Sunday Morning Soundbytes – 7/29/2007

Doing Church Together | Lou Kochanek

Yesterday’s message was the last in the Doing Church Together series from the book of 1 Timothy. The message was called, Putting Your Hope in God, taken from 1 Timothy 6:17-21.

1 Timothy 6:17-21 – 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
Grace be with you. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that you should put your hope in God who will never disappoint you. Here is a brief recap of the message:

1) Put your hope in God not wealth (verse 17)

    – Don’t measure your value by your wealth

The word translated “arrogant” here literally means, “high-minded,” to think that you are somehow above other people because you have more. It is the mistake of measuring your self-worth by your net-worth. You are not more valuable than other people because you have more. You are not less valuable than other people because you have less.

We are so used to measuring things by money. God says, “Don’t do it. You are not valuable because of what you have. You are valuable because I made you and because I love you.” Don’t measure your value by your wealth.

    – Don’t measure your security by your wealth

We all tend to do this. The more money we have socked away, the more secure we feel. The less money we have, the less secure we feel. But wealth is uncertain? The lottery winner, the successful stock investor, the Enron employee – all of these feel secure in their wealth until the lottery winnings are quickly spent, the stock market takes a dive, or the retirement plan goes bust. Proverbs 23:5 says, “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Money talks. I heard it once. You know what it says? It says, “Goodbye!”

    – Don’t expect enjoyment in life to come from wealth

More money never made anyone happy. If you don’t believe me, go talk to a rich person. Money can buy you lots of things, but it cannot buy you happiness, and it cannot buy you love. It is God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment, but you can only enjoy it when you receive it as a gift from God. (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20)

2) Store up treasure in heaven not earth (verses 18-19)

Paul’s next instruction is found in verses 18-19. Store up treasure in heaven, not earth. How do you store up treasure in heaven instead of on earth?

    – Be rich in good deeds.

You are not saved by your good deeds. You are saved by God’s grace when you put your faith in Jesus Christ. But you are still called to good deeds and to serve others with your life. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

    – Be generous and willing to share.

Just as God is generous to us and richly provides all that we need for enjoyment in life, so God commands you also to be generous and giving. The more you have, the more you should be willing to share what you have with others, especially with those who are in need.

    – Build a firm foundation for the future.

The goal here is to take hold of the life that is truly life, that is, life with God for all of eternity, abundant life with God right now. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Life is found not in things but in God.

3) Hold on to the faith of the gospel (verses 20-21)

    – Guard what God has entrusted to you.

This was a common phrase in Paul’s day. “It was used in the ancient world of the high obligation of having in trust another person’s treasured possession, of keeping it safe, and of returning it as it was.” (George Knight; NIGTC; Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles) The gospel is God’s treasured possession with the power to save everyone who believes. God has entrusted you with the gospel to keep it safe and to return it just as it was. Don’t replace it. Don’t change it. Don’t damage it in any way.

    – Turn away from empty discussions and false teaching.

We should turn away from anything that sets itself up against the gospel of Jesus Christ, how loudly it may chatter, no matter how attractive it may sound. Paul warns that some have professed these opposing ideas and in so doing have wandered from the true faith of the gospel and from their own personal faith in Jesus Christ through the gospel.

Paul ends all of his letters with a benediction of grace. And so as we end this series on doing church together, let us especially remember God’s grace. And as we practice doing church together, applying all that we have learned from 1 Timothy, let us do so in constant awareness of the amazing grace that God has given to us in Jesus Christ. That is the gospel. That is our calling as a church.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

Leave a Reply