Summary: What is God's word to the rich? And why should we care since we're not rich? Oh, wait ... are we rich?
1 Timothy 6:17 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.
Good morning. My name is Bobby Gilles, and I’m a deacon here. This winter we’ve been learning from a sermon series called Money Talks. The Bible says a lot about money, so each week we’ve explored some of its teachings.
Today’s verses are addressed to “those who are rich in this present world.” I feel challenged to preach this passage because hardly anyone thinks they’re rich. Why bother preaching it if you don’t feel like it applies to you?
You know how you struggle to make ends meet. We did a survey of church members a few months ago, and found that the average household income here is $67,000. Some of you make that amount, and some of you make considerably more than that amount, but you’re thinking, “You don’t know what a burden my mortgage is. And my student loans. And my medical expenses, and two car payments.”
Others of you are thinking, “$67,000? Wow. I wish I made that much.” Kristen and I are under that amount, so I’m tempted to envy those of you who are there or above – to think, maybe today’s reading applies to you, but not to me.
Then, something made me remember Jeff Foxworthy. Remember, the Redneck Joke guy? The one who had all the funny, “You might be a redneck if …” jokes, like:
“You might be a redneck if your wife has ever said, ‘Come move this transmission so I can take a bath.’”
“You might be a redneck if your mother keeps a spit cup on the ironing board.”
“You might be a redneck if your house doesn’t have curtains, but your truck does.”
The jokes are predicated on the possibility that you might be a redneck, but not know it.
Then I started thinking about how Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
I started thinking about how, in most parts of the world and in most periods of human history, “daily bread” was all people could hope for. Then I came up with a few ways to tell if today’s scripture applies to us. To tell, not if we’re rednecks, but if we’re rich. I warn you, though, I’m no Jeff Foxworthy. These aren’t remotely funny.
You might be rich if you had something to eat yesterday, and are reasonably sure that you’re going to get something to eat today. In fact, the prayer “give us this day our daily bread” is just a poetic phrase to you. Your big dilemma is figuring out how to keep from eating too much every day.