Too many people are looking for an edge or an angle. Heck, one has to have more than 5 friends on social media before getting a message from some obscure friend that you’ve not spoken to in 20myears asking you “is your life all it could be? Do you want it to be better? How would you like to work for yourself, and have fun doing it?” and then hearing a pitch for some multilevel marketing plan (too many of us have experienced this, haven’t we?). I’m not knocking such things, I know some people who enjoy doing that stuff, and are successful at it. The point, however, is that we’re lured in to things that will make life easier for us, we’re looking for that edge or that angle that will make life simple, and lead us in to easy living.
I’ve been studying through the Torah lately (the first 5 books of the Bible). I’m amazed by Exodus-Deuteronomy, and how it shows God’s grace and mercy. But what is even more amazing is how this book could very well take place now, and the people would be exactly the same now as they were back then. Consider this for a minute: the people of Israel were in agony in their enslavement and cried out for deliverance. God sends them a deliverer, and immediately, the people of Israel balk because their slave masters were upset with them. God frees Israel in a miraculous way, and they spend 40 years complaining and trying to go back to their slavery despite God’s supernatural and miraculous wonders providing for them every step of the way.
Fast forward to Jesus and us: we are dead in our sins and, deep down, all of us knows it. We’re unhappy with our lives, and so we try and find new ways to make our enslavement to the flesh more bearable. Jesus rescues us in every way from it, promising us a full and abundant life in Him (note I never said easy), which we accept, but then spend half our time sojourning in this world longing for the days of our enslavement to sin! Things WERE easier when we were enslaved to our sin, but we were miserable at the same time. They were easier because we didn’t have an enemy applying pressure on us; yet we still faced death, depression, anxiety, and the hardships already brought about from living in this broken world. When Christ came, He set us free from the burden of sin and death, but to enjoy the fullness of New Life, we have to trust Him completely. This requires us being content ONLY in Him. There is no other angle, no relationship, no job, no program, no item, or any other such thing that can bring us contentment but Christ alone.
1 Timothy 6:2b-21
Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for 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. 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. 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.
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Grace be with you.