Vol. 8-38 – 09-17-2023 – Not Live Streaming; True Life-Screaming!
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you. –1 Timothy 6:17-21
Is Paul speaking about richness regarding money and things? When Donna and I traveled to India, we encountered numbers we would identify as poor. Many earned as little as a rupee a day. Like saying a dollar, a day, but not nearly so. There are literally millions in India living on this daily amount.
Did you know that the bottom 5% of people living in the U.S. are richer than 68% of the world’s population? Who, then, is Paul writing about? You know!
Donna and I own a house. We have a car. Two computers. Heat/AC and running water. And appliances. Much more than most of the world. But not nearly as much as people who attend the churches here.
Did you notice the word in verse 17? Haughty! It comes from the word that means arrogant or condescending. None of those words are what we want to hear. God tells us to do good, and to be rich in good deeds; not haughty.
When I worked for a large chain of retail discount stores, I benefited from the performance of the stores. It seemed when I earned a settlement that was more than sufficient, there were opportunities to bless others because I had been blessed. I did not get this advice from the Scriptures; it came to my heart. So, Donna and I shared according to the need.
I have since read the Scripture above, and it confirmed what I did was what I was supposed to do. Do you remember the preacher/evangelist E.V. Hill? He said this about blessings: When God blesses you, He often doesn’t even have you in mind! Except to have you minister to another.” Our lives must be focused on others, to benefit the lost world we live in.
Paul also says we are to be generous and ready to share. The sad tendency of humanity is to be self-focused. How are we to have an impact in our world without being generous and sharing? To our church. To organizations that perform ministry. To food banks, or a neighbor in need. With our time and talent. There is nowhere in Scripture that pronounces that we reach an age where we sit on our rusty dusties and do as little as we can. Or pronounces that we have done enough. If that is our attitude, why has God not just removed us in favor of another who would be obedient to His expectations?
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. –2 Timothy 2:24-26
Do you know that the life that lives in the expectation of Christ screams? True!
There was never much screaming in my home. I never heard my mother and father argue. They respected and valued one another. The only scream I can remember is my mom hollering out the back door that dinner was ready. It was a welcome scream. She did, however, know how to discipline—mostly with a fresh yardstick from the hardware store. I was on the receiving end of several of those meetings.
I came from an all-boy family. Donna and I had all boys (she came from an all-girl family). I think they screamed. When families scream (or their members) there is always an excuse. Were brought up like that. She made me. I was mad. He wouldn’t leave me alone. She had my stuff!
The answer to all this is to have your life scream. True. You do not have to do it in words. It is safe to speak gently and with respect to others. It still screams. What does God want us to notice about our life screaming? That it projects who He is. It is necessary, for there are countless numbers of folks dying without a relationship with Christ. If you are a believer, you cannot hold back your life from others. Your life is exposed. It screams that you have the answer for life. Therefore, they are life screams.
People need to see them. Feel them. Talk about them. Value them. Take the truth of them into their hearts. They need what you have experienced. And if they respond to the Christ you cherish, you get to come alongside them throughout eternity. Neat. I am looking forward to having great conversations with men and women that God privileged me to tell them, about their deepest need in life, Jesus. Talk about a homecoming. Better than the apple pies on the table in the churchyard!
Generosity in giving (investing in others) opens the door for life that others are desperately clawing and scratching for, but do not know where to get it. True life allows you to get connected. When we give, God often blesses us with the opportunity to put generosity in front of their hearts, where it will do the greatest good. Draw them to the Savior. We are not the only ones who need to focus on eternity and the joy that will be there. We need to also focus on helping others recognize the availability of eternity and joy in their own lives.
Some of us do not consider ourselves very rich. But with Christ, everyone who responds to Him is rich for eternity.
Screams are often harsh, but not the screams that you expose to meet life’s needs—life screams. Our life screams are best gentle and respectful. If someone was to ask your friends what kind of person you are, what would they say? Gentle? Respectful? What would Jesus say? If this is an area of struggle for you, God has a way of fixing that—it is in 1 John 1:8-10.
Ask God to change you to true life screaming—for others.