1 Timothy 6:6-7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
You know what would be an interesting TV show? “Baby Hoarders” It would feature children under the age of 1 that have spent their life collecting all kinds of stuff to the point that you can’t even open the door to their nursery. Their cribs are full of junk, their rooms are cluttered. Yes, their “whole life” has been dedicated to hanging on to stuff. Okay, maybe that’s a ridiculous idea. Babies don’t have a bunch of stuff. They didn’t bring anything into this world and there’s no way for them to acquire a lot that quickly.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 6, that we brought nothing into this world and we won’t be taking anything with us when we leave it. Yet we have this need to acquire more and more. What for? Why do we need it all? Why do our hearts have an insatiable appetite for acquiring? Maybe it’s because we aren’t content. And I hate to say it, but maybe we aren’t all that godly either. Instead we focus our lives on the “gain.” We spend time and energy figuring out how to get ahead, how to get more.
But that’s not the real route to increase. Godliness and contentment are. If we would focus our energy on godliness and set our hearts on contentment we would experience life in a whole new way. We would be more generous. We wouldn’t hang on to stuff so tightly. We would trust God more easily. We would find joy in giving. I want to live life like that! How about you?
Joshua 18:6-7 6 After you have written descriptions of the seven parts of the land, bring them here to me and I will cast lots for you in the presence of the LORD our God. 7 The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the LORD is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan. Moses the servant of the LORD gave it to them.”
Feeling left out? Sometimes the best things in life aren’t tangible. Just ask the Levites. They had the joy of listening to Joshua hand out an inheritance to all the tribes of Israel… all except them. Because their reward was working for the Lord. “It’s okay guys, don’t worry about land. You get to work in the temple for the rest of your life.” I wonder if there was that one Levite who was thinking that wasn’t a great trade-off. Maybe there was the guy who really wanted some land.
As shallow as you may think I sound right now, I think it is a valid question. At least to me it is. I know that serving the Lord is the greatest thing, the most rewarding thing. At my inner-most being, all I want is the Lord. But I’ve got flesh too, and flesh likes stuff. It likes a tangible inheritance. Several years ago, a friend told me that they had been given a new ministry job. I asked how much it paid. Before he could answer (because I was pretty sure I knew the answer), I joked with him and said: “I’m not talking jewels in your crown type of pay either. I mean cold, hard cash.” We had a good laugh and I repented so don’t worry. 🙂 But seriously, there is a part of us that wants to know what our tangible reward will be. We know that in eternity it will be worth it – we just happen to want it now.
Which made me think about the Levites in Joshua 18. While they stood there watching everyone else get their land, did they think about what their inheritance was? Did they realize that the privilege they had to know God and serve Him in His house was far greater than home ownership? I wonder if they knew how great they really had it? And maybe we forget what a great privilege serving the Lord is. We focus so much on what is in front of our face, that we often forget to seek His. We give the physical things of this world so much weight that we lose sight of His authority over them. Let’s change our focus today. Don’t feel left out when life doesn’t hand you everything that you think you need. Instead, focus on the fact that He lets you know Him. Doing so will change everything.