I got to thinking, today, after listening to a super sermon by Dr. John Neufeld (www.willingdon.org) on Ruth 2, about the nature of the “great gain” that comes as a result of “godliness with contentment”. The Greek word, “godliness”, of course, is eusebeia, and means something like, “a manner of life lived out of reverence for God and according to one’s beliefs about God”. In Ruth 2, we read of the desperate situation that young, foreigner and widow found herself in and how she (chapter 1) dedicated herself to the worship of the LORD. Her decisions, conduct, care and loyalty for her mother-in-law, and her persevering trust in God’s grace was rewarded by an outpouring of lavish grace in her life.
Is that the “great gain” Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 6? The decision to live life in such a way, by faith, that relies on God’s generous grace is “godliness“? The resting and trusting in the gracious favour of God toward me in Christ is “contentment“? And the bountiful provision from God’s hand for “far more abundantly than I can ask or think” (Eph 3:20) is “great gain”? I think so. And I also have to confess I have not been content or godly. I have envisioned, more often than not, God’s providence as just enough, and not as far more abundant than I can ask or think.