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Strapped

If you were to ask the average American how they feel in the realm of their finances, many would use the word “strapped.” We feel strapped by debt, the rising cost of living and the constant desire for more. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul puts wealth in perspective and teaches us how to break free from the grip of materialism, greed and a short-term focus.

From this Series

Act Your Wage

November 9, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 1 of 3

For many people, money problems are their greatest source of stress. This seems very strange given the fact that we enjoy a higher standard of living than almost any nation in the world. We always seem to want just a little more, and pursue it to the point of becoming strapped financially, emotionally and spiritually. If we learn to live within our means and exercise self control, we find freedom. In 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Paul reminds us that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Put God First

November 16, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 2 of 3

Most of us would never think that we’re guilty of idolatry. But when the pursuit and protection of our wealth becomes a higher priority than our giving to God’s Kingdom – that’s exactly what we are. If Jesus is really the Lord of our lives, then he must occupy the #1 position in our hearts. The most tangible evidence of whether he holds that position in our hearts is how we use our money. The truest indication of what we worship is not happens when we use a hymnbook, but what happens when we use our checkbook. Giving is the best expression of the fact that God is the ultimate owner and Lord of our lives. Unfortunately, the work of God’s kingdom is often strapped by the disobedience of God’s people. In 1 Timothy 6:17-18, Paul tells Timothy to, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

Look Beyond Today

November 23, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 3 of 3

When it comes to how we handle our money, many believers live as practical atheists; we act like this life is all that matters. We are strapped down by an earthly, temporal perspective. Writing to Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Paul says that it’s important for us to be, “rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” Embedded in verse 19 is an amazing promise – that real treasure is what we store up in Heaven, not what we can hold in our hands. Paul is echoing the words of Jesus in Matthew 6, where he told us to “store up treasures in Heaven.” If we saw our money, possessions and time from an eternal perspective, it would radically change what we do with those resources!