We have noted that our Lord Jesus that “…before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession…” and we should also witness a good confession before those in the world, knowing and trusting in the truth –
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
In order to accomplish God’s purpose for our lives in bringing glory to Him, we must act upon that which we have learned. The pastor is to preach, to practice, and to encourage every believer to –
a. Be careful in fellowship. That they will withdraw themselves from evil and give themselves to listen and obey ‘wholesome words’. 1 Timothy 6:3-5
b. Be content in material pursuits. 1 Timothy 6:6-11
c. Be contending for the faith. 1 Timothy 6:12-16
This morning we look to the command to be –
d. Be constantly exhorting the brethren about –
Their present desire,
Their precarious position,
Their positive action. We begin with –
1). Their present desire Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world….
They have accumulated much in this present world, and are not to put off being a blessing to others, but to be a help to them now!
We all need to understand this truth – Refuse to hold tight to things!
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This command from Paul hearkens back to the Kingdom truths taught by the Lord in what is commonly called the Beatitudes.
Matthew 5:3-12 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
How many of us are raising up our hands high right now and saying “Please Lord, let this be me”!
These are lessons for the Kingdom, but if a believer wants to have a bit of Heaven on earth, so to speak, these attitudes and actions, which are completely contrary to the present world system, should be applied to our day to day lives. The testimony of this life will be apparent to the unbeliever as a contradiction to the desires of the flesh. Notice carefully the description given by the Lord and see what is not listed –
Humble (5:3), Compassionate (5:4)), Obedient (5:5) Honest (5:6), Helpers (5:7) Holy (5:8), Ambassadors (5:9) Unashamed (5:10)
Is this how the Lord would describe us?
We find no mention of the wealthy, the powerful, the celebrity, – those people that the world lifts up to praise and honour. We must remember what is important in the eyes of God.
So we are instructed again in this letter to Timothy of the importance of a changed life in this present corrupt world.
Following their present desire, we look to –
2). Their precarious position. They are warned of –
a). Their vanity –
“…that they be not highminded,…”
See the use of this word used by Paul –
Romans 11:19-21 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Do not believe that we, as many of them did, are in a protected position and cannot be touched by the chastisement of God or the circumstances that trouble others.
And they are warned of –
b). Their vulnerability –
“…nor trust in uncertain riches…” They believe their wealth is a wall of protection and insulates them from the common tragedies of this life.
Proverbs 23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
Following this warning, we see the blessings offered through –
3). Their positive actions – They are to trust –
“…in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;…”
How do we truly enjoy the wealth God gives? We are given the answer here –
“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; “
Giving of things and sharing those things, being in common with them. Give those things that will meet the spiritual an physical needs of the person.
Look at the example of giving and the rejoicing that comes to the person giving in the following verses –
1 Chronicles 29:1-17 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God. Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD? Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly, And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
We see that the joy did not come through the material things, but through using these things for the glory of God and the good of the people.
“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come…”
Using God’s creation for Him and being a blessing to others. Trust the Lord to care for you and care for others through you –
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
“…that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Do we understand what eternal life means at this present time?
It means that everything we go through here is just for a moment.
It means the experiences that we have in this present time should be an encouragement to us as we discover where our eternal which we lay hold onto now life is leading us.
Consider these things, that even in a life filled with trouble, just one thing after another, we have experienced some moments of joy –
A friend found
A life long love established
A hurt healed
A sorrow comforted
The prosperity preachers have it all backwards! We do not give to get. We get to give! And we do it over and over and over!
How much can you give before you cross the line of this life and enter into the presence of the Lord.
Enjoyment is short lived in the things that we accumulate as we pass through, but the joy we share with others through the Lord Jesus Christ, exalting God every day builds a good foundation in the coming days and on into eternity.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”
What blessed words to hear from the Lord.