Summary: In order to give for the future we need to have a plan that has the future in mind. We need to understand the purpose for giving toward the future. And we need to keep our minds, our sights, on the promise that comes with giving toward the future.
Are We Giving For The Future?
Preached by Pastor Tony Miano
Pico Canyon Community Church
February 25, 2001
Introduction: Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our study on giving so far. I hope it hasn’t been too painful. My prayer over the last few weeks is that we would all see giving as an act of worship, an important responsibility in the life of every believer, and an important step toward spiritual maturity. Today we’re going to finish our study on giving by answering the question, “Are we giving for the future?”
Our text for the last few weeks has been First Timothy 6:17-19. We’re going to focus this morning on verse nineteen. “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life in deed.”
Last week, as we studied verse eighteen, we considered four things we should do to make us ready to give. Using the word “salt,” we looked at four types of giving—sacrificial, abundant, liberal, and tender. Last week’s study was more of the here and now, how can I apply this to my life today, look at giving. Today we’re going to look to the future.
Today we’re going to look at the end result, according to Scripture, of good stewardship. In order to give for the future we need to have a plan that has the future in mind. We need to understand the purpose for giving toward the future. And we need to keep our minds, our sights, on the promise that comes with giving toward the future.
Paul finishes the thought he began in verse eighteen, in the verse we’re going to be studying this morning. Paul tells Timothy that if those who are rich, having more than the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter (v. 17), become people who give sacrificially, abundantly, liberally, and tenderly (v. 18), then they would be “storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future” (v. 19a). What we see here is a plan for giving.
As a gang investigator, every time I prepared a search warrant, I also prepared what was called an “Ops Plan.” The plan always began by stating the objective. Usually, the plan was to enter a location, apprehend suspects, collect evidence, and leave the place as close to its original condition as possible. But beyond the obvious was the always spoken, sometimes unwritten goal of making sure that every deputy who entered the location came out of the location in one piece. Having a well thought out plan gave those of us involved in the execution of the warrant a certain level of contentment about the outcome.
Even though we couldn’t plan for every unforeseen contingency, having laid a firm foundation through consistent training, knowledge of the target, the gathering of intelligence information, and having the determination to win every time we went out gave us a certain, safe level of confidence or contentment. Now this contentment, this confidence was not in our own abilities as much as it was in the plan. Everyone on our team knew our own fallibilities. We knew our weakness every bit as much, if not more, than our strengths. We all realized that none of us could successfully execute a warrant by ourselves. We also knew that having a “Lone Ranger” on the team could put us all in jeopardy.
A situation where a good plan probably saved our lives happened a few years ago. My partner and I were investigating a local faction of the 18th Street Gang who were said to be stockpiling guns. We were able to cultivate an informant who confirmed the information. We developed enough information to obtain a search warrant for the location. The informant was able to provide detailed information about the interior of the location, including where people slept in the house and where they kept their weapons. One important piece of information the informant gave me was the fact that the leader of the group slept on a couch, just to the left of the front door, with a loaded .45 under his pillow.
Now, it was customary for the lead investigator on the case to be the first one in the door on a search warrant. It was my case, so I would be first to go in. When we took the front door of the apartment off its hinges, I immediately moved to my left and found the leader sleeping on the couch with his hand under the pillow. Because of the information I had received, because of the detailed plan we laid out, I was able to get the drop on this guy before he could get his hand out from under the pillow. Sure enough—there was a loaded .45 under the pillow.