Summary: We are continuing to discover the joy of generosity and today we are looking at a command and charge in Scripture which is a basis for this life of generous living.
INTRODUCTION… The word “charge” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/charge)
Did you know that there are 15 different definitions for the word “charge.” I honestly had no idea. The word charge can mean so many different things in the English language. I shall not bore you with all 15 of the definitions, so we’ll talk about 14 of them instead. The word charge can mean…
… “to impose a duty or responsibility” such as “charge him with watching the children”
… “to set an amount or price” such as “charging $10.50 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks”
… “to hold someone financially liable” as in “charged them for the balance due”
… “to load something to capacity” as in “charge a furnace with coal”
… “to lay blame or wrongdoing” as in “charge him with theft”
… in basketball in means to “run into a defender illegally” and is also a term in soccer and hockey
… with electricity when a current is passed through a battery it has a “charge”
… “to excite or rouse” as in “you all are charged up by hearing all these definitions”
Today I hope to charge you with a charge so that you will be charged with charging later because you charged ahead because you were charged. Does that make sense? Clear as mud? Good!
We are continuing in 1 Timothy chapter 6 and continuing to look at generous living. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 continues the key thought for us that every Christian feels a God-inspired desire to live a generous life which is a life that models Jesus’ example of sacrifice and selflessness. We are continuing to discover the joy of generosity and today we are looking at a command and charge in Scripture which is a basis for this life of generous living.
Online Giving; Tithing to the Church and Missions; Second Saturday Serve; Nursery Servants and Volunteers;
Letting Dan, the elders, and the office know about your ‘extras’; Being a Horizon Ambassador in the Missions Program; The new vision and new future for Horizon Christian Church.
What do all of these have in common? You’ll see.
Let’s read from 1 Timothy chapter 6 where we will find a warning for us, our charge, and then some advantages of following after what God has commanded us.
READ 1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19
“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.” (NIV 1984)
I. THE TWO-FOLD WARNING (verse 17)
Our particular passage this morning begins with a warning, and not just a warning, but a two-fold warning that we must heed before we give headlong into our charge about generosity. I like warnings. I like signs that warn of danger. I like knowing what to avoid or what to expect before entering into a situation. I love that the Apostle Paul marks out two warnings for Timothy in verse 17 which reads, “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.”
First, we are commanded not to be arrogant which will become very important as we think about the charge in a moment. Depending on what Bible translation you use you may run across words such as “haughty” (ESV, RSV, KJ21), “highminded” (KJV, YLT, ASV), “conceited” (NAS), “proud” (CEV, NCV, GNT, NLT), “full of themselves” (MSG), or “high and mighty” (VOICE). All of these words and phrases mean exactly the same thing when it comes to arrogance. Arrogance an insulting attitude, way of thinking, and behavior that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people manifested in an overbearing manner (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrogance). In the Bible it is associated with trouble (2 Chronicles 25:19), fools (Proverbs 17:7), disobedience to God (Nehemiah 9), a poor standing before God (Psalm 5:5; Psalm 119), wickedness and evildoers (Psalm 75:4; Psalm 94:4), and being without regard for God (Psalm 86:14; Psalm 119)… and that’s just in the Old Testament!
Why is the Apostle Paul warning Timothy about pride, arrogance, and a conceited nature before he speaks to him about generosity? Why? He does so because the two (arrogance and generosity) do not go hand-in-hand. You cannot be at the same time truly generous before God and arrogant about yourself. Humbleness is a key for true God-centered generosity. True God-centered God-honoring and heart-felt generosity has an intrinsic quality of humbleness that cannot be faked or pretended.