Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant, and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who richly provides us with all the things to enjoy; 18 to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 treasuring up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is the real life.
As Christians, we are called to be a light to the world and to serve others in love. The Bible teaches us that true riches are not found in material wealth, but in good works and a faithful heart. In 1 Timothy 6:18, we are told to “do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” And in James 2:17, it says “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
It is important for us to remember that our time on this earth is limited, and that we are called to use it wisely. We are to use our resources, both material and spiritual, to help others and to bring glory to God. In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
In this article, we will explore what it means to be rich in good works, and how we can use our blessings to bless others and bring glory to God.
God first showed himself as man’s provider in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 1:29-30, God says, “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to every thing that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’” This passage shows that God provided for Adam and Eve and all living creatures by giving them food to sustain them.
Another example of God as man’s provider can be seen in the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. In Exodus 16:4, God says to the Israelites, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.” In this passage, God provided food for the Israelites by raining down bread from heaven, showing his care and provision for his people. These passages demonstrate God’s role as man’s provider and his faithfulness in providing for our needs.
With what desires should creatures be satisfied according to scripture?
Psalm 104:14 – “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.”
Psalm 145:16 – “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
1 Timothy 6:17 – “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
This passage shows that God provided for man’s needs and gave them the responsibility to work and take care of the earth. It does not mean that man was to be idle, but rather to be productive and use the resources provided by God to care for the earth and its creatures.
“Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.” (Exodus 20:9-10)
This passage emphasizes the importance of work and rest, but it also highlights the idea that work is a part of God’s plan for man. In this context, idleness is not encouraged, but rather a balance between work and rest is emphasized.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
This verse encourages believers to use their gifts and abilities to serve others and bring glory to God, which involves being productive and using their resources to make a positive impact in the world. This also implies that idleness is not in line with God’s plan for man.
The Bible teaches us to avoid greed and coveting other people’s possessions for several reasons:
It is a sin according to the 10th Commandment. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).
It goes against the spirit of love and generosity. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
It can lead to harmful actions. Coveting can lead to theft, fraud, or other forms of deception, which are also sins.
It takes away from the joy of giving. When we focus on what others have, we miss out on the blessings that come from giving to others and serving them.
It distracts us from our true purpose. Coveting other people’s possessions can distract us from our purpose, which is to glorify God and serve others.
In short, the Bible teaches us to avoid greed and coveting other people’s possessions because it is a sin, goes against the spirit of love and generosity, can lead to harmful actions, takes away from the joy of giving, and distracts us from our true purpose.
There are several biblical reasons why Christians should be helpful to the poor. Here are a few:
Jesus taught compassion for the poor and marginalized. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches that we should love our neighbor as ourselves and show compassion to those in need, regardless of their social status or background (Luke 10:25-37).
God has a heart for the poor and calls his people to do the same. In the Old Testament, God commands his people to care for the poor and oppressed (Exodus 22:22, Deuteronomy 15:7-11), and in the New Testament, James reminds us that true religion involves caring for widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27).
Helping the poor is a demonstration of our faith in action. In the book of James, it is written that faith without works is dead (James 2:17), and helping the poor is a tangible way to put our faith into action.
Christians are called to be servants and imitators of Christ. Jesus himself came to serve and not to be served (Matthew 20:28), and as his followers, we are called to follow his example by serving others, especially those who are in need (Philippians 2:3-4).
These are just a few of the biblical reasons why Christians should be helpful to the poor. Ultimately, our desire to help those in need should stem from our love for God and our desire to follow his commands and live out our faith in practical ways.
The Bible teaches that coveting is wrong because it goes against the principles of love and contentment. In the Ten Commandments, it is stated, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).
Additionally, the book of Colossians teaches that Christians should set their minds on things above, not on earthly things, and to put to death the sinful desires of the flesh (Colossians 3:2-5). Coveting is a form of idolatry, as it places the desire for material possessions above the love and worship of God.
Furthermore, Christians are called to trust in God’s provision and to be content with what they have. Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Therefore, it is not necessary to covet because Christians have been given the Holy Spirit, who gives them the power to love their neighbors, to be content with what they have, and to trust in God’s provision.
A Happy Life that Is Pleasing to God
Secure and happy living is achieved by having a contented heart and mind rather than material possessions. The Bible teaches this principle in several passages, including Philippians 4:11-13 which says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Another passage that emphasizes the importance of contentment is Hebrews 13:5, which says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
So, it is not material possessions that bring security and happiness, but rather a contented heart and a reliance on God’s provisions.
God tells us to be rich in good works and to use our wealth to help others so that we may be a blessing to them and store up treasure for ourselves in heaven. This is according to 1 Timothy 6:18, which says, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
The rich young ruler asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). Jesus replied, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” (Luke 18:20). The young man replied that he had kept all these commandments from his youth, to which Jesus said, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22).
The Bible does not explicitly state why the rich young ruler did not follow Jesus’ advice. However, it is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 19, verses 16-22, that when Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor, he went away sad because he had great wealth. This suggests that the young man’s attachment to his wealth was too strong for him to part with it, even for the sake of eternal life. Some biblical scholars believe that this demonstrates the difficulty of giving up one’s possessions and the great sacrifice required to follow Jesus, while others believe that it shows the young man’s lack of faith and commitment to God. Again, Jesus told him to give to the poor and follow him in order to gain riches in heaven. However, the man was hesitant to part with his wealth, which he believed he had earned through his own hard work. This is a common mindset for many people, but Jesus wanted the man to understand that his earthly possessions would not bring him eternal life. Instead, he needed to use his wealth for good works and true worship of God. Ecclesiastes 5:15 reminds us that we cannot take our earthly possessions with us when we die, and so it is important to use them in a way that will bring us joy and eternal life.
