7 Things we ought to PROTECT pt3. RESOURCES.
“O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust,” (1Tim 6:20).
We’ve been taking a closer look at the 7 things we ought to protect.
This next one is about protecting RESOURCES.
Before we begin, it must be understood that we’re not talking about protecting things in this life because we trust them above God. That’s condemned.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:19-21).
What is under consideration in this series is the proper use and the protection of them to guard them from Waste, Abuse, Sin, Trusting, and Exploitation (cf. Luke 15:12-14). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Now that we understand that material goods are from God for our use and not for trusting in them, we can now see how to use these material blessings for HIS GLORY. Some erroneously believe that Christians (and especially preachers) are to take a vow of poverty.
We are authorized to use resources for our personal MATERIAL needs. This is a blessing from God He gives to His children. “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2Cor 9:10-11). The Psalmist wrote, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (2Thess 4:11-12; Phil 4:11; Heb 13:5).
Another use of our resources is to care for our OLDER Parents (and by extension our OLDER selves, cf. 2Cor 12:14; cf. a warning; Luke 12:15-21) “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1Tim 5:4,8). Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their failure in caring for their parents by their erroneous dedication of their wealth for God (cf. Mark 7:9-13).
We ought also to use our resources from God to help NEEDY Saints (and as individuals, our needy NEIGHBORS, cf Luke 10:25-37). “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph 4:28). What we’re learning is that the Saint is to be working for his income and preserving some for use for those in NEED (cf. Gal 6:10; James 1:27).
Another blessing of the resources from above is for us to personally ENJOY (in a godly way of course). “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” (1Tim 6:17). Another example that these resources are not for saving trust, but for the glory of God.
Rather than preserving resources out of worry or anxiety (cf. Matt 6:20-34), we ought to have a heart that is YEARNING to give. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1Cor 16:1-2; cf. 2Cor 8:1-2; Acts 4:32-37 & 5:4). “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2Cor 9:6-7). One implied above is for the spreading of the Gospel through the support of evangelists; “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Heb 10:34; 2Tim 2:4; cf. 1Co 9:9; 1Tim 5:18).
As you may notice, each of these uses of money are often for the helping of others. Before the ability to help another, we must first have enough for ourselves and more than we need, but don’t worry about that. When we have the proper attitude about money, God provides the increase; “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God” (2Cor 9:8-12).