Is anyone up for a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? Do any of you remember scouring your backyard for buried treasure after seeing a pirate movie or reading Treasure Island? Armed with a map and a shovel, who knows what fine jewels and gold coins lie just within your reach a few feet from your back door? The possibilities and hours spent might have been endless…
It can be amusing to dream about finding buried treasure and the resulting changes it would immediately bring to your life. While most of us have given up hope that anything of value truly lies right beneath our feet, the allure of hitting it big and striking it rich can still remain for some. Why do Powerball tickets sell at record numbers? The idea of landing that big promotion and pay raise, investing in the next Apple or Amazon, or creating the next worldwide phenomenon is intriguing and enticing to many. Who wouldn’t raise their eyebrows and give those things a second glance?
This week, the Apostle Paul writes to his young protégé, Timothy, with some words regarding the allure of money. He tells Timothy, and the Church, that chasing wealth will only lead to destructive behaviors, attitudes, and circumstances. Those wanting to get rich fall into a trap that can lead to some serious consequences. On the flip side, those who are wealthy can fall into a trap of arrogance and a false sense of security that can turn them away from the hope they have in Christ. Things are not that different today.
Paul encourages Timothy to flee – to run – from both of these extremes and to pursue contentment. Now, that’s a word that can be hard to swallow, accept, or rest in…contentment. What does it mean to be content? What does it mean to have enough? What does it mean to give out of our contentment? Paul addresses all of these things and more in this chapter (1 Timothy 6.)
What a gift it is to see the life and the true riches that are ours in God’s Word. He is so faithful to us to provide us with all that we need for this life and on top of that gives us the promise and hope for the life beyond. Out of this gift, we are invited to give what we have – our time, our gifts, our talents, our money – to serve others and influence His Kingdom. It is when we do this kind of stewarding that we get to experience something pretty special, as Paul wraps up our text to Timothy by saying: In this way [we] will lay up treasure for [ourselves] as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that [we] may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette