Devotional for August 4, 2017

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by Mark Malcolm

17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.  

18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,  

19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.  

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NASB)

God has blessed us with abundance in some areas. Is the only reason He gave us this abundance so that we could give it away? Note there is no condemnation of the rich or riches in this passage. This passage gives instruction to make sure others are taken care of out of the riches that form our abundance. But also, not verse seventeen, “…who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (emphasis is mine).

Those things we have been granted in abundance are to be a joy to us, not a burden, not a problem, not a hindrance. God wants us to be happy, not covered in pain and anguish all the time. Our abundance is to be a joy to us as well as relief to others. As long as we are tending to His children whom He sends our way to be blessed by our abundance we too may be blessed by it.

We should not only take care of those around us but ourselves as well. The trouble lies in focusing only on ourselves and forgetting about our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our generosity becomes a burden and a hardship when all we do is give to others and forget about ourselves. This is not a call to simply focus inwardly, no not at all. This is a call to make sure that along with taking care of those God puts in our path, we also take care of ourselves as well.

Recall, this passage is from 1 Timothy written by Paul as the young minister (very young by most accounts) was preparing for his ministry. Timothy most likely had great fire in his heart to do the work of the Lord. Can you recall what that fire felt like? Do you have it now? Does the desire to do something for God burn in you so great that you are crashing about like a bull in a china shop looking for good works to get about doing? If not yourself, perhaps someone you know fits this description? 

Whether it is you and you are in need of this message, or someone you know and they are in need of your wisdom take this to heart. You cannot feed the poor all the time and not eat yourself. At some point you also must eat a meal or you will faint from exhaustion. So too, you must enjoy your own abundance periodically or you will lose the desire to do that which God has blessed you with the ability to do.

The caution here is to enjoy your abundance, that thing or those things you are richly blessed with, but to do so knowing you must return to and continue to bless others with it as well. There is no retirement from good works. We do not complete our 1 millionth good work and now we can sit on the couch and do nothing but eat bon bons all day. Create a plan to enjoy your abundance yes, but also have a step in that plan to return to sharing the excess with God’s children because there will always be someone God needs your unique gifts to help. 

Bio from my web site :

Smiling Mark IIMark Malcolm is a child of God, husband, father, project manager, technical writer, gamer, fiction writer, Marine (’87-’91), has practiced Shao Lin Kung Fu and Tai Chi, been published in magazines and newspapers (editorial anyway), and seen the Southern Cross.

The goals he has currently are to more accurately identify the path God has for him to walk, continue to provide for his family, establish a solid web presence, build a career writing novels through both traditional and independent publishing, and learn to better relate to the people around him.

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