Over the last year, the economy was often on our minds. Debates raged on whether or not businesses should reopen at the risk of more COVID-19 cases. The stock market fluctuated and people’s retirement funds went for a series of roller coaster rides. But no matter what economic situation we may face in the days ahead, the principle from our text today never changes: Be committed to being content and be generous with your deeds.
As we follow Jesus, we begin to look at money and wealth differently. The apostle Paul reminded his protégé, Timothy, to instruct the Ephesian Christians to become rich not in material goods, but in good works, and to be content with all the Lord had provided them. He writes, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Tim. 6:7). Paul urges Timothy to teach followers of Christ about living with a new perspective on generosity. Paul commands his readers to put their hope in God and not in worldly possessions (v. 17). Instead of hoarding wealth, Christ-followers are to be open-handed and willing to share (v. 18). Paul knew that being generous with one’s life and resources would guard our hearts from materialism and misplaced hope. But why is being generous worth it?
Paul answers, “So that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (v. 19). In the original language, this could also be translated, “to seize with one’s own hands, life, indeed.” Being generous no doubt helps others, but the main reason you and I are commanded to be generous is that we need to be givers. When we become generous with our lives, we reflect our Savior Jesus Christ, who was most generous with His life.
>> How can you be more generous with your life and resources? What are you currently giving, including both finances and time? Find a ministry you are passionate about and decide how you can invest in it.
Heavenly Father, you have bestowed each of us with gifts to use in your service. Guide us as we seek to be generous with the time, talents, and physical resources you have given us for the glory of your name.