Influence of Contentment


Message Title: Influence of Contentment
Theme: Paul’s Influence
Season: Ordinary Time
Main Text: 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-31
RCL Scripture: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; Amos 6:1a, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31
Focus: Paul closes his letter to Timothy with a reminder to live content and generous.
 To give generously while pursuing contentment and financial healing.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 16:19-31 19 “There was a certain rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and who feasted luxuriously every day. 20 At his gate lay a certain poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 “The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 While being tormented in the place of the dead, he looked up and saw Abraham at a distance with Lazarus at his side. 24 He shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I’m suffering in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received good things, whereas Lazarus received terrible things. Now Lazarus is being comforted and you are in great pain. 26 Moreover, a great crevasse has been fixed between us and you. Those who wish to cross over from here to you cannot. Neither can anyone cross from there to us.’ 27 “The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, Father, send Lazarus to my father’s house. 28 I have five brothers. He needs to warn them so that they don’t come to this place of agony.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. They must listen to them.’ 30 The rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.’ 31 Abraham said, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”


  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: how do you determine a good piece of produce?
    1. avocado
    1. Pineapple
    1. Watermelon
  2. Determining worthiness? picking produce at the grocery store (Misfitts produce company)
    1. We have expectations with produce that lead us to buy “pretty” produce.
    1. Wasting produce because it doesn’t fit expectations.

TRANSITION:  Paul is once again making a point about the value of people and focus on the Gospel. Sort out worthiness based on the Gospel.

MAIN TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:6-19 Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have. We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: we’ll be happy with food and clothing. But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal. 11 But as for you, man of God, run away from all these things. Instead, pursue righteousness, holy living, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Compete in the good fight of faith. Grab hold of eternal life—you were called to it, and you made a good confession of it in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I command you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and Christ Jesus, who made the good confession when testifying before Pontius Pilate. 14 Obey this order without fault or failure until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 The timing of this appearance is revealed by God alone, who is the blessed and only master, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 16 He alone has immortality and lives in light that no one can come near. No human being has ever seen or is able to see him. Honor and eternal power belong to him. Amen. 17 Tell people who are rich at this time not to become egotistical and not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain. Instead, they need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others. 19 When they do these things, they will save a treasure for themselves that is a good foundation for the future. That way they can take hold of what is truly life.

EXPLAINATION: Paul closes his letter to Timothy with a reminder to live content and generous. (series wrap up)

  1. Last week: do not be influenced by wealth or power, they don’t determine worthiness, the gospel does (What is the Gospel?)
  2. Context:  Final Chapter of 1 Timothy
    1. Paul has been writing a letter to Timothy to help him sort out the problems in Ephesus with a few groups of stubborn people
    1. Paul is wrapping up his letter to Timothy with lifestyle instructions
  3. Now: Continues to talk about the influence of wealth and how it can lead you astray.
    1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:  Let’s list off the what Paul tells Timothy to Avoid vs. Pursue
      1. What are the results of each?


  1. Positive vs Negative reinforcement:
    1. Over the course of this series, we’ve talked about changing the way we approach the Gospel with other people; that we need to stop EVANGELIZING and start LIVING the Gospel.
    1. We’re called to love people to Christ rather than scare them to heaven.
    1. It is easy to look at Paul’s letters and be filled with the “don’ts” rather than the “dos.”
  2. Gospel – “Rich man” was so focused on “his” wealth that he missed the chance to use his blessings to help Lazarus. The rich man’s obsession with his wealth blinded him and lead to ignoring the teachings of scripture.
    1. It would be easy to focus on “where is this place of torment?” and “how do I avoid it?” but we’d be focused on the Negative reinforcements of Christianity rather than the positive.
      1. If we can only think of the negative reasons to participate in our faith, then we are missing the Good News.
        1. It’s fire insurance. Paul is influencing Ephesus through Timothy to get their focus back on the Gospel.
  3. Clinging to our wealth, power, security…  and even the Negative reinforcements of faith will lead to missed opportunities to “be rich in good works.”
    1. Earthly prosperity doesn’t determine our worithiness with God.

APPLICATION: To give generously while pursuing contentment and financial healing.

  1. “Normal Giving to the Church Talk”
    1. The natural progression with this scripture is to look at you all and say “if you’re a good Christian you will tithe 10% of your income to the church.”
      1. Barna group questions/AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
        1. Are you familiar with the term “tithe”? (1/10 Abraham to Melchizadeck & Leviticus)
        1. In your life, has anyone taught you what it means to be a generous person?
        1. Studies:
    1. Tithing is the spiritual practice of giving
      1. It is the act of letting go of control.
      1. Tithing is supposed to be a regular practice.
  2. Sacrificial Giving
    1. While tithing is budgeted, planned, and predictable; we are also called to big sacrificial giving.
      1. We’re called to give when we can’t control the outcome
      1. Give when “the return” isn’t measurable
      1. Give not just money but time, skills, and safety.
        1. Yes, generous giving can be risky for the Gospel.
    1. Giving is not… buying God’s love.
      1. Honor God
      1. This is a positive act
  3. The Spiritual act of giving requires practice and healing.
    1. Baggage with debt, gambling, financial manipulation


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