How wise are you with what you own?
"Command those who are rich in this 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 NIV
William Barclay told a famous Jewish Rabbinic story in his commentary on 1 Timothy 6. “There was a man called Monobaz who had inherited great wealth, but he was a good, a kindly and a generous man. In the time of famine, he gave away all his wealth to help the poor. His brothers came to him and said, “Your fathers laid up treasure, and added to the treasure that they had inherited from their fathers, and are you going to waste it all?” He answered, “My fathers laid up treasure below: I have laid it up above. My fathers laid up treasure of Mammon: I have laid up treasure of souls. My fathers laid up treasure for this world: I have laid up treasure for the world to come.”
How wise are you at handling the wealth God has given you the ability to accumulate? The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy and believers not to put their hope in wealth because it was so uncertain. Just look at the Scripture focus above. The instruction is crystal clear. Put your hope in God because He will provide everything you need. Money cannot buy your personal salvation. The Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12 NIV]
Will you receive this Biblical advice about handling your wealth? In today’s world, the stock market is unpredictable and inflation can rise or fall making for a very shaky economy. You can easily be wealthy today and poor tomorrow. In comparison to putting your hope in God, what you own should not make you secure and certainly not arrogant. Personally knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord is a sure thing.
Having wealth is not a sin. Hoarding wealth is. You are responsible for what you possess. Your wealth is to be shared and not to make you prideful. Your possessions do not give you a right to look down on someone who has far less. The poor man is your equal before God.
When you stand before God, you will not have been able to take your money, stocks, and properties to that meeting in order to buy your way into heaven. There is no value in putting your hope in your wealth. You cannot take it with you into the next life.
Don’t let wealth ruin you. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” [Matthew 6:19,20 NIV] It has been well put by someone who said, “What I kept, I lost; what I gave, I have.” What you selfishly keep, you will lose but what you generously give, you will keep.
SOMETHING TO DO
Take a moment to pray and ponder about all that you own. How are you sharing your wealth? How could you share more of it? Are you tithing to your church? Are you giving to help the poor and needy?
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Heavenly Father, thank you for everything You have given me. You have not only provided for my needs but also blessed me with far more than I could imagine. What I possess is because of You giving me wisdom and capabilities. And thank you for the greatest of wealth in personally knowing that Your Son is my Savior. Show me how to share the material possessions You have given me. AMEN