17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Stewardship is a word we often use to describe church life. We usually focus primarily on money and how it relates to tithing and generosity in the church. But what if we took a broader understanding of this concept? “Whole life stewardship” is something I have learned about over the past few years. It implies that everything I have received or earned is a gift from God, our heavenly Father. It includes my time (which is finite), my talents (which are limited), my resources, and even my testimony. He asks me to be a good steward of all the things He has uniquely gifted me with for ministry.
In Psalm 24:1 David writes, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Everything belongs to the Lord. He doesn’t need our money, gifts or talents—these came from Him to begin with. What He asks is that we take what He has given us and use it for his glory.
In the closing chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul continues to encourage the young pastor Timothy, giving him guidance and instruction as he leads the church in Ephesus. Ephesus was an influential city with lots of wealth. Paul reminded Timothy and the Christians in Ephesus that they shouldn’t put their trust in their wealth and resources. He told them not to store treasures on earth, but rather to focus on good works and being generous to those in need.
Those instructions to the early church are as powerful today as they were two centuries ago. We have a great responsibility to be good stewards of all God has given us.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-20, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- As you reflect on 1 Timothy 6:17-19, ask yourself, “How am I stewarding my time, gifts and resources for God’s kingdom work?
- Is there a place in your life where you need to trust God more? Ask God to help you rely more on Him in this area.
- How are you responding to those in need around you?
Spend an evening in the dark! We forget in America that we have resources that a large majority of the world does not. As you eat supper over candle light, or spend the evening having to entertain yourselves with out the television, talk about the blessings that we have been given not because we were born earning these, but because God placed us somewhere where these things were common. Talk to your family about gifts that God has uniquely given each of them, knit inside of them in the womb, and how they can use those God-given gifts to meet the needs of others around us. *BONUS* have everyone take their unique gifts and talents and find a way to use them for kingdom work.
Pray for the staff and volunteers in the Medical Dental Unit. Pray for the churches the MDU partners with, that they would continue to connect with and walk through life with those who come for care, sharing Jesus in multiple ways.