Read 1 Timothy 6:17-21
As Paul gave Timothy clear instruction about conduct within the body of Christ in Ephesus, there was one final group of people Timothy was to address . . . the rich.
Something within us causes most of us to tune out at this point. But wait! Let me just point out income in some of the countries where Grace Church is involved in ministry. Did you know that . . .
- The average income in the Central African Republic where we’ve dug water wells is $700/year. That is less than $2/day!
- The average income in Cambodia where members of our church currently serve Christ is less than $1/day at $321/year!
- The average income in Thailand where we help provide safe homes for children at-risk of entering the slave-trade is $1323/year. That is $3.62/day!
So, would you place yourself in the camp of the rich? “Rich” is a comparative term, isn’t it?!
Whether we consider ourselves rich, or not, today’s reading has great instruction from which we can benefit.
First, there are things to avoid . . . like an attitude of pride or a misplaced hope! Pride can cause us to forget the ultimate source of our resources. They all come from God. Even when you believe it to be the sweat of your brow, in reality He provided the strength, wisdom, and opportunity. Be quick to give Him credit for all you have!
Paul also warns us, regardless of how much we have, not to attach our hope to our resources or possessions. Both are transient. They can be gone in a flash! For that matter, so can we! Instead, remember that God is our hope. He is eternal while material things are but temporal!
Second, there are things we should do! We should be people who generously leverage our resources in order to worship God and serve others. While it is true that we cannot take any money or material possessions with us, we can utilize them in such a way that eternity is impacted. Just think, by investing in something like a water well in Africa, an African boy may live longer, hear the gospel, respond to it and spend eternity with Christ and with you in heaven. By investing in the Ministry Center in Cambodia where the Kevin and Jill Kane serve, a Cambodian girl may find Christ and be forever different!
Meanwhile, the generous investment of your resources also somehow translates into an eternal treasure that you will only realize on the other side of this life.
Are you rich? Be generous!