Fact Check: Riches, Roots, and Righteous Returns (Timothy 6:10)
Riches, Roots, and Righteous Returns (Timothy 6:10)
Today, we live in a culture where many obsess about wealth, where more money is spent in America on advertising (need based) than any country globally, and it's not even close. We also live in a culture where we listen to rich celebrities scold others for being wealthy, and we listen their misconceptions! How should followers of Jesus view their finances? Build your portfolio on the Word of the Lord.
Misconception # 1 – Money is the root of all evil Fact – The love of money…
You only have room for one love in your life at a time. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love Jesus not wealth.
Misconception # 2 – The love of money is the root of all evil Fact – A root of all kinds…
This misunderstanding comes from a mistranslation in the KJV. The Greek has no definite article. The love of $ is a root, not the root. God wants good roots in your life.
Misconception # 3– Being poor is a sin Fact– Those who “want to be” rich.
Paul is writing to those who are poor and does not warn them of having little; he urges them to be content and not to have a “great desire” to seek wealth.
Misconception #4 – Having wealth is a sin Fact – Don’t set your hope on wealth
Again the NT does not address the “sinful rich people” but cautions for no many to put their hope on the uncertainty of riches. Y
Misconception # 5– If I only had $____________ I would be content. Fact – Be content with food and clothing.
Biblically, no amount of money will bring you ultimate satisfaction. Jesus alone brings eternal contentment. Therefore, you will always need the Messiah.
Roots The NT is deeply concerned about riches. The gospel is good news for the poor and the rich alike. Now Paul gets practical and likens the love of money to a root. The first thing you might note about roots is that they are hidden. They grow slowly under the soil and are the foundation of what you can see above the surface. No one but you, and God knows the hidden loves of your heart. But,God knows!
Root systems have two main functions. First, they absorb water and minerals and transportthem to the stems. Eventually, what is in the root will be seen in the fruit.
Second, root systems anchor a plant to the ground, providing stability and the ability to grow. You will never flourish spiritually if you are not anchored to the rock of Christ.
Why does the Lord care about your finances? Because what you love with your heart becomes the wellspring of your life. Wants open doors, and in this passage alone, the love of more is called temptation, trap, fall, harmful, craving, and impalement.. Even worse, it leads to all kinds of evil: Greed lies behind the marriage of convenience, perversions of justice, drug-pushing, pornography sales, blackmail, the exploitation of the weak, the neglect of good causes, and the betrayal of friends. – Stott
For some, the love of money leads them away from the faith. A constant desire for more caused persons in Ephesus to stop believing in something true and tart believing in something false.
Take-Home: Sick love leads to a sick heart.
Righteousness As He did in the Garden of Eden from the beginning, the Father always provides a cure for our curse. [Read 1 Tim. 6:17-19]
Prescription # 1 Hope in Christ There were likely quite a few rich benefactors in the Ephesians church, a city of economic prominence in the ancient world. To these people, the apostle urged: don’t hope in the uncertainty of riches. Many a person has gone to bed wealthy and awoke in poverty. When you place your eternal hope in the one who satisfies, you find new enjoyment on earth.
God is not a killjoy. Yahweh is the source of all good things for enjoyment. Hope in Christ awakens your senses to enjoy His gifts in your life more.
Prescription #2 – Be Rich in Good Many think that being poor is the biblical answer to the trapping of riches. After all, Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heave. You don’t give to earn God’s favor. The Father doesn’t love you because of what you do but what He didfor you. Yet, Paul tells the Ephesian church to be rich in good works.
God does not want you to merely be on the lookout for ways to do good things with your money. Rather, when you give your life fully to Jesus, the result will be wealth, a habitus (we long for this day), that conforms to the way of the Savior. Be rich in good.
Prescription #3 – Be Generous Notice that the Word does not condemn wealth but commends generosity. A selfish world needs to know that Yahweh is a generous Father. Christian generosity is a picture of God’s grace. What does your generosity say to others about the Lord’s mercy?
Biblical generosity is from the first, not the leftovers. Exod 23:19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the house of the LORD your God. You will never be generous to the Lord if you wait until the end.
Biblical generosity is constant and abundant. In the OT, the community of faith tithed (10%) on everything. For those now living through Christ, this is a grace commitment and not a legalistic weapon. For the NT believer, it is unhealthy to view tithing as a place to stop, but it can still be a good place to start.
God doesn’t do IOU’s: Debt is a generosity killer. This is why we call it “drowning in debt.” Don’t let cravings, traps, vacations, and the newest home stifle what Christ wants to do in your life. If you are in debt today, Jesus still loves you, but he wants you to truly live.
Prescription #4 – Take Hold of abundant life What’s more valuable? To be rich in this life or in the age to come? Why do we give faithfully and generously? Because we desire to take hold of what is truly life, and we proclaim to the world the source of abundant life.
In a world of uncertain mirages, Jesus is the faithful and True. Take hold of the Messiah with all you have!
Why Christian generosity?
In C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, you meet a boy named Eustace who begins as really a terrible person: always complaining and making others around him miserable, believing himself to be the victim of circumstances, arrogant, and selfish.
One day Eustace wanders off by himself when the ship puts ashore on an unexplored island where he stumbles upon a hoard of treasure. As he selfishly collects the gold, unbeknownst to Eustace, he begins to turn into a dragon, an external picture of his inward condition.
No matter what he tries, there is nothing Eustace can do to free himself from the bondage of his dragon scales. One night he follows the great lion Aslan to a spring in the midst of a garden. Although he longs to bathe in the cool refreshing waters, he is unable to shed the dragon skin that prevents him. At last, Aslan himself peels off the foul scaly skin and allows Eustace to be renewed in the water. He describes the experience:
The very first tear [Aslan] made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. (Lewis)
Every time you give, Yahweh tears away the layers of greed in your heart, and sometimes it hurts. When you give cheerfully, freely, and with a deep trust in the ways of the Messiah, the more you feel the pleasure of the riches of the Father’s grace.
We give with open hands, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.
The greatest treasure is not what you give, but what God has given to you:. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
1 Cor 6:20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.