Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Monday Meditations: A Word to the Wealthy {that means you and I!}

on June 9, 2014

piles-of-moneyYesterday, Dave preached from 1 Timothy 6:17-19. It is a passage to which I have never paid too much attention, because I have never considered myself wealthy. However, Dave reminded us of the great wealth that Americans do have, compared to the rest of the world.  One article I read stated,

Someone at the poverty line in the United States is in the top 14% of the global income distribution.

Hmmm. And I’m not even at the poverty level in the US! With that perspective, I can most certainly (and most likely you can too) apply this passage to myself.

Dave made 5 observations from the text (which I will have to summarize, because I don’t have my notes):

  1. We are not to be haughty regarding our riches (v. 17).

Dave cited Proverbs 18:11-12 ~ “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination. Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” When a wealthy person is proud concerning his wealth, he feels like he is impenetrable. However, such pride and dependence on wealth will cause sure destruction.

  1. We are not to set our hopes on the uncertainty of riches (v. 17).

Wealth is never certain–especially in an unstable economy. When Jesus was teaching a crowd in Luke 12, a listener asked Jesus to command his brother to divide the inheritance with him (v. 13). Jesus warned him about guarding against covetousness (v. 15), then told the parable of the rich fool (vv. 16-21):

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

  1. We are to rather set our hopes on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy (v. 17).

God is certain. He is the only one upon whom we can set our hopes who will never fail us. Beyond this, he does richly provide us with everything we have to enjoy. We enjoy many of the good things and the comforts that are provided us.

Far greater than any earthly provision is the rich provision that God offers through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:12-13).

  1. We who are wealthy are to do good with our wealth (v. 18).

We are to be rich in good works.

We are to be generous.

We are to be ready to share.

  1. When we are generous with the wealth we have here, we store up greater treasure for the future (v. 19).

As God blesses us with varying levels of wealth, we are to be generous with that wealth. As we are generous, we are laying a good foundation for the future. We are taking hold of that which is truly life.

In other words, part of our persevering as a believer, part of our working out our salvation, part of our preparing for heaven. . . is generosity.

As important and necessary as it is to look to the near future in planning and saving for our kids’ college funds, wedding funds, and our retirements, let us not forget that these things too are only temporary. Let us look beyond to the eternal future, building for it a good foundation and investing in eternal treasure today!

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

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