money-no-enough mentality. However, compared with the economic situation of citizens in our neighbouring countries, we would be seen as “rich” because many of us have surpluses in our bank accounts while they are struggling with getting enough of the basic necessities of life. So Paul’s charge to us “rich” Christians is this: “not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God” (v.17).
Instead, we are to “do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” so that we may store up treasure for ourselves to secure “a good foundation for the future” to “take hold of that which is truly life.” In other words, we should invest our surplus funds in “kingdom ventures” that yield eternal dividends (souls), not just in earthly ventures that yield more of the same--money. Only then are we leaving a spiritual legacy for the future that is truly life.
As QLC is embarking in a building extension project to extend our kingdom reach, it may be worthwhile for some of us who are thinking of investing our surplus funds to consider investing in this kingdom project, so as to leave a spiritual legacy for future generations. The early missionaries had invested their funds to buy the piece of land on which the current building stands because they had a kingdom vision to reach the unchurched residents in the community. They have left this kingdom legacy for our generation because they invested in this kingdom project 50 years ago. And now it remains for our generation to invest in this extension project to lay not just a “good foundation for the future” but a better one for the next generation.
Father, thank You for blessing us with many good things in this life to enjoy. Grant us wisdom to use our money to invest in kingdom projects for the future. Amen.