Door A or B?

1 Timothy 6:6-10 ESV

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

Whether we have much or little, we need to learn to be content with what we have. I know what it is like to have little, but I have always had a roof over my head, clothes on my body, and food in my stomach, even if I didn’t have much at all of anything else. And, I know what it is like to have extra, though not excessive, and yet whatever we have we share with others.

And, I know that God has placed me in the situation I am in for his purposes. If we didn’t have a little extra money, I couldn’t afford to do what I do each day, for the equipment cost money, as does the internet, as does other aspects of this ministry, as well. So, I know we are in the financial situation we are in presently largely so I can do the work God called me to.

But the things of this world, and money, and possessions should never be our god. And, what we hunger and thirst after shouldn’t be to have more stuff we don’t need, or to have more money so we can buy more stuff we don’t need. And, it shouldn’t be so we can eat more food than what our bodies require, either. For, we really can live on little.

And, it is true that if we have too much that there is the danger of falling into many senseless and harmful desires. For, with more money comes more temptation to spend it on what is not needed. And, with wanting more and more of what this world has to offer does comes the temptation to go after what can plunge us into ruin and destruction. And, I know about that, too, for there was a time when I took that plunge, too.

Godliness with Contentment

So, how can we avoid all of that? How can we keep ourselves pure? How can we make certain that money does not become our idol? Or that the things money can buy don’t become our idols? The answer? Godliness coupled with contentment.

We first need to be godly, and we become godly by God-given faith in Jesus Christ whereby we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24).

And, then we need to daily deny self, die to sin, and follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. We need to be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God (Lu. 9:23-26; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Rom. 8:1-17).

For, when Jesus is our Lord and master, and when we are walking according to (in agreement with) his Spirit and not according to our flesh, our desires will begin to be his desires. And, we will want what he wants. And, we won’t just go out and spend a bunch of money on what we don’t need. For, we will be asking the Lord how he wants us to spend any excess that we have. And, we will be looking to see the needs of others and how we might help them.

1 Timothy 6:11-12 ESV

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

This goes to the whole teaching in Scripture regarding put offs and put ons, which is the basis of the doctrine of our salvation. When Jesus died on that cross, he put sin to death, and when he rose from the dead, he rose victorious over sin. Sin and death did not defeat him. Amen!

So, when we believe in Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we die with Christ to sin so we can live with Christ to his righteousness, in his power. Thus, with Christ we put to death the old us, the fleshly us, and in his power, we now live to the new us created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).

And, this is what repentance is all about. We were going one direction. Now we turn and we go the other direction.

This is what our faith is all about. It is the surrendering of our lives to Jesus, dying to sin and self, and now living according to God’s Spirit and his word. But this is daily, and it must continue to the end for us to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God.

Our Daily Walk of Faith

So, daily we flee from the passions of the flesh and the temptation toward senseless and harmful desires. Daily we say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and we live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the power of God while we wait for Jesus’ return (Titus 2:11-14; Lu. 9:23-26).

And, daily we walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and study the Scriptures so that we live by them. And, we spend time in fellowship with our Lord, and we listen to him speak his truths to our hearts, and then we do what he says for us to do. And, we no longer pursue the trappings of this sinful world, but we now pursue holiness, godliness, and righteousness.

And, this is a battle. It is a fight. For, when we believe in Jesus, we enter into a spiritual battle between Satan and God, between evil and good, and between wickedness and righteousness. Satan now becomes our enemy, and he will fight to get us back. So, he will try all kinds of tricks to try to get us back under the bondage of sin. And, if that doesn’t work, he will try other ways to try to trip us up and to attempt to get us to fail.

So, we can’t be casual about our walks of faith with Jesus Christ, especially now. We can’t just go about our days doing whatever we want, and maybe give God the leftovers. For, he wants it all! He wants us fully surrendered to him. And, that is the only way we are going to be victorious in battle against our enemy, because it is only in the power of our Lord that we can win.

1 Timothy 6:13-16 ESV

“I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

So, if we want to be untainted by the world and the lusts of the flesh, which wage war against our souls, then we need to be surrendered to Jesus Christ, grounded in the word of God, doing what it says. We must be those who obey the Lord’s commandments. This is not saying we will always do it perfectly, but that walks of obedience to our Lord should be the character of our lives. We should never be those who feel that sinning is acceptable.

But this is not optional for the life of the believer. We don’t get to choose door A or door B depending on our mood for that day. It is either A or it is B. There is no middle ground, no wavering back and forth in opinion from one day to the next. We are either committed to Christ or we aren’t. We are either walking according to the Spirit, or we are walking according to the flesh. The Bible doesn’t make allowances for anything else.

So, if we walk according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, then we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. So, if we want to be assured our salvation and eternal life with God, then by faith in Jesus Christ we must die daily to sin and self and live daily to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit living within us (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).

There’s a Stirring

By Annie Herring

There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior
face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?

I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet

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2 thoughts on “Door A or B?

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