1 Timothy 6:6-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain.…
I. Let us consider THE NECESSITIES OF NATURE. These are few, and simple, and easily satisfied. For we should distinguish between real and artificial wants. In reference to happiness, a man only has what he can use. If he possesses a thousand pounds which he cannot use, it matters not, as to the benefit he derives from it, whether it be in his coffer or in the bowels of the earth.
II. We should do well to consider THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE CREATURE. When we see men dissatisfied with what they have, and all anxiety and exertion to amass an abundance of this "world's goods," we should imagine that there was a superlative excellency in these things, and that our happiness absolutely depended upon them. Happiness is an eternal thing. "A good man shall be satisfied from himself."
III. To induce you to be satisfied with such things as you have, consider Your UNWORTHINESS. You murmur because you have not more — but should you not be thankful for what you have? If a man owes you a debt, you ought to have your demand; and if you do not receive the whole, you may justly complain. But it is otherwise with a beggar who asks alms. How much more therefore are we bound to say, with Jacob, " I am not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies"! Cease complaining, Christian.
IV. Observe WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY IN POSSESSION OR IN REVERSION. When I view the Christian — when I see him blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places — when I see him a son of God, an heir of immortality — loved with an infinite love; redeemed by the blood of the everlasting covenant; called out of darkness into marvellous light. Oh why do not these blessings absorb us! Once they did. When we were first induced to seek them-we thought of nothing else. We then said, If I succeed and obtain these — how willingly can I leave everything else!
V. Consider THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD. Suppose now a voice from heaven were to assure you that a little was best for you. You answer, I would try to acquiesce. And cannot God speak by actions as well as words?
VI. Consider HOW MUCH SAFER YOU ARE WITH LITTLE THAN WITH MUCH. Honey does not more powerfully attract bees than affluence generates temptations. Did you never see men ruined by prosperity? Have you duly considered the duties as well as snares of a prosperous condition? "Where much is given, much will be required."
VII. Consider THE BREVITY OF YOUR CONTINUANCE UPON EARTH, WHERE ALONE YOU WILL NEED ANY OF THESE THINGS. "What is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away!" And how much of this fleeting period is already consumed! There may be but a step between you and death. Now if time be short, your trouble cannot be long. Were you ever so prosperous, it is only the sunshine of a day — the evening shades are beginning to spread, and will hide all your glories from your view. Read the verse before the text: "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
Parallel VersesKJV: But godliness with contentment is great gain.