Dear Student of the Word,
I got home last night from my most recent trip to Africa and had a chance to finish this study on the long plane ride home. This unit finishes our study in First Timothy and will be the last study I will send out in 2006. We will begin again after the first of the year with a new study in the gospel of Mark. I wish you and yours a blessed Christmas holiday and prosperous New Year as you continue to grow in the knowledge of God's word.
This week I wrote:
v. 17 -- Paul returned to the wealth and money themes by giving Timothy guidelines for wealthy believers. Paul's counsel to the rich was that they avoid putting their trust in wealth. Rather they were to put their hope in God. When one trusts in something other than God, then that "thing" becomes an idol, and the Bible describes what happens to someone when they worship or rely on an idol:
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them (Psalm 135:15-18 emphasis added).
Those who have an idol become like that idol. That is why you must worship God, for you resemble what you worship. If you worship God, you will become more like Him! God gives us all things to enjoy but not to trust in. When that happens, the creature worships another created being and that isn't worship, that's confusion and disorder!
So I return to a questions I've asked before: Do you own your things or do your things own you? Are you relating to God and your things in proper order? Is God number one in your life or has your job, house, money, investments, relationships or reputation supplanted God in the top position?
You can write your comments to this entry or give my readers your own insights into Paul's letter to Timothy on the site where this is posted. You can also go there to read through my other studies from Corinthians that I wrote this past year. And don't forget my website, Monday Memo site and blog site if you are interested in keeping track of all my writings. You can subscribe to any of those on the sites themselves.
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Download this week's study: Download 1_timothy_study_5.doc