Riches

I would like to shine light on an epidemic that exists in many Christian societies, churches, congregations, and the like. This ideal differs little, if at all, with people we see everyday in the business and corporate world. CEO’s, presidents, VP’s, managers, all having an ideal that they can only relate to thier peers or others which are equals in or share thier financial/positional goals or realities. Typically they can/will not relate to thier employees at all. They can/will not be touched with someone elses problems. Their lives consist of golfing at the country club, first-class flights or private jets, luxurious homes, the finest automobiles, trophy spouses, & fine dining. Sadly the same is true for many ministry leaders & pastors. Greed and the attitide of entitlement exist in the church today no different than they do in the world.

 
My personal issue with that ideal is not that people should not have excess, but our attitudes and what is done with that excess is what counts.
   Luke 12
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

 16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’  18″Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘  20″But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

 21″This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself 
 
  but is not rich toward God.”
 I continually thought about the story in
 Acts 2
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
and
Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

 34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  35And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.  36And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

 37Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
 
 
1Tim. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Communication is most often thought of as a conversation between two or
  more people.
However, the bible definition is somewhat different.
According to the Strong’s concordinance of Greek translation, “communicate” in Gal. 6:6
is translated as sharing. In 1Tim. 6:18 it refers to liberality and freedom in giving or sharing material goods. In Heb. 13:16  it refers to fellowship, communion, distribution, sharing, and being of one accord.
 
It also includes Distribution
1 Tim. 6
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in
 
 uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute,
 
willing to communicate;
 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they
 
may lay hold on eternal life.
 
Acts 4
 
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands
 
or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
 
 35And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made
 
 unto every man according as he had need.
 
2 Corinthians 9
13Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men
 
 
Rom.12
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
 13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality
          Benevolence Let’s look at one of the largest offering endeavors by the Gentile
 
believers to the Hebrew believers.
Acts 11
 
 
27And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  28And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth(famine) throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

 29Then the disciples, every man according to his ability,

 determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in

 Judaea:

 30Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

 

2 Cor. 8
1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

 2How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  3For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;  4Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  5And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  6Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.  7Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.  8I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.  9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.  10And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.  11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.  12For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.  13For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:  14But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:  15As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.  16But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.  17For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.  18And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;  19And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:  20Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:

 21Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
 
Rom 15
25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
 26For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain
 
contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
 
 27It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
 
1Cor.16
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

 2Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.  3And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.  4And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

 5Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia….
 …14Let all your things be done with charity.
 15I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
 
2 Cor. 9
 
1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

 2For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.  3Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:  4Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.  5Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.  6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  9(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.  10Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)  11Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.  12For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;  13Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

 14And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

 15Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

 
Acts 24
 
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
 
Notice that the goal here was for equality.
2 Cor. 8
 
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want,
 
 that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be
 
 equality.
So then, the entire endeavors were to help or assist another group of believers which were in a financial state of need.
Further instruction for those which would desire to be rich:

1 Timothy 6

 

 1Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

 2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

 3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

 6But godliness with contentment is great gain.

 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many

 foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

 14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

 16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

 17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

 20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

 21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

So then those which have a will to be rich submit themselves to many sorrows and those which find themselves rich at the time they have turned to Christ and after are to distribute to the needy, share with those in the body, and do good in a rich way.

 

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