A Message for the Rich
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Introduction: Perhaps as you glanced at the title of my message this morning you were relieved to see that I would not be preaching at you this morning! Being rich is a very relative thing! How much does it take to be considered rich? This week the FBA kindergarten class came in to meet the pastor and ask me some questions. A few of the questions were probably quite similar to some that you might ask like: How did you get a job like this and what do you do besides talk? During my “interview” one student raised their hand as if to ask a question and when called upon said, “I’m rich”! Upon making that statement another student had to comment and let me know that he also was rich.
Most of the people in Timothy’s church would have likely been poor. Had we lived in that day we would have been considered rich. To the majority of the people of the world you and I would be considered rich even today.
So if you thought that you could sit back and listen to me preach at someone else, or even sleep through this one because it didn’t apply to you, I hope you will change your mind!
Paul had already instructed Timothy as to what to teach to those who wanted to be rich. In his closing words to him he gives Timothy five instructions to give to the rich.
1. Don’t be a snob
a. Realize where wealth comes from. It does not just come if you are smart, hard working, and have a great location!
b. Deut. 8:17 Do not say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth’ but you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth.
c. Jeremiah 9: 23 Thus says the LORD: “ Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
2. Fix your hope properly
a. Don’t fix your hope on the uncertainty of riches.
i. They might be lost
ii. They might not be enough
iii. They will not bring lasting satisfaction.
The care of $200 million is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it!” W.H. Vanderbilt
“ I am the most miserable man on the earth.” John Jacob Astor
“ I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” John D. Rockefeller
“ I was happier when doing a mechanic’s job.” Henry Ford
b. God is the only One and the only thing that you can count on completely.
i. His value will only increase as you get ready to face the future.
ii. He is always enough.
iii. He alone satisfies for real.
3. Enjoy the pleasures
a. God wants us to enjoy Him
b. God wants us to enjoy what He has given.
Jn 10:10 Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.
Ps 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
c. The rich shouldn’t feel guilty
d. He doesn’t skimp, He gives richly
4. Be the right kind of rich
a. Here is a way that we can all be rich!
b. Be rich in good works
c. “I work so hard for what is worth so little and work so little for what is worth so much”
d. Those who were rich were not to have the attitude that serving was beneath them.
e. I believe when we get to heaven one of the questions that we will have to give an answer too is this, “what did you do to further My Kingdom through my local church? What ministries were you involved in and how dedicated were you to My cause?
5. Be generous in giving
a. Many times those who are rich struggle with being selfish.
b. Timothy is to instruct those that were rich that they had a responsibility to be generous and share what God had blessed them with.
c. It is to be one of the reasons that all of us work!
“Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.” (Eph. 4:28)
d. It appears that the way that we serve and the way that we share will have a direct correlation to the way that we spend eternity.
e. We are not earning our way to heaven but the way we live will affect the quality of real life that awaits us in heaven.
f. Are you obedient in your giving? Do you give as God outlines in the Scriptures.
i. Proportionately – in keeping with your income
ii. Sacrificially – not simply giving what we can do without
iii. Systematically – giving to God first and regularly
iv. Cheerfully – do you look forward to being able to give to God
Conclusion: Those that know Christ as their Savior have riches beyond measure. When we are feeling poor it would be good for us to remember that fact! Some questions to ask myself:
1. Am I being a good steward with what God has given?
2. Do I have the right attitude?
3. Is my focus on God who shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory or is it on my portfolio?
4. Have I learned to enjoy God and what He has to offer?
5. Am I the right kind of rich laying up treasures in heaven or am I going to need a “loan” when I get there?
6. Is my giving and my serving honoring the Lord today and building a foundation for my future in heaven?
7. Am I taking hold of the fact that I have life eternal waiting for me?