As we finally emerge out of a long political season there are numerous promises and campaign slogans that have been driven deep into the fabric of our society. There is obviously much debate over the issue of wealth and prosperity within our country; Nevertheless, there is one reality that is hard to escape- we live in one of the most prosperous nations on earth. You may not consider yourself wealthy but the reality is here in America we live in one of the most affluent societies in the world.
As you are well aware the danger of living with wealth and prosperity is that our trust in God can be replaced with self sufficient pride and independence. Our possessions quickly become a token of our identity and often our nature drives us to find joy in the gift rather than the giver. A defining characteristic for those who profess Christ is joy! It is essential to understand that our avenue toward joy comes from Jesus. When my joy levels are low or empty I need to seek Jesus not stuff! Prosperity and affluence fosters greed and it will attack the fabric of true joy.
Timothy was pastoring in the very affluent city of Ephesus. And Paul urged Timothy to address these issues with the Ephesian church. Listen to the antidote to greed that Paul lay out in 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."
Paul states that the fight against greed comes to those who are rich in good works and demonstrates an attitude of generosity with a heart ready to share. As I participate in giving I am reminded that God is the giver of all things. I avoid setting my hope on the “uncertainty of riches” and I look to Jesus as my greatest joy! This holiday season, lets strive to fight greed together.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.