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One of the greatest challenges I have encountered, in having people accept the truth of the Word of God, is the fact that people cling to what has been handed down from one generation to the next. Which is to show how successful one can be and how they can gather wealth unto themselves and pass it on to the next generation. They honestly believe with all their hearts that they are living and acting in a way that is seen as good and right before the Lord.
In today’s message and study. We will examine what the Bible says about having wealth. To do this we will start in the first letter to Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
So, I am here to do as the Bible says to do. To teach those that have wealth how they are to become closer unto their Savior Jesus Christ. To that we must go deeper into these verses. Verse by verse. To start this, we will go to the KJV:
1 Timothy 6:17 – Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
The first thing we are to look at is the phrase: “rich in this world.”
World – G3568 & G165
G3568 – nun – now, the present, this time
G165 – aión – an age, the world, a specific period, a cycle (of time), especially of the present age as contrasted with the future age
Therefore, a more accurate translation would be rich in this temporal reality we now live in.
Those that have wealth are to do the following with their wealth:
First: That they be not highminded.
Highmindeed – G5309 – hupsélophroneó – to be lofty in mind, that is, arrogant, proud
Arrogant – unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people. Per Cambridge Dictionary
Second: not to trust in your earthly wealth, but to trust in God. For God gives us all that is required to be happy.
There are those that take “who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” to mean possessions and material objects. But that goes against the words of Jesus Christ Himself:
Matthew 6:19-21 – “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
It simply means God will give us all that is required to be happy in this world and in the eternity yet to come.
1 Timothy 6:18 – That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
In this verse there are four more directives. Accordingly, the next would the:
Third: That they do good
Good – G14 – agathoergeó – do good deed, to work good.
In simpler terms do good works as shown in James 2:14-26, for faith alone is nothing.
Fourth: that since you are rich in worldly wealth you should be just as rich in good works. Because you have the worldly wealth to be able to give more, to do more works than those that do not have earthly wealth.
Here people will protest and complain. For their wealth is tied up in their house, their car, their clothing. Etc.
That is just the point. Let us look at proverbs 30:
Proverbs 30:7-9 – O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. 8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
You are living in too big of a house. You are diving too expensive of a car, and your clothes are more than is required by someone who professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ. For who truly cares about their looks in this world?
Matthew 6:28-32 – “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
So, you equate yourself to unbelievers by protesting what is being said here. What does that make you then?
Revelation 3:15-17 – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
You have just openly declared either verbally or in your own thoughts that you are the lukewarm.
That is why following this teaching if you have worldly wealth is so important…. So let us continue.
Fifth – ready to distribute
Distribute – G2130 – eumetadotos – willingly sharing, ready to impart, generous
This means that you are to live modestly so that at a moments notice you can access your worldly wealth and be able to give to those in need at that very moment. So, the fancy house must go, the fancy car must go. And go get your clothes at a thrift store or Walmart.
Sixth: willing to communicate – G2843 – koinónikos – willing to share, sociable, ready to communicate, beneficent.
Willing to share means willing to share the Word of God. The overall meaning is that you are easy to approach and talk to. The opposite of highminded. You are not haughty and think yourself greater than anyone else.
Philippians 2:1-5 – Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Why do all this? That is what verse 19 addresses.
1 Timothy 6:19 – Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
We are not to keep our “treasures” here on earth, but in the presence of God. If you have been cursed with earthly wealth. And you desire to be with God in His service for all eternity. Use that wealth to help the needy, the poor, the hungry. Those hit by a natural disaster or are refuges from evil acts performed by others in this world that think they are better than their fellow humans.
Earlier in this chapter of 1 Timothy Paul was talking about those that cause division within the Body of Christ. One of the reasons given for them doing this was because they sought after becoming wealthy here on earth. This is what is said about that mentality:
1 Timothy 6:6-10 – Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
For people craving to have earthly wealth have wandered from the true faith and brought upon themselves great sorrows.
Verse 10 in the KJV:
1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Erred – G635 – apoplanaó – to lead astray, seduce
Faith – G4102 – pistis – persuasion, that is, credence, moral confection (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God), faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.
Or as Jesus Christ said:
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Money becomes the god of those that seek it. Not our Creator through Christ Jesus. Even though they may believe otherwise. These are the facts of the Bible. But also remember this from the Bible as well:
Matthew 7:13-14 – “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Seeking and hording wealth puts people upon the highway and the wide gate. It is up to you how you wish to spend eternity. I have done as the Holy Spirit has directed me to do. It is now up to you that listened to do what you must do.