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Devotional - week of May 21, 2006


great gain

 

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  1 Timothy 6:6-7

 

Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:5 about men with corrupt mindswho suppose that godliness was a means of gain.” However, in verse six, Paul tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain.

 

In Paul’s reference to a love offering sent to him by the church at Philippi, he writes in Philippians 4:11:

 

… I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content …

 

Paul is suggesting to Timothy to have the same contentment that he has, regardless of his having or not having material possessions.

 

In Philippians 4:12-13, Paul writes:

 

 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

In this passage, Paul wrote that he had “learned” to be content in whatever state he was in. The word “learned” indicates that Paul had several experiences of being in want before he arrived at an emotional state of contentment. Obviously, over a period of time, Paul discovered that God always provides, and this assurance always carried him beyond the fears and concerns of having nothing materially.

 

In verse 13, the word “through” should be translated “in”—indicating the thought of “in union with Christ.” Living life on those terms made it possible for Paul to live with or without material things.

 

When we live out our union with Christ, He is living through us. One cannot experience the ultimate in godliness in any other way.

 

Great gain is ours as we experience godliness with contentment—not in having an abundance of possessions.