April 14th, 2007
There’s a book entitled, “God wants you to be rich”. It’s a good catchy title guaranteed to sell lots of copies and it does have some seeds of truth in it. God wants you to be rich in good deeds. God wants you to be rich in serving people who are needy. God wants you to be rich in generosity towards the poor. The problem is that God isn’t hugely interested in just increasing your bank balance so you can spend it on yourself. The message of Jesus is about loving God and serving other people, particularly those who are in great need. It’s not about obeying some set formula of rules.
Paul’s First Letter to Timothy — Chapter 6
6:1 All who are slaves should treat their masters as being worthy of respect, so that the name of God and our teaching will not be discredited. 6:2 Slaves who have masters who are believers should not disrespect them because they are believers. Instead, they should serve them, because those who benefit are believing and beloved. Teach these things and encourage people to do them.
6:3 If anyone teaches something different and disagrees with the wise message of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teaching, 6:4 that person is arrogant and understands nothing, but is obsessed with controversies, and arguments about words, which cause jealousy, strife, abuse, evil suspicions, 6:5 and constant animosity of people with twisted minds who have lost sight of the truth, thinking that godliness is a way to get rich.
6:6 Godliness does indeed enrich your life with contentment. 6:7 We brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything out. 6:8 But we can be content with the food and clothing that we have. 6:9 People who are determined to be rich fall into temptations and traps and many foolish and harmful desires which cause people to sink into ruin and destruction. 6:10 The love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. Some people have wandered away from the faith in their greed, and have caused themselves all kinds of problems.
6:11 You, man of God, must run away from these things, and strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith. Seize the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession of faith in front of many witnesses. 6:13 In the presence of God, who gives life to everything, and in the presence of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession while testifying before Pontius Pilate, I call on you 6:14 to obey what you have been told to do without any taint or impurity, until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 6:15 When the time is right, God will show him, God who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. 6:16 He alone has immortality, living in unapproachable light. No human has seen him, or can see him. To him be honour and eternal power. Amen.
6:17 Tell people who are rich in this present world not to be patronising, or fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches. They must fix their hope on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 6:18 Tell them to do what is right, to be rich in good works, to be ready to share and generous. 6:19 This is how they can invest their treasure to provide a good foundation for the future, so that they can get a grip on life that really is life.
6:20 Timothy, guard what God has placed in your care. Avoid the empty and godless talk and the contradictory assertions of pseudo-knowledge, 6:21 which some people have believed and by so doing have missed the mark concerning the faith. Grace be with you.
Entry Filed under: Generosity