Daily Reading: (1 Timothy 6:17-19) 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
“Command”/ paraggellō used in 1 Timothy 6:17 means to transmit a message along from one to another. As a missionary/evangelist Timothy had a message to pass along. Command those who are rich (wealthy, abounding in material resources) not to put their hope in wealth but in God.
New York Times wrote an article that showed that the amount of money or resources needed to be considered “rich” changed with every income level. In that article they state that only 5 percent of Americans describe themselves as “rich.” The problem here is this message Timothy has which applies to most of us, we might tune the message out because we don’t identify ourselves as being rich. If we don’t think the message applies to us then we too are in danger that we might fix our hope in our things.
The message here for Timothy to share is don’t place your hope in the blessing instead of the Blesser (1 Timothy 6:17). Our God abundantly, richly blessed you (plousiōs) and that is why you have what you have (parechō).
Verse eighteen continues with, “Command them to do good”. You better do good, you rich people. Is that what Paul means when he writes to Timothy? Of course not! We know the Greek word that was used earlier in verse seventeen (paraggellō) means to command or instruct or transmit a message along from one to another, however, (paraggellō) is not used in verse eighteen. Instead, we are introduced to a new Greek word (agathoergeō). Agathoergeō means to work good, to do good, to do well, act rightly. You who have some material possessions that God has richly and abundantly given to you- use those to do good (2 Timothy 6:17-18).
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” How can we better define using our material possessions to do good?
Part A) “to be rich in good deeds,
Plouteō (rich)- is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all. So, this isn’t talking about volunteerism and other good deeds or acts. This is building the kingdom of God. This is investing in works that bring opportunity for eternal salvation.
Part B) to be generous and willing to share.”
(Eumetadotos)- ready or free to impart (koinōnikos) inclined to make others sharers in one’s possessions, inclined to impart, free in giving, liberal.
They only way I have found that I am going to be ready to, inclined to freely give what I have got to other people is if I see God as my source, the One who abundantly supplies me. If I am wealthy and place my trust in possessions-what an uncertain thing that can be. I have worked so hard for what I have got that I am not going to give it to you. But when we see that all that we have, God freely gave to us- now it frees us to give freely to others, especially when it is a vehicle to lead others to Christ.
So, when you put part A and Part B together we give because we want others to come to know the Giver as they receive the gift of the Son and the salvation of their souls.
You know what I get the most enjoyment out of anyway- sharing. I believe God blesses us so that we might bless others and He does that for our enjoyment.