Passage: 2 Timothy 6:17–21
Prayer for All Members Based on Pastor Jared’s Message, February 5, 2023 1 Timothy 6:17-21
Introduction: In verses 17-19, Paul gives some final words for the rich, and in verses 20-21, he gives some final words for Timothy and for us.
To the Rich: Don’t Be Arrogant (6:17-19)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Even the richest can lose all they have; this is why Paul tells Timothy to charge the rich not to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God. The majority of us are rich by comparison to the world’s standard of living and by comparison to historic standards. It is not a sin to be rich. Wealth can afford you to be a blessing to other people, but it can also tempt you to be proud, and pride is a sin.
So how do we fight arrogance in what we have?
• Place your hope in God. Everything we have can be taken away, except for God: He can never be taken away! For those of us who belong to Him, He promises He will be with us always. A heart that has set its hope on God has rid itself of pride and arrogance, knowing that only God could accomplish salvation.
• Be generous. Generosity is not born out of arrogance but out of a heart that trusts God in alone. Paul commands the rich to be rich, rich in good works! True wealth is not found in how much we have but in how we give of what we have, whether in money or in service. We can glorify God by being wise and generous with what we have.
• Keep your eyes on eternity. “Rich in this present age” reminds us that there is a world to come. Anything we have right now, except our souls, is not eternal. Paul has already said that the man of God is to take hold of eternal life, to live for something greater than the present. Eternal life is a free gift, but giving consistently to Christ helps us to take hold of that life by investing in eternity.
Father, please help us to hope humbly in You alone, to be rich in generosity, and so to invest in eternity!
To Timothy: Guard the Deposit (6:20-21)
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.
God had entrusted to Timothy something very valuable: the gospel and the apostolic doctrines of the Christian faith. Timothy was to teach, raise up leaders, and keep the doctrine pure and unchanged. He was to preserve and defend the gospel.
The gospel never changes! It was true then and it is true now. If you have not put your trust in Jesus, do it today. Whether pastors or members, we must not swerve from true doctrine. We need grace to accomplish this, and grace is what Paul leaves Timothy with. The verse can be understood “Grace be with you all.”
Lord, as we spend our money, live life in the church, and defend the gospel, may Your grace be with us!