Money Matters

Bible Book: 1 Timothy  6 : 6-9
Subject: Money; Stewardship; Christian Living

Money Matters

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

1 Timothy 6:6-9

The little girl bowed to pray and said, “O God, don’t let me buy junk with my money.” Why did she pray that prayer? She had received money for her birthday and she wanted to buy everything she saw with it. Her father advised her, “Honey, buy something nice with your money, don’t buy junk.” The little girl realized the power of the money to drive her toward something that would not be best and thus she prayed, “O God, don’t let me buy junk.”

Many people are spending their money and their energy on the junk of this world. How carefully we ought to pray, “O God, don’t let me spend my life, my energy, my talents and resources on things that are worthless.”

It is amazing to see what some people do with their money. Even the most ordinary items can become extremely valuable if they belong or belonged to someone famous. Can you imagine paying $21,000 for somebody's old used toothbrush? Some years ago that is what Napoleon's toothbrush sold for. Hitler's car was sold for more than $150,000. People will pay thousands to become the owners of a pipe that C. S. Lewis smoked, for Winston Churchill's desk, for a piece of sheet music written in Beethoven's own hand, or a house that Ernest Hemingway once owned. When Sotheby's auctioned off Jackie Kennedy Onassis' personal belongings, somebody shelled out $211,500 for her fake pearls and a set of JFK's golf clubs were sold for $772,500.

It is just as interesting to see whom people admire. World Almanac and Book of Facts surveyed eight graders some years ago regarding the people they most admired. Thirty-one names came out on top of the list. All of them were either movie stars or athletes. Not one of them was a religious leader, statesman, author, painter, doctor, astronaut or educator.

I would suggest to you that the things we treasure and the people we admire reveals a lot about us. In fact, what we love and those we admire can make a great difference in time and eternity. We must ask the question, “What Do You Value Most?” That is the issue Paul was addressing in our text for today. In order to value that which is best for us and for others, we need to see three points which Paul made when writing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:6-16.

1 Timothy 6:6-9: “But 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. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men 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."

Paul was writing to tell us money matters to God and it must matter to those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, he points out the action of ...

I. The Issue of Fleeing and Money

Paul declares that there is something we must flee. The word “flee” means to run for your life, to escape before destruction falls. Paul warned that there are things that can destroy us and we must flee those things. Paul deals with the subject of material things, with the love for the world and specifically, with the love of money.

Don’t be alarmed by the mention of money in church. You should be reminded that 2/3 of all the parables Jesus told dealt with money. John MacArthur states that Jesus said five times as much about money in the New Testament as he did about prayer, heaven or hell. Over 2,000 verses deal with the subject of money. What is it that Paul is saying to Timothy and to us regardimg this subject?

Let me say cleary that there is nothing wrong with having money honestly gained and properly used. In fact, God specifically blesses some people with money so they can have the gift of extraordinary giving. I know a few people like that, and what they give is staggering and does so much for the kingdom of God. When the Bible speaks about money in a negative way it is to warn us about the danger of lusting after money or trusting money as our source of joy, peace or satisfaction. Note some important thoughts at this point regarding money as addressed by Paul.

Paul said that we are to ...

A. Flee the Passion of Riches

1 Timothy 6:10 is one of the most often misquoted verses in the Bible. Many people say that money is the root of all evil but that is wrong on at least two accounts. First, it is the love of money that is the root of evil and not money itself. Secondly, this verse states in essence that the love of money is the root of ALL or MANY KINDS or TYPES of evil.

A pastor once received a call in the middle of the night and was asked to visit someone who was dying and who wanted to know how to be sure of Heaven. Arriving at the house located in a squalid court, he found a man about 40 years of age with the pale look of death already appearing in his face. The preacher leaned over the bed and told him about the Savior. As he spoke, he noted a sudden gleam come into the man's eye, and he mistook it for a response to the Gospel. But the man was paying no attention to the pastor's earnest pleadings. Finally, the minister knelt by his bedside and prayed for the sick man's conversion to Christ. When he arose, the sick had died but his fingers were clasping the chain on the pastor's pocket watch. In fact, the dead man had been a notorious burglar, and the sight of that gold treasure so occupied his attention that he couldn't concentrate on the way of salvation which the preacher was sharing with him. Instead, his last act was to pick the preacher's pocket and steal his watch.

The love of money can turn a man or woman from God forever. Only a change of heart can give you change of attitude toward material things.

