In last week’s “Facts” we presented five financial principles from I Timothy 6: (1) The quality of our life is not to be defined by what we materially possess, (2) From an eternal perspective, the level of our material possessions is of little import, (3) God has wired us so that we can choose to be content with life’s basics, (4) The desire to be wealthy leads to many troubles and our ultimate destruction. (5) If God has blessed us with material wealth, we must guard against pride.
6. Wealth has the power to seduce our heart away from our hope in God: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to…put their hope in wealth” (I Tim. 6:17).
”This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” (Jer. 9:23, 24) (See Job 31:24-28; Ps. 52:7)
7. God intends that we derive pleasure in life from our material possessions: God…richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (I Tim. 6:18).
”Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart” (Ecc. 5:19, 20).
8. God intends that we use our material wealth to enrich the lives of others: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (I Tim. 6:18) (See Gal. 5:10; Heb. 13:16).
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa. 58:6, 7)
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Pro. 11:25).
9. In blessing others with our resources, the quality of our eternal reward is significantly affected: “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 Tim. 6:19). (See Matt. 19:21; Matt. 25:35-40)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19, 20).
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Lk. 12:33).
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill
*Original Facts date January 11th, 2012