We Share: Tangible (Faith Commitment Sunday)

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (From 1 Timothy 6:6-10, NIV).
Paul wrote these words to Timothy, who was leading one of the new groups of Jesus followers in Ephesus.  But is it true?  We need money for life's essentials, and of course also for the ministry of the church!  But do we really love money?

Maybe we're sort of like a child who wants to keep his ice cream cone secret from his mom...but who has melted ice cream dripping all over himself.  Our love of money is all too evident.  

Like John D. Rockefeller, we might admit that we'd have a better life and be more content if we had "just a little bit more."  

But Paul makes four astute observations.

1) Love of money isn’t a greed problem, it’s a contentment problem.  
Contentment is great gain only when combined with godliness.  That is, any contentment that material wealth can bring us will still feel empty unless we are in relationship with God, who offers his own contentment.  Moreover, when we are shaped by our relationship with God, our character emulates God's.  And it is that character which leads to a contentment that "money can't buy."

2) Love of money is an identity problem.
We brought nothing in and will take nothing with us.  And we can never know the number of our days!  So it's foolish to invest everything into material wealth (Luke 12:13-21).  
But if our identity is in Christ, then nothing can ultimately be taken from us.  Even if we die, we gain the kingdom of heaven.

3) Love of money is a fallen-world problem.  
Everyone struggles with this, because everyone is affected by their fallenness.  
Wanting security and comfort is natural, but it is “fallen” when it displaces the Lord in our lives.  
But is the root of “all” evil money?  What about sexual sin, violence, etc.?  But aren’t even those things, entire industries, fed by the desire for “more”?  More control, more power…which are rooted in the endless pursuit of material wealth.

4) Love of money is a worship problem.
“Desire” is worship language.  What you desire, you’ll follow and make sacrifices for.
The antidote for the sinful desire for money is to lay it down at the foot of the One whom we worship.  To put God first, ahead of even money.  Then our desire for what money provides is redeemed, put in its proper place, and put to use for the “bigger picture” of what God is doing in and through us for the sake of the world God so loves.

What would it look like for you to take what is valuable to you -- even something that gives you your identity -- into God's hands?  What would it take to resist the pull of the world and its empty promise that money can buy us ultimate joy and contentment?  Are you willing to make a faith commitment with some of the resources God has given you toward the work God is doing, which God is also calling you to be a part of?

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