 Next Paul shares that we are to ...

B. Flee the Plunge of Riches

Look at verse 9; here Paul mentions the "plunge" of riches. Many people think that the wealth of this world will lift them up, but actually it can pull you down. Now don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with having wealth or material things. God never says that. In fact, ambition kept under God’s control is permissible and can be applauded; however, great care must be taken or the material things can become an "idol god" in themselves, and a person may be pulled down by them. Let me tell you a story.

In `Success, Motivation, and the Scriptures,' William Cook describes a meeting in 1923 that involved a group of business tycoons. Together these men controlled unthinkable sums of wealth, and for years the media had trumpeted their success stories. On this day in Chicago they assembled to enjoy their mutual success. Dr. Cook relates what happened to these men in the years that followed. Just listen to what William Cook shares about those wealthy men:

"Charles Schwab, the president of the largest independent steel company, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died penniless.

"Richard Whitney, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, served time in Sing Sing Prison.

Albert Fall, a former member of the President's cabinet, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.

Jesse Livermore, the greatest bear on Wall Street, committed suicide.

Leon Fraser, the president of the Bank of International Settlement, committed suicide.

Ivar Krueger, head of the world's greatest monopoly, committed suicide.

"The success they celebrated proved illusory." [Leadership, Fall 1991. Page 45.]

You must be careful or you to may find your life not enhanced but ruined by material things.

Note that Paul also says that we are to ...

C. Flee the Pain of Riches

Paul speaks of the pain and sorrow that riches can bring. Abraham was rich. David was rich. Joseph of Aramethea was rich. Their riches never hurt them, because they did not love the world but loved God.

  • Balaam was ruined by money
  • Ahab killed a man to obtain his vineyard
  • Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver
  • Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and the church about money
  • All of these people were ruined by material things.

Riches can bring pain and that is why Paul was inspired to warn us to flee these things. John said that we must not love the world or the things in the world. He went on to say that one cannot love God and the world at the same time.

Some years ago, women working for the U.S. Treasury Department became ill. They were ladies who counted money in the Treasury Department. Their illness puzzled doctors for days but they soon discovered the cause. The women had high levels of arsenic in their bodies. The arsenic used to print the money in those days was seeping into their blood stream as they handled the money day in and day out. Friend, you and I can be made sick by the improper handling of money and possessions.

Not only did Paul tell us to flee the misuse of money but he used the idea of ...

II. The Issue of Following and Money

Paul said that the proper way to ensure the correct use of material things was for us to pursue and follow proper goals when it comes to possessions. What should these goals be for us?

The goals begin with ...

A. Actions

Paul mentioned "Righteousness" ...  the Greek word 'dikaiosunai' ...  which means "correctness of feeling, action, or innocence."

We must have as a goal proper and right living before God and for His cause. We should make it our daily goal to please the Lord, and this includes the obtaining and use of money and material things kept in a proper perspective.

Next, notice ...

B. Attitude

"Godliness" ... the Greek word 'eusebeian' ... which speaks of adoring the good, virtuous, or it speaks of a devoted worshipper of God.

Godliness speaks of one's attitude. I may do right without feeling right about it, but I must never do wrong and not feel wrong about it. Godliness means my attitude matches my actions. This should be a goal in my life and yours. Thus, material things are simply another way that I honor God and do what He teaches. Money and things must never be separated from our relationship to the Savior!

Following also speaks of ...

C. Agreement or Affirmation

"Faith" ...from the Greek word, 'pistin' ... which means, "the act of believing and agreeing with what God says and accepting the consequences and decisions that agreement demands."

Faith means to affirm of agree with what God says about a matter. This is just as important with money and possessions as with anything else. We must have faith in God that leads us to act as He instructs is with money and things - it is a simple matter of faith in God, and in His Word.

Following also speaks of ...

D. Affection

"Love" ... from the Greek word 'agapeen' ... which speaks of, "love and benevolence."

I must have a heart for God and for others. My love of money must never take the place of my love for God, for others, for souls, or for the local and worldwide mission of His Church.

Following means ...

E. Adherence

From the Greek word, 'hupomone' ... which means, "patience, continuance, and stickability."

This speaks of our willingness to stick steadfastly to God’s plan, disregarding allurements to money, things or in any other fanciful thing contrary to His will.

Then we note that following speaks of ...

