1 Timothy 6:17-19 says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
As we come into this special time of the year, a time where we focus on giving to others, the above passage is a great reminder of how we should live each day. The Bible does not condemn wealth, but it does condemn letting wealth become a person’s focus and the controlling factor in their lives. Christians are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. As I look at this passage, there are several great reminders to put into action in our lives.
First, we need to remember to set our hope on our Savior, not our stuff. This passage tells us very clearly that there is great uncertainty with riches. When we set our hope on God, the only certainty in life, He richly provides for us in every way. Sadly, many people think that the wealthier they become, the more stability they will have. As they acquire more and more things, their hope slowly begins to drift toward their stuff, which often begins to bring pride and haughtiness as well. This is why the Bible says not to set your hope on riches, because when you do, your confidence and worth are often based on temporal and fleeting things. Only God is certain, and our hope should be in Him.
Second, we need to remember that God is our great provider, and He richly provides us with everything to enjoy. God is good and He gives us what we need. When our hope is in Him, we soon discover what life is really all about. We can enjoy His creation without worshipping it. We can enjoy His provision without letting things become our “god.” In life, people will always be worshipping someone or something. Christians worship the “Provider,” not the provision.
Third, we need to be remember to be rich in giving. As God blesses us, we then turn, look, and see who we can bless. Did you notice what the verse above said? We are to be “rich in good works…generous and ready to help.” Generous giving comes from a generous heart, and our giving will never exceed the condition of our heart. If our heart is stingy, so will be our giving, but if our heart is full of gratitude and generosity, so will be our giving. This Christmas, look around and see needs. As God opens your eyes, seek to be rich in good works and in giving to others.
Finally, we need to remember that the goal of our earthly life is to focus on our coming eternal life. The greatest principle this passage teaches, is by giving things out on earth, we are actually storing things up in heaven. As a Christian, every time you give something out to someone else on this earth, you are truly storing something up eternally. As Jesus told us in Matthew 6, we are to “store up treasure in heaven.” My friends, this Christmas, be rich in giving. Be rich in being a blessing to others. Put your hope in God, and as He provides for you, seek to use His provision to meet others’ needs.