Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12 - Wealth and Generosity

Today's Reading:
Nehemiah 1:1-3:14
1 Timothy 6:1-21
Psalm 119:89-96
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
1 Timothy 6:17-19
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. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 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.

If you have access to the resources to read this blog, you are, from a global economic perspective, among the wealthiest people in the world. Since I'm in a position to write a blog, I must be rich too. Paul has some very practical instructions for rich people like us.

He tells us that we need to avoid arrogance, and that we should not put our hope in what we possess. We should remember that wealth is uncertain. We should trust in God and acknowledge him as the source of blessing and provision. We should be rich in good deeds—generous and willing to share with others.

Response & Action:
I need to acknowledge that all I have is a gift from God. I must never put my trust in things, but rather recognize that God is my hope and provider. I should strive to be rich in doing good deeds instead of trying to be rich in possessions. I need to be generous and open-handed. I need to be a faithful steward of all God has given. I will generously give to the church, to efforts that help the poor, to ministries that are taking the Good News of Jesus to the world, and to practical causes that contribute to the health and betterment of my community and my world.

O God, you have blessed me in so many ways. Help me, in reverence and thanksgiving to share all you have given me. Help me to be a source of blessing. Give me the wisdom I need to be a good steward and generous heart that is ready to give and share. Let me to live with a generosity that boldly demonstrates my confidence in you -- my hope, my security, and my provider. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Matthew 19:23-24
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions
by Craig L. Blomberg

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