Forgive the long break on daily devotions. Illness and some trials set back time to write. I suppose this would be a good time to talk about relationship aspect of the Christian religion vs mere exercise of duties. Duty is the fruit of ownership, not the fulfillment of obligation. We know this because many will shirk their duty because they have not bought in. Others will feel terribly guilty about shirking their duties because they have bought in. In both there is a slight problem.
What are you pursuing?
As we read 1 Timothy 6:3-10 we see two pursuits. The first pursuit is selfishness. The second pursuit is godliness. Often times people feel guilty when they shirk their duties because of selfishness. You may think, but wait, shouldn't we fulfill our biblical duties? How can that be selfish? Legalism is the process of obtaining godliness through rigid adherence to various works and rules. You are working to be loved. The person who has not bought in feels guilty because he sees what ought to be done, but didn't bother. You can be selfish in pursuing godliness as much as not pursuing it.
The key according to these verses is contentment. Godliness with contentment is of great gain. In a real sense Paul is describing a person who is emotionally secure with their relationship with God. Intentional pursuit does not have to negate contentment. If contentment is lacking, then we really need to ask ourselves what it is that we are pursuing. Relationships are messy. Spirituality, which is another another relationship, is also messy. So how can we be content?
God's not done
A question I often get is how do I know when it will be a great sermon. The answer is simply I don't. I can be at my best and it fall flat and I can be at my worst and it be used in incredible ways. Then there is everything in between. The same is true for dates. The most amazing dates can feel flat and some of the most dull dates be utterly amazing. Here is the key: in both I am with someone I deeply love. That is the win. I am doing what I can with the ones I love. And whether succeed of fail I'm with them. That's the win.
Go for it
Paul warns against the love of money. Pursuing our own comfort and selfishness can be damaging to those we love and our neighbors. If we are truly pursuing godliness with contentment, there is a ton we can put up with. Why? We can take a lot if we do it with ones we love. There are seasons, like struggling with sickness, when we can't do all the things we want. But the trick is that doesn't mean God bails on us. He's still there. Remember that relationships are messy things, and the win is being able to go about them with the person you love. So, don't feel guilty if you have a spell where you can't be doing devotions. But don't put it off too long. Take time to be with the God who wants to spend time with you. Does not have to be perfect. Being together is the win.