Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (1Timothy 6:17)
In today’s scripture passage, Paul speaks of our gifts from God. This is one of Paul’s ‘Pastoral Letters,’ written much as a minister or priest might write to a congregation today. It is a letter intended to teach and to preach to the faithful. Paul’s letter might even be compared to a sermon or a message from the pastor in a church newsletter.
The letter of Paul affirms the biblical theology that humans are mortal, only God is immortal, and humans’ only hope is in the immortal God, who raises the dead. Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish between immortality and resurrection. Resurrection essentially refers to being raised from the dead, while immortality means endless, eternal, and without mortality. While our physical bodies surely are mortal, and the mortality rate is very real, our souls are immortal. For the faithful, there is no death or end for the soul. It will be raised into the kingdom of God, where it will dwell in immortality.
Paul writes of richly enjoying the gifts we have been given. This is something we can all relate to. The glorious sunrise, the wind rustling through the trees, the dogwood breaking into blossom in the spring and the lapping of the surf give us almost exquisite enjoyment. They are beautiful beyond anything that humans can create, make or buy. They are the gifts of God, given to all to enjoy.
Yet, the riches in our savings accounts, our portfolios, or out real estate are not certain. They change at the whim of the economy, and can be gained or lost in a heartbeat. They can appreciate or depreciate, and there is little we can do to protect them. Our cars will eventually become worthless. Our clothing will lose all value. Our furniture and computers will undoubtedly end up in a landfill. Material riches have little certainty compared to the riches of God.
Grant, O most merciful God, that we may heed this powerful injunction and truly appreciate all of God’s glorious creation. Let us savor each moment of ou8r days, glorying in the wonder of the earth. Help us to see more clearly each tiny petal and hear more distinctly the tiny chirp of every bird. And, above all else, dear Lord, we pray not for immortality but for resurrection in Your kingdom when we are finally called home to rest.
To study this passage in more depth, you might like to read:
- Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
- Vincent’s Word Studies
- Parallel Commentaries
- Clark’s Commentary on the Bible
- Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
- Geneva Study Bible
- Wesley’s Notes
- Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
- Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Columbia Prayer Chain
Friday, April 27
In our prayers: Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Joe Reno, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Mack James, Charles Davis Sr., Janet Long, Lee Hotaling, Elaine and Sharon, Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Bob and Karen, Alison Rafferty, Joye Cantrell, Patty and Ted, Fred and Gail,, Mary Miller, Linda L., Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters, Laura Bushnell, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Rummans, Elizabeth Adams, Gene Awtrey, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth, DuBose Tuller, Frances Robinson, Janice Ayoub
In memoriam: Patricia Eckols Boyd, Ralph Earl Dunham Jr., Martin R. Lee, Leo Maddox, Mitchell Drew Page, William “Bill” Lloyd McIlwain. Tommy Gene Bridges, Nelson Edwin Clark, Pauline Elders Kaney, Dominick Poeta, Jennifer Hardee Rosander, Linda Harmon Schneider
Our prayers are with: The lonely, the elderly and those who care for them, all who volunteer, the homeless, the unemployed, all victims of abuse, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our deputies and police officers, and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.
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