“Command those who are rich . . . to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” — 1 Timothy 6:17-18
In our church each Sunday we read a bit of Scripture that teaches us God’s will for daily living—like the Ten Commandments. This is a helpful exercise.
When we come to have faith in Jesus for salvation, we do not keep on living as if we are unbelievers. When we are born again by the work of God in us, we will change and want to live God’s way. But we can be stubborn and willful, because our old nature still clings to us. We often need to be reminded to do good, to love others, to share, and to be Christlike in all we do and say. So it’s important to meet together for worship and fellowship and to hear God’s commands again and again.
When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in the letter we have read from today, Timothy was leading a newly planted church in Ephesus. Among other things, Paul told Timothy to command rich believers “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
In the church there were well-to-do people, and there were poor people—and this sometimes caused friction. The rich had to be reminded to share with others and not to look down on the poor, and the poor had to be reminded not to covet. Everyone, in fact, needed to remember not to pin their hopes on money or wealth but to put their hope in God, who provides all we truly need. In this way, Paul said (echoing Jesus), we lay up treasure for eternity, taking hold “of the life that is truly life.”