Jeremiah 9-11 1 Timothy 6
“But you, man of God, run away from all those things. Instead, live in the right way, serve God, have faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11 NCV)
Contrary to what many in America seem to believe, “It’s all about the Benjamins” is not a biblical phrase. In fact, sit down here, it’s not even a biblical concept. In this chapter, Paul discussed a lot of monetary issues from class divisions, to motivation for service, and ultimate trust. Class divisions are based on money and freedom status; some so-called leaders were apparently proclaiming the gospel for money, even back then; too many people who were rich trusted in their wealth to protect them instead of depending on God. Paul told Timothy that true wealth is found in contentment (vs 6-8) and warned Timothy to run away from those desires that caused some to cut corners for monetary gain and focus on God’s plan: right living, serving God, showing faith, love, patience and gentleness.
Given the American lust for material wealth, that’s been baptized and Christianized by some, Paul might not be too popular were he to preach in our country today. If we’re satisfied with what we have, as Paul said, then we obviously don’t understand that “God’s gonna bless us real good!” When reminded that Paul told the rich that they should use their material wealth to help others, many of those who are wealthy might shake their heads sadly and retort by noting that “God helps those who help themselves. (Besides, this idea of sharing…isn’t that communism or socialism?)” Paul’s words of truth cut through the theology of those who would proclaim a gospel that brought wealth. He didn’t condemn wealth, per se, but he reminded those who were wealthy that all wealth comes from God and He calls us to use what He’s given us to help others. Let me challenge you to take this idea of giving to the extreme until the end of 2019. Whether your giving is tax-deductible or not, find ways to use the wealth that God has given you to help others: feed the poor, provide homes for the homeless, or help meet any other needs that you may see in the world today. See if the joy in giving doesn’t outweigh the happiness of accumulating. When you focus on God’s plan for living, you’ll experience great joy in all you do.
Lord, remind me that there is no greater treasure than my relationship with You. Teach me that as I focus on serving You by using what you’ve given me to help others, my relationship with You grows stronger and I gain even more joy.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.