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Those Who Want To Get Rich Fall Into Temptation
1 Timothy 6:9 Setting your heart on nothing but material things will eventually be your downfall.
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“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”
1 Timothy 6:9 NASB1995
Wednesday’s devotional was from the second epistle of Paul to Timothy, focusing on anxiety. Today we’re looking at Paul’s first letter to Timothy, which also provides moral support and advice to the young minister (and indeed all who have ever been in ministry).
Paul realized that for many ministers, being in a position of authority over a group of people might be tempting in many ways. In this case, Paul was warning of something that has successfully tempted many ministers throughout the ages — personal gain.
There are those who are tempted by money and want nothing more than to get rich off of the tithes of the flock, something that has been the downfall of many a successful ministry. That’s why it is so important for modern churches to have a team that watches every dollar that is given, making sure that it isn’t misappropriated.
In this verse, Paul seems to be telling Timothy that the want of riches is even more dangerous than the riches themselves. The poor want more than their meager share, and those who are already rich want to keep accumulating. It’s not having the riches that makes men ungodly — think of Abraham, David, and Solomon, all of whom had abundant wealth, but who are also considered pillars of our faith.
Instead, those who put their focus on earthly wealth and not in God see their hearts tempted away from eternal riches. I’m sure we’ve all seen or known people who are so tied up in having more and more of everything that it eventually becomes their “ruin and destruction” — spending more than they can afford or even worse, becoming addicted to sex, drugs, or alcohol. Setting your heart on nothing but material things will eventually be your downfall.
Elsewhere in this chapter, Peter points out that all we really need is a roof over our heads, food to nourish us, contentment with what we have, and a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ. I’ll end this devotional with a short quote from the Enduring Word Commentary (used with permission of the author):
The desire to be rich can really only be satisfied in Jesus Christ and satisfied with spiritual riches rather than material ones. Everything else falls short.
and one more from author Paul David Tripp:
Because love of money sits at the dark intersection of love of self and worship of the creation, it doesn’t lead us to keep the two Great Commandments, and because we don’t, we will do many things that are evil in the sight of God.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Thank You, God, for the many blessings I have received. Help me to be satisfied with those blessings, and be generous to those who are in need. Keep my focus on what is truly important — You, Your Son, and The Holy Spirit. AMEN.