In All Things, Trust
The trust that you and I place is found in the living God – the One who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Yeah, of course, I wait for you to answer, you know that. [chuckle] My father used to say to me, “Son, when you ask people a question, give them a chance to answer.” [chuckle] The obverse side of that advice, was another charge that he frequently gave me. He said, “When somebody asks you a question, think before you answer!” [chuckle] Oh, how he would get on me about these things. [chuckle] For a man who never went to high school, he was highly educated, self-educated, and quite a psychologist. He knew how to draw the best out of his children, by way of work and effort, that’s for sure.
We’re looking at 1st Timothy chapter six, verse 17. Paul the Apostle has been talking about rich people before, “They that will be rich fall into temptation, and snare, and many foolish and hurtful desires, which drown men. And the love of money is the root of all evil.” Then after that beautiful apostolic benediction, which ends in verse 16, “To Him be honor and power everlasting, Amen,” he goes back to the same subject again, “Charge them that were in charge,” is a very strong vigorous word and it means exactly what it says.
“Proclaim to them and nail it down,” we might say, if we were gonna paraphrase the idea. “Nail this down in the thinking of people.” “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Tell them to do good and be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come.” And a lot of different things there, we’ll get to them one by one, as we go into these verses. Our procedure, as you know, is to take a book of the Bible verse by verse, and break it open, and try to put a handle on it, which I shall now proceed to try to do. Very few of us, among my listeners, are rich. Some are, I’m sure, but the point is, this kind of advice that Paul is giving, applies not only to millionaires, but to people who wish they were.
The love of money, not money itself. “The love of money is the root of all evil,” Paul says in verse 10 of this same chapter. Now, he says, “If you got any money, here’s something that you better think about,” the not high minded. Just as we went off the air, the last time we got together, I was reminding you of a friend of mine, who said to me some years ago with a smile, he said, “You know, Bob, when you get as rich as I am, you sit in for the Deity and tell people what to do.” I was after him to be a member of our board and he said, “I don’t think I’d be a good board member.” And I said, “Well, why?” He said, “Well, when you get as rich as I am, you just wanna tell people what to do.” [chuckle] He was honest.
High minded, that means you consider yourself a notch or several notches above the ordinary people around you, what the Greeks used to call the ‘hoi polloi,’ the others, not high minded. You see, the ground is level at the Cross and every man I know puts on his trousers one leg at a time. You don’t have anything, really, to distinguish you from other of the sons and daughters of Adam, because all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and every one of us needs to be born again. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “Born not of the flesh, nor blood, nor the will of the flesh, but of God,” says John.
That’s the great leveler, isn’t it? Not high minded. Every person who trusts in his or her possessions, soon or late, arrives at a moment of truth, where the vulnerable human being is revealed for what he or she is. I suppose there’s nothing more pitiful than a person who has had great advantage, being cast in the light of a vulnerable, fallible human being. Well, we all come to the point, sooner or late, I guess. But it’s particularly applicable to those who feel that they’re just a little better, a little more well placed in life than others, because of having a little more to do with. He says, “Don’t be high minded.” Oh, small thought here. The effect that money or the love of it has on an individual starts in the mind. It doesn’t start with your checkbook. It starts in your mind, how you feel about things and about people. He says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” What you think about, how you feel determines your relationship with people and with God.
So guard that, will you? Above all things. Not high-minded, don’t consider that you’re better than someone else.
I used to tell our students at the college, “Every person you ever meet will be better at something than you are. The essence of tact, is treating every other human being, as though he or she were your superior, because, in fact, in some ways, they are.” I often use the illustration of a person whose hopelessly lost out in the outback in Australia somewhere, no path, no road, no nothing. He’s getting thirsty. He hasn’t had any food, but fortunately, he runs upon one of the bush men, one of the people who live on the land, and this aborigine takes pity on him, and leads him out to the road, and to life, and to rescue, and to survival. How did he find his way? Why, he knew every blade of grass, he knew every footprint, he knew every bent twig. He knew something that the professor from East Academe, [chuckle] just never did know.
You get the idea. Everybody you ever meet will be your superior in some way. The essence of tact is sincerely treating other people as your superiors. So let’s watch our attitude in our mind, shall we? True humility means knowing that you need God every split second of the time, and true meekness means knowing that you need people just as much, alright? “Not high-minded, nor should they trust in uncertain riches.” Well, back in October, we had the second great crash of the stock market and lots of people lost lots of money. Some of it, of course, was paper profits, but the loss was, nonetheless, keenly felt, I’m sure. Uncertain riches. I’m old enough to remember that, in 1929, when the market crashed, there were people that came, and beat on the closed doors of the banks, and pounding on those bars and gates, screaming, “I want my money!” Well, they didn’t get it.
Uncertain riches. Uncertain riches, “Here today, gone tomorrow,” we say. Well, that certainly is true. You can’t be sure. You can be approximately sure, but you can’t be sure. You can’t trust in money to buy either health, or love, or contentment, or satisfaction. These things will not come through money, will they? No, they don’t, and the problem is that, when you think you have it, it’s gone. Don’t trust in it. Does that mean that you shouldn’t have anything to do with money? No, money itself isn’t wrong. “It is He that giveth the power to get wealth,” the Bible says. “God enables you to make money. God will prosper you, whatsoever He doeth shall prosper.” The Bible says of God’s blessed man, who meditates on the Word of God and tries to obey it, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, that thou shall meditate therein, that thou mayest observe to do, according to all that is written therein. For then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.” Joshua 1:8 still is in the book.
I think it’s foolish to inveigh against the idea of making a profit, and of making money, and all of that. Go ahead, do it, if you can, but don’t lose your heart to it, don’t start to love your money, don’t start to live for your money, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can depend on upon it. Jesus told the story of the farmer, who said, “What shall I do? Because I have no room to bestow my fruits and my goods. This will I do, I will tear down my barns, and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods, and then will I say unto my soul, ‘Soul, take thy needs, eat, drink, and be merry, for thou has much goods stored up for many years.’ ” But God said unto to him, “Thou fool, this night, shall thy soul be required of thee, then whose shall those things be, which thou hast stored up?”
Don’t trust in things and the money to buy them. Don’t put your trust in things and the money to buy them. They don’t satisfy, and they can walk away from you, and leave you stranded. Yes, they can, uncertain riches. But the trust that you and I place, the ultimate dependence for our destiny, is to be in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Everything you enjoy comes from God. You don’t have anything that is yours in proprietary fashion. God loans it to you. You can’t take credit for anything in this life that you enjoy. You can take the blame for the mistakes you’ve made, that’s for sure. “But He giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” the living God.
That expression lingers in my memory, because I asked my dear friend Hubert Mitchell, years ago, when I was about to take a trip across the world, “Hubert,” said I, “I’m a nobody. I’m a Johnny-come-lately on the mission field. I don’t wanna make the mistakes of the novice. Tell me, what approach shall I make, as I speak with people who have never heard the Gospel?”
He smiled broadly and he said, “Why, Bob, tell them about the living God. In every country,” said he, “Everyone knows there’s a living God greater than any of their idols or any of their other deities. Tell them about the living God, Who so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” And so I did that. And I found that God blessed that message again, and again, and again. Well, we’ll finish this verse the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may our trust be in Thee, the living God, all the way. In Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.
Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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