Posts Tagged ‘godliness’

A Root of Evil

September 26, 2017

Caution!  Danger ahead!!  It is good to be warned of dangers that are ahead of us.  Forewarned is forearmed some say.  That is; if we heed the warning.

I.  Useless Wranglings:  I Timothy 6: 3-5

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Here at this church we encourage individuals to study the Bible and to discuss it freely.  Sometimes this means that we have disagreements on interpretation.  These disagreements may be invigorating, challenging us to search the scriptures to back up our view.  I love it when, after a service, I see people sitting with their Bibles open, in deep conversation with their neighbor.

When do we cross over from a healthy discussion to ‘useless wranglings’?  Primarily, it comes down to our attitude.  Are we still listening to the points that the other person is making in support of their position?  Are  we considering the possibility that they may be right and we may be wrong?  Or are we simply trying to win an argument?? At the end of the discussion are we stimulated to learn?  Or simply angry??   Or filled with pride at our superiority?   Our attitude makes the difference.

I have often heard it preached that godliness is a means of gain.  Isn’t that the basic assumption of the prosperity gospel that was popular for many years?  Health and wealth for all believers??

We should be careful.  Our true riches do not lie in this world but in the next. Now, it is true that God blesses His people in a wide variety of ways, but we must be careful that we never place the pursuit of blessings over our pursuit of the One Who blesses.

Also, we must recognize that historically, there have been many, many Christians who have been poor in the things of this world, while rich in the things of God.  Which is more important??

II.  Great Gain:  I Timothy 6:6-10

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

We should be in pursuit of godliness.  It should be our desire to be more like Christ.  This involves a dying to the flesh combined with a growth in the spirit.  We cannot do it without God, but God requires our cooperation.

The ability to be content is a terrific trait.  It also goes counter to our culture which pushes us to always want more, bigger, and better, to never be content.  Christians need to be careful not to be caught up with the flow of society which drives us to always work to have more.  “He who dies with the most toys wins” seems to describe the goals of our society.

We should be different.

“The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.  Money itself is not evil.  It is the love of money that is evil.  It is the attitude that is wrong.  Some people think that this only applies to rich people, but that would be wrong.  Poor people can love money too.

God is to be our first love.  We are to seek Him first, above all else.  Then everything will fall into place. (Matthew 6:33)

III.  But You… I Timothy 6: 11-12

 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses

We should pursue, not money, but the traits of godliness.  We will not become perfect in this life, but we should be steadily growing in godliness.

Fight the good fight.  Instead of trying to accumulate things, we should be accumulating souls for the kingdom of God.  We are effective in the work of the kingdom by being fervent in prayer.  Our prayers have an impact that we may not realize.  Everyone can pray and prayer is important!

We can also fight the good fight by our proclamation of the gospel.  We should always be looking for opportunities to share the hope that is within us, the good things that God has done for us, the good news of God’s love for all people.

Finally, we fight the good fight, by letting our light shine in the darkness.  That light, of course, is Christ in us, the hope of glory.  Without Him, we would still be in the dark.

 

These are the sermon notes from 9/24/17.  All quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

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Transformers

October 21, 2010

Romans 12:2 says  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  (NKJ)

As Christians we are in an ongoing state of transformation.  God is helping us to move from what we were, to what we can be in Christ.  It is the Spirit of God, working together with the Word of God that helps us to recognize what is right and what is wrong.  We work together with God as He seeks to transform our lives.  Our spirit, will and reason should be open to the direction that God will give us by His Word, and His Spirit.

Philippians 1:6 says “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

God’s transforming work continues both in us, and through us.

Confusing Excellence and Godliness

August 17, 2010

Over the last few years I have heard a lot about pursuing excellence.  I am concerned that people may begin to confuse excellence with godliness.  They are not synonymous terms.  It is true that we should do our best,  that “whatever we do, we do as unto the Lord”.   However, a person’s best may still be mediocre in the eyes of the world.  A godly young person may be an average athlete or musician.  They may pour their heart into their efforts and still be average, not excellent.  That does not make them any less pleasing in the eyes of God.  On the other hand, a person may be a gifted athlete or musician, work very hard and be excellent in their fields of endeavor.  However, they may be arrogant or proud, or fall short in many other ways, not being very godly at all.

On a different note,  a church may have excellent facilities, a beautiful building, the best equipment money can buy, a polished performance by the musicians and preacher, achieving excellence in every observable way, but they may be cold, loveless and dead.  A different church may have an old building, worn carpet, and a failing sound system, with less polished musicians and preacher, yet they may be filled with warmth, love, and the presence of God.

It is possible to be godly, but not achieve excellence.

It is possible to be excellent, but not godly.

I submit that God is more pleased with godliness, than excellence.

In our pursuit of excellence,   we should remember that it is, at best, a secondary virtue.   We should place more emphasis on godliness.