A Devout Life: Part 2
Wealth of Devotion
A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 MSG)
Paul describes "wealth" as something other than money, property or power over others. For Paul, a devout life is the "rich simplicity of being yourself before God".
The English Standard Version translates this verse a bit differently: "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
This "simplicity of being yourself before God", or "godly contentment" conveys the image of a person gaining satisfaction by raising a barrier, warding off external pressure or force.
A sincerely worshipful life, a life lived in constant, deep respect, reverence, love and trust for God, results in a feeling of satisfying contentment, a condition of having within oneself a strong barrier against opposing forces.
This "barrier" is built by having a constant awareness of God in one's life, a continuous life of worship that results in contentment.
I recognize the lack of such a barrier in my life. Often I feel as if I am traveling overland, through thickets, with little protection from thorns, rocks, gnats, storms, beasts and disease. Some days it seems a million details shout for my attention, or scores of accusations belittle me, or huge waves threaten to overwhelm me.
The notion of a barrier between me and "baffling winds" appeals to me. I am pleased at the thought that God desires me to "simply be myself", living as He created me, allowing the image of my Creator to be a buffer against countless distractions and attacks.
There is security in the truth that I could lose all earthly treasure: money, property, business...even health, and still remain a child of God, not much different than when I was first born.
God, you are my Creator. You are my Master, Savior, Companion, and Lover.
And that is all I need.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.