Summary: 3 of 4 on 1 Timothy 6. This message explains the purpose of wealth.
An Arrogance of Wealth or a Wealth of Generosity
There was a TV show a number of years ago called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". In this presentation we were given a glimpse (just a quick peek - mind you) of the kind of life wealth can provide. It was ostentatious, opulent, and decadent to the extreme. And it made most people envious.
Today we have "The Apprentice" with Donald Trump. Different idea than that old TV show but the same old message with the same extravagances leaving us with the same wonder mixed with envy as we are allowed to catch glimpses of how he lives, where he lives, who he marries, and perhaps worst of all – his philosophies toward money.
Recently, I read this quote from Donald Trump concerning the bankruptcy of his casino in which he the bankruptcy was a setback.
"I don’t think it’s a failure, it’s a success," he said in the interview. "In this case, it was just something that worked better than other alternatives. It’s really just a technical thing, but it came together…” He said "the future looks very good."
And it’s been announced that there is a new show coming out called “The Apprentice – Martha Stewart”. I wonder what we’ll learn from a woman who was convicted of cheating other stockowners through insider trading? I shudder to think that these are the people who are being promoted as mentors training other businessmen and women.
Let us not go further down this path. Let us stop here and in the midst of all this silk, gold plated teaspoons and imported caviar let us one simple question, "What is the purpose of all this wealth?"
This leads to a second and more compelling question, "Why has God given me the things that I now possess?"
17 Command those who are rich with things of this world not to be proud. Tell them to hope in God, not in their uncertain riches. God richly gives us everything to enjoy.
18 Tell the rich people to do good, to be rich in doing good deeds, to be generous and ready to share.
19 By doing that, they will be saving a treasure for themselves as a strong foundation for the future. Then they will be able to have the life that is true life.
Wealth Factoid #1:
God owns all the Wealth in the World
The earth belongs to the LORD, and everything in it—the world and all its people.
God owns all the wealth in the world. Psalms 24:1-2 says, "The earth is the Lord’s & the fullness thereof, the world & all they that dwell therein." Or as the NIV puts it, "All of the world is the Lord’s & everything that is in it."
So what is there to be proud about?
I own a home… If you go to the Ingham county courthouse you’ll find that Richard and Donna Stacy are recorded as the legal owners of a house at 4264 Graystone Drive in Okemos, MI. You’ll also find that there is a lien on the property in the form of a mortgage for a significant amount of money.
That mortgage says that the property isn’t really mine and that I can only stay there as long as I make the monthly payments, pay the taxes, and keep up the fire insurance. Not only that I get to shovel the snow, mow the grass, weed the dandelions, patch the roof, fix the leaky faucets, vacuum the carpets, and paint the walls.
Sure, some day it will be mine, provided I paid all the taxes, a tornado hasn’t knocked down, or a fire burned it up in the meantime.
But even then the house will not be mine, for it’s really just mine on loan from God. He is letting me live in it for a few years. He lets me breathe His air. He lets me drink His water. He lets me bask in His sunshine of a Sunday in February or glory in a winter snowstorm.
The point is, none of us could live even for a second on this planet if God didn’t abundantly share His wealth with us. In actuality, all we will ultimately have on this earth is a hole in the ground, 3’ by 6’ in size. And we won’t have it. It will have us. "The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, the world & all they that dwell therein."
Wealth Factoid #2:
Wealth does not bring security and joy – God Does
17 …Tell them to hope in God, not in their uncertain riches…
We are all possessors of God’s wealth. God provides it to us, & He says, "Here you are, you are all stewards." We don’t have a choice in that. We are all stewards.