Friday, September 20, 2013

“Faith will falter if the authority of holy scripture is shaken; and if faith falters, love itself decays.”

“Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.” ― St. Augustine of Hippo, On Christian Doctrine

Scripture text: (1 TM 6:2C-12)
Teach and urge these things.
Whoever teaches something different
and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing,
and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.
From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions,
and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds,
who are deprived of the truth,
supposing religion to be a means of gain.
Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.
If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.

But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.

Are you content? It’s a surprisingly complicated question. We love Jesus, but sometimes we feel unfulfilled. We have heard, “The love of money is the root of all evils”(1 Timothy 6:10), but it isn’t always about money. Sure, material things like our possessions, food, or recreation can compete for our love. But the desire for recognition, status, or fame can also make us feel dissatisfied.

So what are you longing for?

Each of us probably has something that feels just out of reach, and we think that if we had it, we would finally be happy. For some of us, it’s money or material possessions. For others, it’s recognition, popularity, or respect. Whatever it is for you, know that if it becomes a focal point, it can lead you into a trap. We can become envious of those who have what we want. Still yearning for something more, we can stray from the foundation of our faith and mistakenly think that we need Jesus and something else.

We can’t take it with us, and we can’t buy our way to heaven. We need to do good works because it’s the right thing to do, not because we expect to be handsomely paid for them.

Money can’t buy you love. Money can’t buy you God. 

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