Giving to the Poor
The rich man could not follow Jesus and hold on to his wealth because of his attachment to his possessions. He believed that his wealth was rightfully his own, earned through his hard work and efforts. However, Jesus advised him that in order to gain eternal life, he must give his wealth to the poor and follow him. The rich man was not willing to let go of his wealth, as he felt that it was his due, and this attachment prevented him from accepting Jesus’ advice and following him. This demonstrates that wealth and material possessions can be a hindrance to spiritual growth and that in order to truly follow Jesus, one must be willing to let go of worldly attachments and focus on building spiritual wealth through good works and serving others.
Jesus’ words are not necessarily meant to imply that all wealthy Christians literally did not earn their money and should give it all away. Rather, they are a warning against the love of money. In the story of the rich young ruler, Jesus was pointing out that the man’s attachment to his wealth was preventing him from following him and receiving eternal life. The issue was not the wealth itself but the love of money and the unwillingness to give it up. The Bible also teaches that wealth can be obtained through honest labor and good management and that it is good to use it to help others and advance God’s kingdom. However, it also warns against allowing wealth to become an idol and prioritizing it over our relationship with God.
Most persons have no time for serving God because they are too busy pursuing their own interests and goals or they are occupied with the responsibilities of daily life. They may also be distracted by the many pleasures and distractions of the world, or they may not see the value in serving God and prioritizing their spiritual life. Additionally, some may lack knowledge or understanding of the importance of serving God and how it benefits their lives. However, it is ultimately a matter of personal choice and perspective. Some people choose to make time for God and prioritize their spiritual life, while others do not.
According to the Bible, Christians are called to do good to those who are in need, regardless of their ability to repay in kind. This is because God loves the poor and is concerned for their welfare. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” By helping the poor and meeting their needs, Christians are showing love and compassion to those in need, and they are also reflecting the love and compassion of God. Additionally, helping the poor is seen as an act of worship and obedience to God, and it is a way for Christians to demonstrate their faith and trust in God. Doing good to those who cannot repay in kind is a reflection of the selflessness and generosity that characterizes the love of God, and it is an important part of living a life of faith and service to God.
Life More Than Material Wealth
Being on guard against every form of covetousness or greed is important because these attitudes go against the teachings of Jesus and the principles of the Christian faith. Covetousness, or an excessive desire for material possessions, can lead to a focus on oneself and one’s own desires rather than on God and serving others. Greed, or an excessive pursuit of wealth and material gain, can also lead to selfishness and disregard for others. Both covetousness and greed can also lead to a love of money, which the Bible warns against (1 Timothy 6:10), as it can become an idol that takes the place of God in one’s life. By being on guard against these attitudes and instead focusing on serving God and others, Christians can live in a way that honors God and aligns with His will.
Material riches will not guarantee one eternal life or salvation. This is demonstrated in the parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. In the parable, a rich man had a great harvest and thought to himself, “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” He then decided to build bigger barns to store all his wealth. But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” The rich man had focused all his attention on his material wealth, but he failed to consider his own mortality and the fact that his wealth would not be able to save him. This parable illustrates the idea that material riches cannot guarantee eternal life and that it is important to focus on things that are of eternal value.
The rich man of the parable in Luke 12:13-21 is considered foolish, selfish, and lazy because of his actions. He had a great harvest, and instead of using his wealth for good, he decided to build bigger barns to store all his crops and goods. He thought he could take it easy and enjoy his wealth, not worrying about the future. This shows his foolishness because he did not consider the uncertainty of life and death, as the Bible says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
He was also selfish because he was only concerned about himself and his own well-being, not caring about the needs of others. He thought that by hoarding his wealth, he could ensure his security and comfort, but he was only focused on his own interests.
Finally, the rich man was lazy because he did not consider how he could use his wealth to serve others or invest in Kingdom work. He thought that he had earned his wealth and deserved to enjoy it, but he did not consider the opportunities that his wealth could bring to serve others and further God’s Kingdom. This laziness is reflected in the words of Jesus, who said, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20).
There are important questions that one must answer regarding security and life. These questions include: what are the things that truly matter in life, what is our purpose on earth, and what will happen to us after we die? To answer these questions, one must turn to God’s word, the Bible, for guidance and wisdom. In the Bible, we find teachings about the importance of living a life of love, kindness, and generosity towards others, as well as the dangers of greed and materialism. We also learn about the reward of eternal life for those who follow Jesus and serve him. By studying the Bible and seeking a relationship with God, we can find the answers to these important questions and live a life that is secure and fulfilling.
Both the rich and the poor can be “rich in good works” by using their resources, skills, and abilities to help others and serve God. This can include giving to the poor and helping those in need, volunteering time and effort to community organizations, and using one’s talents to glorify God. Additionally, it is important to cultivate a heart of generosity and a willingness to give sacrificially rather than being focused on accumulating wealth or material possessions. In this way, both the rich and the poor can be “rich in good works” and store up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.
In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Timothy was told to “charge the rich of this world not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” The reason for this is that wealth can be a dangerous trap for people, causing them to become prideful, greedy, and forgetful of God’s provision. By being reminded to use their wealth for good works, the rich can store up treasure in heaven and find true, lasting security and happiness.
James counsels against showing partiality in James 2:1-13. He writes, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
In this passage, James is warning against showing partiality based on wealth or social status. He reminds us that God chose the poor to be rich in faith and that the rich often oppress the poor. He encourages us to fulfill the royal law of loving our neighbor as ourselves and not to show partiality, as this is considered sin. James emphasizes that judgment is without mercy for those who have shown no mercy and that showing mercy is more important than judgment.
Leave a Reply