1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)
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. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 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.
When I was in college, a friend invited me and others to join him on a
mission to Chicago. We set off on Good Friday morning to deliver
brown-bag lunches to the folks we found downtown who were
homeless or hungry. More often than not, we sat and listened to a
message of how God has been working in the lives of those we met. On
this day, I learned that these people who had very little treasures of their
own were storing up their treasures in God instead.
I have had the same experiences here in Springfield—most people I
have sat down with at the Washington Street Mission have brought up
their faith and have spoken to me about the ways God is present in their
lives. It always blows me away that people who are considered "poor"
in some aspects can be so rich in love for our Lord. Many people who
are poor or homeless are also quick to help others in similar situations.
For instance, I have seen someone find a winter jacket for their friend
when it was cold, and I have seen someone lend a sleeping bag to a
person who lost all their bedding and still had to sleep on the street.
Instead of keeping those extra items for themselves, which certainly
seem luxurious in that situation, they gave them to someone else who
had a greater need. I think we could learn a thing or two from them.
In today's passage from 1 Timothy, Paul encourages us to care more
about eternal riches than earthly riches. I really believe it gets harder to
care more about eternal riches when we gather up more and more
earthly riches. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have some extra
furniture in my house or new clothes for my wardrobe. I'll admit that
every now and then I splurge on myself, but I try to remind myself that
others survive with much, much less than I do, and I probably don't
actually need that thing. Although these splurges and riches bring us a
bit of happiness, it is nothing compared to what is coming for us. Let us
store up our treasures in God and become rich in good works, like these
people in my stories.
Dear God, I pray that we will always love you more than the things we
possess. May we become rich in our good works and store up our
treasures in You. Help us to care more about eternal riches than earthly
riches so that we may truly live the lives you intend for us. In Jesus'
Written by Sam Neahring
Director of Children and Family Ministries