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The best way to save for the future: generosity

November 26, 2022
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Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 6:17-19

17 Tell people who are rich at this time not to become egotistical and not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain. Instead, they need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others. 19 When they do these things, they will save a treasure for themselves that is a good foundation for the future. That way they can take hold of what is truly life.

NOTE: It helps a lot if every person who considers Resurrection their church home turns in a financial commitment card for 2023 (even if your current situation means your commitment is $0). You can do that in person at worship tomorrow, or you can click here to fill out your commitment card.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The apostle Paul urged even well-off people “not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain.” 2022 has surely underscored the “uncertain” quality of finances! Paul saw people lose their way from the faith when money was their life’s highest goal (cf. 1 Timothy 6:9-10). He urged Timothy to “run away” from a life that based its primary hope on finances. Instead, he called Timothy and the members of his congregation to a different view of what we today call “saving and planning.” He said the best way to lay a good foundation for the future was to actively “do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others.” Those choices would enable them to take hold of “what is truly life.”

  • So much advice (about retirement, educating children, choosing housing or transportation, and making career choices) takes it as a given that money is the most important part of a satisfying, worthwhile life. As scholar N. T. Wright said, “Every advertisement, every other television program, many movies and most political manifestos are designed, by subtle and not-so-subtle ways, to make us say, ‘If only I had just a bit more money, then I would be content.'” * What are the main drivers of the way you live your life? What kind of outcome to your life do you most wish to avoid? What life goal(s) are you pursuing with all your might? What steps can you take today to adjust your life goals, if necessary, “to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others” as the best path to ultimate security?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for being my ultimate mentor, guide, and accountability partner. Teach me to value what you value, to take hold of what is truly life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Brent Messick

Brent Messick

Brent Messick is retired now, but was formerly Resurrection’s Managing Executive Director of Operations.

Have you ever been tempted to buy a lottery ticket? Recently, one of the lottery jackpots was $2 billion. I think the lump sum payout after taxes would be around $700 million. Can you imagine?

Well, I succumbed to temptation and bought a ticket. I told God that if I won, I could help the church and a lot of people with that money. But let’s be honest. I would also be set for life.

This is when my guilty conscience kicked in. I wonder what God thought of my decision to buy a lottery ticket. If I were Him, I would say, “Brent, I have blessed you with so much in your life. You are already rich in so many ways. Why do you need more?” He’s right (of course).

It’s a blessing if you are financially wealthy. In addition, you can also be rich without a lot of money. You can be rich with a servant’s heart, with good health, with available time, with technical skills, with musical talents, etc. We can be rich in so many different ways, both tangible and intangible. It’s how we use those riches to make a difference. Whatever you are rich in, we should be generous with those blessings to help others. God blesses us to be a blessing to others. With a generous spirit, you will be set for life.

Speaking of generosity, here is a thought about tithing. When I worked as the CFO at the Church of the Resurrection, I remember getting into a discussion with one of the church’s wealthy donors. This person was struggling with giving 10% to the church, which, indeed, was a lot of money. I passed along some wisdom about the “90% Rule.” Don’t think of it as giving away 10%, but, rather, think of it as keeping 90% of what God has blessed us with. It’s a matter of the proper perspective.

By the way, I didn’t win the lottery.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Pastoral Letters. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 71.