F. Assurance

"Meekness" ... from the word, "prosdokao" ... meaning, "to watch in fear and hope, with full expectation."

I must have the peace and gentleness of knowing that my plans are in God’s hands. He can open doors no one can shut and shut doors that no one can open.

There are some standard things regarding money that should be mentioned here, though they are not in our text.

Write down the 6 things I'm about to tell you and live by them - this can change your financial life for God's best. My wife and I agreed decades ago to practice these principles and I have no words to express what a blessing they have been to us. Are you ready? Write these down:

1. Tithe

Give through your local church 10% of your income to the Lord. If you think that is impossible, you are wrong. You can't out give God. If I had time, I would tell you how God provided for us when we tithed on an income so small that we saw no way to survive before tithing, much less after doing so. We witnessed God's promise I real time.

2. Pay your bills

Do not ever defraud anyone. Pay what you owe - pay what you promise. Don't make debts you can't pay in a timely matter.

3. Get out of Debt and stay there - as much as possible

If you faithfully practice number 2 in this list, it will help you achieve number 3. For example. When my wife and I set out to follow these financial rules, we agreed never to charge anything on a credit card that we couldn't pay off at the end of the month. We didn't buy a lot but we didn't owe a lot either. God blessed that decision again and again.

4. Pray about every purchase

Ask God to make you wise with money. Never buy on a whim. Don't go shopping just to "look around." Know what you really need and buy it. Advertising is designed to lure you into buying things you don't need to impress people you don't even like with money you don't have!!! Resist that with all your heart.

5. Live below your means

Never push your budget to the limit. Leave room for the unexpected because you must expect the unexpected to happen eventually. It is not a matter of,  "can we afford it," but always a matter of "does say that we really need it."

6. Never buy anything to impress someone else

Disregard what your neighbors have or what they may expect you to have. Obeying God is the principle purpose of our lives. 

Paul spoke about this entire process regarding wealth and things as ...

III. The Issue of Fighting and Money

Why did Paul call this a fight? Because the devil will see to it that you have plenty of temptation in your path regarding money. After all, he took Jesus up on a high place and showed Him all the kingdoms of this world, and then Satan told the Lord to bow down and worship him and all that Jesus saw would be His. Jesus did not fall for that silly line, but you can be sure of this, if Satan tempted the Lord Jesus in this manner, don’t you know he is going to tempt you and me even more? Satan will urge you to bow to him in order to have the things of this world. Many foolish people, many of whom are Christians, have done so and lived in the swirling misery of their mistaken financial  decisions.

Paul also calls this a good fight, why?

A. A Good Cause

 Stand in the fight regarding money and things. It is for Your Good, and For God's Glory!

B. A Good Conflict

This is a conflict worth the cost. You are in a battle With the Evil One and with an Evil World! This is not about things or possessions but about the One who left heaven and all that was there to come into this sin-cursed world to save you and me.

A little girl called out, "Mommy, you know that vase in the china cabinet - the one that's been handed down from generation to generation?"

"Yes, dear, I know which one you mean. What about it?"

"Well, Mommy, I'm sorry, but this generation just dropped it!"

Let us not be the generation that drops the financial discipleship to which we have been called. Our Christian generation is in danger of leaving the morals, the beliefs, and the standards that have blessed our nation, our families and the people of the world for generations. We are in danger of turning our back on God and His Son for earthly things and earthly Pleasure. We need to come once again to the Lord and tell Him that it is not the gift we prize, but the Gift-giver that we worship. We must commit ourselves to love and adore the Lord above all else. We must fight the good fight of faith and pursue those things that are best for us and for our children.


A New York State woman unknowingly allowed her family jewels to be sold for 10 cents at a friend's garage sale. It happened after she took the jewels out of a bank safety deposit box to wear to a wedding. The bank was closed when she got home, so she put the jewels in an old shaving case and stuffed it in another box. In time, she forgot about the jewels, and later she gave the shaving case to a friend who was collecting items for a garage sale. By the time the woman realized what she had done, the precious gems had been sold to an unknown buyer for a single dime.

The most valuable thing in life is the human soul. Christ died and rose to redeem you and give you something eternal – eternal life! Make sure that you have made a commitment of repentence from sin and faith in Jesus. Then, once that is done, we must put Him first by laying up treasure in heaven rather than merely do so on earth. Having money or material things is not necessarily evil, but putting them before God is idolatry.