Alexander the Great was a Macedonian king who conquered Persia, Greece and Egypt. He was considered the “conqueror of the world.” It was the custom of his day that when a person died their hands would be wrapped so no one could see them. However, prior to his death he asked that his hands remain unwrapped. When they asked why, he replied, “I want everyone to see that they are empty.”
In his letter to Timothy, Paul said, “After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into this world, and we certainly can’t take anything with us when we die.” This is a popular verse, used by many, but accepted and followed as a guide for living by only a few – judging by the way that most of us live!
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (King James Version)
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In three short verses, Paul gives some astounding advice to all of us. He begins by saying that true religion can be very valuable if it brings one contentment. Might he be saying that if we are not content with what we believe, no amount of money will bring us peace? Then he reminds us that we “can’t take it with us.” And then he concludes this bit of advice by saying, “And by the way, if you have enough food and clothing, be content. And if you are not content with what God’s given you, you will be tempted and trapped by foolish desires that bring ruin and destruction.”
Prayer: It’s easy, Lord, to want what has no eternal value. Place in our hearts a desire for what matters most. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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