1 Timothy 6:6-12 There is great gain in godliness with contentment; 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; 8but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. 11But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called . . ..

Today we look at once of the most misused and misquoted passages in scripture. But before we look at the text itself, it is important to understand WHY this text is so difficult. And to understand the difficulty, it is best to ask yourself the following questions:

1. What is at the center of your life?

2. In ordinary daily life, to you spend more time talking about money, or about God? b. do you spend more time thinking about money, or about God?

3. In the course of the day, do you sing/listen to more music about money, or about God?

4. In choosing what to do, do you do more things for money, or for the love of God?

The reason why these questions are so important, is because we live in a society that practices hidden idolatry. We donít bow down to the dollar, or kiss lucky coins. We donít sing hymns to money, yet we are in awe of its power, and we respect what it can do, and many devote their lives, and almost every waking hour, to the pursuit of money, the acquisition of wealth, and to the dedicated service of that which will enrich us. Money is not the only "hidden god". There are a pantheon of others, you know some of them as "sex, pleasure, self, . . . . they are myriad in number. In other words, the basic problem with the world today is idolatry. Yet because it is hidden idolatry, many do not see the sin, or feel the need for repentance.

You see the great difficulty we have in this age, is looking at what is at the center of our life. It is one thing to say that money shouldnít be at the center, it is another to know where our life should be centered. And those who have moved money out of its central spot, often have only replaced it with another of the "lesser gods".

You see the center of the text is not the evil of money. The center of the text is the value of godliness. Godliness is a virtue. Virtues are good things. Virtue is a commendable, quality, a manly strength, moral excellence, for it comes from conformity with that which is right. Godliness is a virtue centered in the pious devout living of the faith, that God created through the Word. Godliness is seen as the right worship of the one true God, in formal worship, and in daily living. You see, the thing at the center of life, needs to be something greater than self, something that lasts, and is of value, and will not pass away. God needs to be at the center of life, because what is at the center of life, is what give meaning to life. Too many today are without center, and are drifting through life, blown to and fro, they do not know where they are, nor where they are going.

So the question turns to one of, Where are you called? There are 2 calls, there is the upward call of God in Christ, rooted in the cross, the price paid, that our sins might be forgiven, and we, have peace with God. And there is the call of sin, whose path leads to destruction, whose wages are death, and who spreads evil, misery, suffering and pain. Where is the gain, certainly it is not with sin. The gain is with God. Sin doesnít love us, but God loves us. Sin canít save us, sin didnít create us. Sin is powerless to do good, its only power is corruption.

But the power of God not only created all things, but it is a power that can overcome every obstacle. And as great as the power of God is, the amazing thing is the love of God. For the love of God is the power of God for our good. It is amazing because God loved, while we were yet sinners, while we fought against God, while we were enemies of God. It is then, in love, that God gave his son into death, that we might be saved. And a good life, is a life devoted to the God who has done everything for us, in Jesus Christ. A good life, is a life that remembers that as surely as God, for Christís sake, forgives our sins, so he will also provide everything else as well, for Jesus sake.