Investment | Good investment bankers advise their clients to spend their money in ways that bring the greatest and longest gains. As we saw yesterday, however, the greatest and longest gains cannot be found under the sun; they are beyond the horizon and in eternity. Yet how can we invest our money in eternity? What currency counts beyond the grave?
Gain | Paul warned Timothy about some false teachers in Ephesus who had become so addicted to the love of money that truth no longer had a place in their affections. Instead of preaching to proclaim the good news of Jesus, they were preaching to get financial gain in the growing evangelical market. Yet Paul didn’t tell Timothy that gain itself had no place in Christian motivation. In fact, he said, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” . In other words, “Yes, Christian, pursue gain! Pursue it with all your heart because the only way to get the greatest and longest gains is by investing in godliness with contentment!” As he wrote earlier, “While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” .
Eternity | Does this mean that those in for-profit ventures shouldn’t pursue financial gain? No! Working to earn money isn’t the same as wanting to be rich. Paul warned against “the love of money” – not money itself – because “it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith” . Having faced death so many times for the sake of the gospel, Paul lived on the edge of eternity. He desperately wanted to gain eternal life and to encourage his fellow believers to spend their lives wisely – not desiring to be rich, but to be content with the simple things in life. He wanted them to set their affections on God, not money.
Prayer | Lord, You alone are the greatest and longest gain that we could ever enjoy. Help us to invest our money wisely so that we will bring others along with us into the deep and lasting delights that you provide. Make us content with simple necessities because we know that we have you, obeying the command: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” . Amen.
 1 Tim. 6:6 ESV. See also C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” |  1 Tim. 4:7-8 ESV |  1 Tim. 6:10-11 ESV |  Heb. 13:5, 6 ESV