Wednesday, February 21, 2007

1 Timothy 6:17-19 -- Where do you put your hope?

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Let me start out by saying that this scripture is for you. More than likely, especially if you live in America, you are one of the wealthy Christian's Paul is talking about.
Verse 17: These are the two big issues for the wealthy: arrogance and putting hope in wealth.
Arrogance, or pride, is the deadly sin of all people but seems to be the special curse of the rich. Paul clearly states that hope in stuff is worthless in eternity. Rather hope in God has everlasting value. For it is God who provides us with everything for our enjoyment. And enjoyment does not mean self-indulgence. Paul does not say that having wealth is wrong, but he is saying that if it is too important to you there are big consequences.

Verse 18: The wealthy are to use their wealth for the benefit of others. True riches is found in giving, not in the having.

Verse 19: This is not telling the wealthy that they can buy treasures in heaven by “giving” here on earth. Rather, it is underscoring the importance of a giving heart. It is in giving, not in arrogance and self-indulgence, that they will find “true” life – eternal life.

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