One of the more popular illustrations that pastors used twenty years ago was that you never saw a hearse pulling a trailer. With the internet now there is a meme showing precisely that. It is a good reminder of what you accumulate here on earth is staying here, even the pyramids in Egypt proved that. This makes you assess what is essential in life. You have to remember you can’t take it with you.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out.”
As Paul is writing to Timothy, in what is known as one of the pastoral epistles, he is reminding him what his priorities should be. Timothy is in Ephesus, which is a very wealthy city. The draw for possessions is strong. Paul tells Timothy to make sure that he and the church pursue godliness over everything else. On top of that, he tells him to be content. The combo of those two will be the greatest gain a Christian can have.
What is contentment? “It is defined as a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. It is opposed to envy.” It’s at peace with where God has you. How do you get it? Chuck Swindoll says that true contentment comes from faithfulness to God, a clear conscience, and something to do. Do you possess contentment? It’s more of a struggle than you might think.
You Can’t Take It With You
You can’t take it with you. Nothing on this earth will go with you to heaven. When you die, or if the Lord returns, all you have will be left behind. If that is the case, then you should be investing in what is eternal. That’s godliness. Being like Jesus, growing in your faith, doing the right thing, serving others are all eternal investments. What you will find is that when you pursue these while being content, you will discover that there are great benefits here on earth.