1 Timothy 6:10

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Timothy 6:10 

“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10

Money is not the root of all sorts of evil, it is the love of it that is the issue.  Money in and of itself is not a bad thing.  In today’s culture, we could not survive without some money, for it does require funds to purchase food, clothing and shelter.  However, when our desire for money goes beyond our needs, this is when we could enter dangerous territory, that being greed and ultimately avarice.

Question.  What did Christ say were the two greatest commands?  “Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, Hear, O Israel!  The Lord our God is one Lord; and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, you will love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:29-31.  This is where our love should be focused; to God and to people.

Those who have a love for money and longing for as much as they can get, covet it.  And the enemy can take that and tempt us to increase our love for it until money becomes more important than other people, and ultimately could lead to being more important than God.  And one of the tools he uses is comparison.  We compare what we have with what others have, or we compare what we do not have with what others have.  It is very easy to fall into this if our focus is things, and ultimately money.  The writer of Hebrews put it this way.  “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 Comparison of what we have will often lead to discontentment.  We begin to feel that what God has provided for us is not enough, we want more.”  At this point, our wants become our needs even though we do not really need them.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. If He does not supply something to us, then do we really need it?  Paul alludes to No as the answer.

If we have more than we need, then our focus can be on those who do not.  Often, the way God supplies the needs of others is through the treasures of another.  We should think of money as a tool we can use to do the work of God here.  There was a Christian music performer who chose to give 90% of his money to others and live off the remaining 10%.  He brought in way more than he needed and he made the decision to meet the needs of others as his needs were met.  Is there a way we can take our excess and bless others who absolutely need it?  Let’s examine our situation and see where God leads us.  Not only will we be blessing others, but we will be blessed as well by the Father, and the knowledge that someone else is now in a better place.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Isaiah 53:5

Verse of the Day Devotion Isaiah 53:5 

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” –  Isaiah 53:5 

Up to Christmas day, I will be looking at the different prophesies which foresee the coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ.  He came here in order to offer the means of salvation for all.  An important idea to remember is that God knows everything and forgets nothing.  “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:9-10.

In Isaiah 53, we see one of the most powerful and famous prophecies found in the entire Old Testament.  I want to start in the last three verses of the previous chapter to introduce this idea and also help us understand who the prophet was speaking of.  “Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men. Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.” Isaiah 52:13-15. Note the words, “marred more than any man.”

Now, as we continue now in chapter 53, we read “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Isaiah 53:1.  I believe this essentially refers to God, asking the question “who listens to the message and who exhibits the power of God”.  Then the message is presented as we move forward.  “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:2-4.  This speaks that the Messiah will grow up with a humble attitude, one of  lowly state, a servant as of no account.  He would not come across with any form of majesty. The Jews believed that when the Messiah came He would come in splendor and power.  But Jesus came to us in quite a contrary way.  And because He did come as a man, He experienced the same griefs men did.  And He was despised by men for what He ultimately revealed about Himself.  There were some who believed, but the vast majority did not.

Then, including our focus verse, we see the ultimate purpose of His coming. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5. The Messiah came and bore our griefs, yet they saw Him as someone punished by God and afflicted with all manner of distress.  Yes, He was afflicted, however it was not because of what He did, but what we did.  He paid the penalty for our sins, not His own, because He had never sinned. “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:22-23.  And  this is why He could pay our penalty, for if He had sinned, His death would only pay His own, not ours.  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25.   

And this is Christmas.  It is the event of God becoming a human being, in the person of Jesus Christ, because God loved us and wanted to provide the means of salvation.  And Christmas celebrates the birth of this Savior born to provide this salvation.  And because of this, we see the true meaning of Christmas being expressed in one word, love.  And we are free from condemnation when we accept this free gift.  What an amazing gift, an amazing God, and amazing love.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.