Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (WEB, my numbers)
I wonder what the definition of â€˜richâ€™ is. The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary says it is â€œhaving or controlling great wealthâ€. So then I would ask the definition of â€˜greatâ€™. But enough of that! I imagine each of us has a judgment of whether we are rich or not. If we are not sure, we could always ask God!
It is a wonderful blessing to have some specific â€˜commandsâ€™ given if you are in the â€˜richâ€™ group. As I read the first sentence, I remember all the stories Iâ€™ve read and movies Iâ€™ve seen where there is a terribly rich person who falls in love with a poor person and they live happily ever after (like Cinderella). In every story the poor person teaches the rich one about all the wonderful things that are important that money cannot buy and has no effect upon. God does provide everything I need if I am willing to work the land. If I want my groceries to come packaged from a store â€“ then I need some money. This first command has more to do with my heart.
The second â€˜commandâ€™ is more about what I do with what I know is true. It is â€˜walking the talkâ€™. A rich person may come to be known as a philanthropist. Generosity can show a compassionate heart that God will see as generous and willing to respond when He calls to help one of His children who are in need. This part must absolutely be connected to wisdom and obedience. It is just as disobedient to give when God has not asked or said, â€œNo!â€ as it is to not give when God says, â€œYes!â€ In this command, the rich person really finds treasure from God and becomes familiar with what life is truly about.
But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; 4:9 pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed;… Therefore we donâ€™t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we donâ€™t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-18 (WEB)
Investments can be very good things. And investing in Jesus is a sure thing. I am always going to get a bigger return on any time, talent/gift, even myself, when I â€˜betâ€™ on Jesus and decide to trust in Him. Letâ€™s put it to the test and invest an extra 10 minutes today with Jesus. Do it for a week and let me know what â€˜returnâ€™ you receive!