Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
— 1 Timothy 6:17,18
I am so thankful that my wife and I personally know many godly wealthy people who are mission-minded and who generously give to see the Gospel go to the ends of the earth. Although they could selfishly use their money merely for the sake of self-embellishment, they have learned that God gave them money for a purpose: so they could empower preachers of the Gospel to take the message of Jesus Christ to people who need to hear it. Therefore, in addition to personally enjoying their wealth as they should, they have also learned to do a great deal of good with their finances.
I’ll never forget the time we sat down with a particular family who fits this description. They invited us to dinner; then while we were at dinner with them, they told me and my wife that they had decided to invest into our ministry. We sat in shock as they told us how they had looked into our finances and checked us out as thoroughly as they possibly could. Then they said they were so blessed with what they had discovered, they decided to channel some of their money into our ministry for the advancement of the Gospel! After researching our ministry, they felt confident the finances would be used properly. So from that day onward, these precious people began to regularly sow into the work God has given us to do.
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This wealthy family is diligent to fulfill God’s command to the rich as presented in First Timothy 6:17,18. In these verses, Paul gives Timothy instructions for those who were rich in the younger minister’s church. Paul tells Timothy to charge the rich that they “…do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.” Today I want us to delve deeply into this verse to see exactly what God’s expectation is for those who are financially blessed in His Kingdom.
When Paul instructed the rich to “do good,” he used the word agathoergeo, which is a compound of agathos and ergos. The word agathos means good or beneficial, and the word ergos is the most common word in the New Testament for work, presenting the idea of someone who is very active. When they are compounded together, the new word means to do works that are good, beneficial, excellent, profitable, or helpful to others.
These are deeds that leave people in a better condition than they were before the deeds were performed. But because the word ergos is used, it pictures one who really works at doing good, not one who lazily or thoughtlessly performs these actions. The rich are therefore instructed to be thoughtful, serious, and fervent about their giving, like the family I mentioned earlier who blessed our ministry. They should work hard at giving to the right people and to the right places.
Paul goes on to say that the rich are to “be rich in good works.” The word “rich” is the word plousios, describing incredible abundance, extreme wealth, and enormous affluence.The word “works” is ergos, the Greek word for work. It tells the rich that they should be constantly working to use their wealth to benefit other people. Their giving should be something they do seriously and with focused attention.
To describe the level of works they are to perform, Paul uses the word “good.” This is the word kalos, and it pictures something that is sound, healthy, fine, or excellent. These are excellent works. You could say that these are works that are done soundly and that leave the recipient in a healthy position.
Paul then tells the rich that they must be “ready to distribute.” The words “ready to distribute” come from the Greek word eumetadotos. It is a triple compound word of the words eu, meta, and didomi. The word eu describes a feeling of elation and ecstasy. It is what a person feels when he is simply thrilled about something. It is where we get the word euphoria.The second part of the word is meta, and it can be translated a variety of ways, depending on the particular grammar being used in the sentence. In this verse, it means with or about.The third part of the word is from the word didomi,which simply means to give. Once these three words are compounded together, the new word literally means that those who possess a lot of material resources shouldbe elated, thrilled, and euphoric about every opportunity they have to give.
Next, Paul tells the rich that they must be “willing to communicate.” This phrase comes from the single Greek word koinonikos. This word is taken from the word koinonia, which expresses the idea of anything that is shared in common. But when the word koinonia becomes the word koinonikos,as it is in this verse, it pictures a person who is a champion at sharing what he owns. This person doesn’t begrudgingly share what he owns; he liberally, generously, and joyfully shares it! He is big-hearted and open-handed — just the opposite of one who is tightfisted and stingy. This is a heroic giver. Therefore, when Paul tells the rich to be “willing to communicate,” he is teaching them that they should be champion givers!
When we put all these Greek words together, we see that Paul is urging the rich to:
“Work diligently at richly performing good deeds with the resources God has given you. Put your whole heart into using those resources to leave people in better shape then they were before you acted on their behalf. You should be elated, thrilled, and euphoric about every opportunity you have to give. You should be excited about every chance that presents itself for you to be generous!”
God requires everyone to be a giver, but when a person is especially blessed financially more than others, God expects that richly blessed person to do more than others can do because he has more.
So if God has financially blessed you, He is calling you to use your wealth to become rich in good works! God expects you to go above and beyond what others do because you have the ability to do more. And God expects you to be excited about it!
So I want to ask you — when you are confronted with an opportunity to give of your finances, do you get excited about it, or do you begrudge every gift you give? Do you feel like you’re losing something when you give of your finances, or do you see your gift as a welcome opportunity to help enrich someone else’s life? Do you receive joy from giving, or does it break your heart when you see your money pass from your hands into someone else’s hands?
Today I urge you to go before the Lord and allow His Spirit to speak to your heart about your giving. Rather than just thoughtlessly drop money into an offering plate or into some project, begin to give serious prayer and thought to the question of how and when you should give. Study those to whom you wish to give. Make sure you are giving to the right people and to the right places. And when you are confident that you’ve found a place that will handle your finances responsibly, begin to sow your finances with joy!
When you find good soil to sow your financial seed, you should be euphoric! And you should also rejoice in the fact that you have the ability to make a huge difference in other people’s lives!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I ask You to help me see exactly where I should sow my finances. Please help me to see those people and organizations that will wisely handle the money I sow; then give me the ability to sow into those places with elation and joy! I want to be excited about my giving! I want to give, knowing that my gift is truly going to make a huge difference. And as I give to benefit others, I ask You to honor Your Word and multiply it back to me again so I can continue to give and be a blessing to the Christian community.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that God’s Spirit speaks to me and helps me know exactly where I am supposed to sow my finances. I am serious about my giving; therefore, I sow carefully and thoughtfully. My money is not to be spent selfishly only on myself, for God has richly blessed me so I can be a rich blessing to others for the sake of the Gospel. I therefore use my resources to do good works that will leave people in better condition than they were before I gave. I am excited about living my life as a liberal, generous, open-handed giver. Therefore, God continues to richly bless me, for He knows I will be a channel through which His blessings can keep flowing out to those who need it.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. How should you respond to what you have read in today’s Sparkling Gem? What new truths did you learn about the attitude you should have in your giving?
2. Would you describe yourself as a champion giver, or would you have to honestly say that you need to increase in your giving? Do you live to give, or do you give only when you feel like the Spirit of God is twisting your arm to do it?
3. When you do finally decide to give to a church, ministry, or organization, do you give regularly and faithfully so you can help make that organization more sound and healthy?