Sermon Detail

The Joy of Stewardship How to Avoid Bear Traps and Deadly Currents (and Embrace the Good Life!)

March 20, 2022 | Buster Brown

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”  1 Timothy 6:3-10



1. This passage puts forward two systems of thought: 

• “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v.3) 

• “unhealthy craving” (v.4) which leads to controversies and quarrellings (mere speculation)

“I call piety that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces. For until men recognize they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by his Fatherly care, that he is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond him-they will never yield willing service.”  John Calvin, The Institutes of Christian Religion, I-2-1

2. Godliness with contentment is great gain…(“fills your life with wonderful things) vs. ruin and destruction”…(ruinous living) 

“For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”  Proverbs 1:32-33

“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”  Proverbs 8:34-36

3. Happy living is a result of proper desires yoked under the Lordship of Christ. Destructive living is a result of living with ungoverned desires.

Those whose lives led to ruin and destruction had “unhealthy cravings” (v.4), materialistic desires that defined them (v.9), and a “craving”/insatiable yearning for money which caused them to wander from the faith and be pierced with many sorrows.

Therefore: we must constantly renew our minds, plead for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, and seek for continual renewal before the Lord.

4. Everyday is a battle in a world that in many cases is bitterly opposed to the standards of the Father and his kingdom.

“Every day of our lives, as we get closer to our deaths, we head away from the treasures we accumulate on Earth. But if we store up our riches in Heaven, every day brings us closer to them. That’s why Jesus wants us to let go of much of our stuff and walk with arms wide open toward eternity. Think of treasures as having mass and, therefore, gravity. Gravity holds things in orbit around that mass. The larger the mass we accumulate-the more treasures we store up on Earth–the greater its gravitational pull on us. But consider this: the more we invest in eternal and therefore the less power they have to hold us in their orbit.”  Randy Alcorn, Giving is the Good Life, p.55


1. The bullseye/core/heart of living the good life is to behold the wonder and goodness of Jesus. “Helping broken people treasure Jesus.”

2. The worldly system, unchecked, can pull our emotions into the abyss of ruin and destruction.

“Attempting to experience the abundant life Jesus spoke of while burying ourselves in material abundance isn’t just difficult; it’s impossible. While possessions may be neutral or even fun, it’s too easy to end up trusting our stuff instead of our Savior and suffocating under the accumulation…Materialism dresses up the corpse and puts makeup on it, but it’s still dead. Jesus redirects us from death disguised as life to true abundant life.”  Randy Alcorn, Giving is the Good Life, p.10

3. God always rewards faithful living centered on the glory of the gospel of Christ. 

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6



1. What are the two thought systems in this passage?

2. What is the end result of a worldview that is materialistic?

3. How do we fight against unhealthy cravings, especially in the area of wealth accumulation.

4. Define generous living. Why do some say that “tithing is the training wheels of generous living”?