BUT GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN. At its January meeting, the session chose this verse, I Timothy 6:6, to be Cornerstone's theme verse for 2014. As he penned this letter, Paul was no doubt aware that some sought to use their faith and piety as an opportunity for increasing their prosperity. Some had become greedy for gain, and Paul indicates that it is not gain that we should seek, but rather godliness.
Such an idea flies in the face of the culture in which we live. We live in a society which promotes the accumulation of more: more prosperity, more possessions, greater power, greater position. but Paul tells us that as Christians, our gain is not financial but spiritual, and the way to it is by being more like Jesus Christ. Christians are to seek to be more like Christ in every way, and are to be content in this world.
Such contentment can only come when our eyes are focused where they should be. How do you know whether your focus is right? Ask yourself some questions. Pen and paper might help you to organize your responses.
1. What do I spend my time doing?
2. What do I spend my time thinking?
3. Where do I spend my money?
4. What is my heart set upon?
Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, "Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also." This
profound statement reminds us that the things we most treasure in life are the things to which we devote our time, attention and our very selves.
Be honest! Don't try to justify or defend, just consider what you spend the majority of your time thinking about and doing. Looking at your conclusions, do you find that the majority of your resources, including your time, are spent on the things of this world? If so, ask yourself: Am I truly happy? (Again, be honest!) Or do I feel as though I want more? The things that this world has to offer may bring pleasure for a time, but certainly not for eternity. Christ advises His followers to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). Your Heavenly Father knows your needs and will meet them. Set your priorities straight and it really won't matter if you have a lot or have nothing at all.
Your first priority as a Christian is to make it your life's aim to know and become more like Jesus Christ. The more like Him you are, the more this world will fade in your estimation and the more joy-filled you will become. What we need is not an absence of problems or a larger bank balance; what we need is more of Jesus Christ. As the hymn says, "Thou, O Christ, are all I want; More than all in Thee I find." And the more of Jesus you have, the greater will be your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
My prayer for each of you in 2014 is that you will not only strive to become, but that you will become more like Jesus, and that in so doing will find true contentment in the Lord! What you gain by seeking Him first may not be riches. You may not have your afflictions removed. But you will find the strength and the peace that will be a reflection of Christ in you, the hope of glory. Friends, St. Augustine said that he was restless until he found his rest in God. It is true that without Him we are of all creatures most to be pitied, but with Him we can face the future with satisfaction and contentment, knowing that we have been given all sufficiency in Christ.