“Command those who are rich in
present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which
is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us
with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich
in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way
they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the
coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life”
(1 Timothy 6:17-19).
We just heard a news report describing the horrific living conditions
in South Sudan. This prompted a study of the country which is typically
ranked near the very bottom in any livability spectrum. South Sudan
deals with poor medical conditions, famine, civil war, drought,
religious persecution, you name it. It is home to some of the world’s
most impoverished people. Many years ago we befriended two boys that
were among the “Lost Boys Of Sudan” who had made it to the US and
worked at the Turkey Hill Dairy where we served as chaplains at the
time. What a dramatic story they had.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is one of the richest people in the
world. Our lives partially intersect in that, like us, he is also a
1973 high school graduate. There’s a tendency to reckon my wealth by
making a comparison to Bill Gates which can make me feel fairly “poor”.
However as we prayed for the people in South Sudan (and really many
other parts of the world) I realized that my life has been way more
like Bill Gates than people living in countries like South Sudan. We
even wonder how many born in the mid-fifties would still be alive.
In 1 Timothy 6 Paul gives instructions to those who want to be rich (1 Timothy 6:9,10) and to those who are rich (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
You can self-assess and take whichever instruction appropriate but we
feel there’s good advice here for all! Today we focus on a condition
virtually all our readers are in, especially in comparison to South
Sudan. We are “rich in this present world”!
The adjective “present” that precedes world is not accidental. It
reminds us of the temporal state of this world, in contrast with the
eternal life referred to in verse 19.
We often hear about “financial security”. Millions aspire to have
financial security; being set for life. Although planning for our
temporal future is prudent, most give little to no attention to their
eternal future. Notice especially the phrase, “wealth, which is so uncertain”.
Today’s generation desperately needs to hear this. The world’s wealth
will always be uncertain as is proven in the history books and in our
own lifetime. Nevertheless so many focus their life on bigger homes,
cars, more toys, bigger bank accounts, retirement savings, etc. But
ultimately there is no “financial
security”. Jesus spoke of a man who thought he had it when
he kept building bigger barns, but God called him a fool (Luke 12:16-21).
Today let us put our hope in God and thankfully rejoice in all He has
richly provided for our enjoyment. Our ultimate security is in God
alone! Let us exclaim with the Psalmist David, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my
hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:5).
We are commanded “to do good, to be
rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
The daily Scripture portion ends with a wonderful promise. “In
this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation
for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is
truly life.” Let us ever keep before us the acknowledgment of
the life that is truly life!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber