Monday, July 3, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

              Stewardship of the Resource

                       1 Timothy 6:17-21

                             Soni Verghese

                      St. Thomas MTC, NY

17 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. life.

I Timothy is a Pastoral Epistle written by Paul. In this letter Paul gives instructions to Timothy who is in charge of leadership of the Church in Ephesus. Paul addresses the major problem that was prevalent in the Church such as false teachings, along with instructions on Church administration and Christian worship and in the last chapter talks about materialism.  

While addressing the love of money, Paul talks about 2 distinctive groups of people, the first group consists of those who want to become rich and the second group those who are already rich. Why is Paul specifically talking about the rich? Does God condemn the wealthy? Certainly not, the Bible talks about a lot of people who were blessed with wealth - Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Job, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea, Philemon, Lydia and Cornelius to name a few.

Is being rich a sin? What is the warning given to the rich? Being rich becomes a sin when money is chosen over God. When we are addicted to the gift, and forget the giver, who is the very source of all the blessings we enjoy. When we are rich and possess everything we need, we rely on wealth for everything than seeking God, God is absent in our lives. Jesus teaches us in Matt 6:2 “You cannot serve both God and money”. When we love money over God, life becomes meaningless as our joy is dependent on the riches. Obsession to build our riches leads us astray; we fall into temptation that leads to ruin and destruction. Matt 6:21 teaches us “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. The love of money only provides a person with temporary satisfaction. Paul warns those who want to be rich that money is the root cause of all evil. And he commands Timothy to instruct those who are rich not to be arrogant and put their hope in God. If we pursue God and put our hope in Him, we will find everything we need. Jesus said “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well Matt 6:33.

Wealth is a gift from God; we are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. Tithe is a way of showing our gratitude for everything that God has blessed us with. Many a times we are very calculative on how much to give, and sometimes even hesitant to give. Let us at those moments prayerfully remember God’s love and abundant mercy and Grace that He showers on us richly and continuously. Malachi 3: 10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse …… and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it “. All of us have the responsibility to share generously with the less fortunate. And when we give let us be cheerful givers. II Cor. 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.

                            PRAYER

Lord, we thank You for all the blessing You have showered on us. Open our hearts that we may be able to seek You truly above all the material blessing You have bestowed on us. Help us to understand the true rich blessing is to be able to know You, love You and serve You. Amen.

                  THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

John 1:16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.