The Joy of Stewardship The Pursuit of Happiness (Today and Forever)

April 03, 2022 | Buster Brown

“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. 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.”  1 Timothy 6:17-21

In this passage, Paul has instructed Timothy regarding two systems: one based upon the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ which leads to human flourishing, and the other based on desires turned upside down, leading to ruin, destruction, and runaway greed.

We are told that as we fight the good fight we should flee from sin (2 Timothy 2:22) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. 

In this passage, Paul makes application that leads to the previous arguments in the lives of the Ephesians. 

1. Do not be haughty/proud/arrogant which becomes evident when ultimate hope is placed in riches. (v.17) 

2. Trust the Father who “richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (v.17b)

“The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose any obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”  CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain

3. Joyfully live out the reality of faith by a life committed to GENEROUS LIVING.

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We Serve Others

We have been both secured by Jesus’ service to us and equipped with spiritual gifts, that we might freely serve both the church and the world. Our members are called to pour themselves out in a variety of ways, as well as to consider their entire lives to be spiritual acts of service. 

Scripture: Mark 10:45, Acts 20:24, Acts 20:35, Phil. 2:17

“And the way we live must be shocking in a way that is also compelling. It must raise questions for those looking on–questions such as, ‘If their way of thinking about sexuality and individual expression is wrong, how come their lives look so good?’, or ‘If they are supposedly given over to hate speech, how come they love and serve their enemies?’, or ‘Why is their speech so measured when they are scorned on social media?’, or (most peturbingly to a culture that views personal sexual freedom as a primary identity marker) ‘Why are their marriages strong, their single people chaste, and their same-sex attraction people so fulfilled by non-sexual relationships?’”  Stephen McAlpine, Being the Bad Guys, p. 58

4. Hold the priority of an eternal perspective in living out our faith. (v.19) 

“For the Christian, joy in the present is always future-focused.” 

 

QUESTIONS:

1. Who are the wealthy? (See “Are You Living The Good Life?” by Randy Alcorn, pp. 27-29) “In 2018, the median household income in the U.S. was $62,175. That amount lands not just in the top 1% of the world’s wealthy, but inside the top ⅕ of 1%.” Randy Alcorn, Are You Living The Good Life?, p. 28

2. How does Psalm 30:6-7 correspond to the gradual trusting in ourselves or riches as a means of our ultimate hope? “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’ By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.”

3. As you consider the CS Lewis quote from “The Problem of Pain”, what is a one sentence statement regarding embracing joy/pleasure in this life?  

4. How can you live out the four exhortations of verse 18 this week?

5. Why did God make Basset Hounds?

6. Considering 1 Timothy 6:18, what does this mean “We must earn the right to be heard”?