A Truly Rich Life


While teaching from 1 Timothy 6:17-19, JP shows us the roots of generosity (losing the love of money), the requirements of generosity (doing good and sharing), and the results of generosity (a truly rich life).

Jonathan PokludaDec 11, 20161 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:17; 1 Timothy 6:18; 1 Timothy 6:19

Hello! How are you today? I had a birthday this year. Those things happen every year. It's crazy. It keeps coming back around. This year was a little different, because my son, my 4-year-old Weston, comes, and he's standing beside the bed as I'm sleeping and kind of wake up, which is terrifying. He's just like, "Daddy, come on! We've got to open presents!" I'm wondering if he knows that it's just me who's going to be opening presents. Does he realize what this is? It's not Christmas. It's not Jesus' birthday; it's Daddy's. There's a big difference.

He walks out hoping that I'm going to follow him, and when I don't, he's frustrated, so he escalates to Mommy. He goes to Monica, and he's like, "Mommy, you've got to get Daddy up. We've got to open presents." I'm like, "What is the eagerness?" He comes back in the room, and he begins to tug at the covers and tug at me, so I get up out of bed and follow him into the living room and sit down. There are some gifts there. His siblings, my daughters, are there as well.

He comes with this box and this big grin on his face and sets it in my lap, so I tear into it and open it, and it's two pairs of pants from Old Navy that don't fit. He's as discouraged as I am, because he grabbed the wrong box. So he goes back and gets a similar-sized box and brings it over to me. I open it and look in there, and what I saw took my breath away. It was his favorite truck. I said, "Buddy, what are you doing?" He goes, "I want you to have this."

I said, "Oh man. Weston, I don't know that I can take it." He said, "You have to, Daddy." I said, "Why would you give me your truck?" He looked at me as seriously as he could. He said, "Because you're special to me." As I think about what just happened, that "aww" moment, that "Wow," that, "Man, that's really kind; man, that's generous," I believe from spending time in God's Word that we are supposed to experience that moment normally, all the time…multiple times a day, even.

That "aww," that "Wow," that "Man, that's so kind. That's really beautiful. There's something incredible about what just happened," that that would be normal in your life, that not just would you experience that peripherally, but you would be a part of it, that you would be someone who is regularly ushering in that "aww" moment in the lives of people around you, that it's normal.

We're spending two weeks as we wrap up the year, breaking from Acts, to talk about this topic of generosity. I feel an overwhelming burden this morning from God's Word. I don't think we fully understand how absolutely necessary generosity is for the spiritual life. I think we come into a relationship with Jesus and think, "Oh, some people have the gift of giving," or whatever that is, and we give in times, but we don't really fully understand how necessary generosity is to the spiritual life.

Consider the character of God. You have the triune God, the Trinity. You have God the Father who loved the world. "For he so loved the world that he gave." He's a generous God. He gave what was most precious to him for us. You have God the Son who gave his life for the ransom of sinners. "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." He gave himself. Then you have the Spirit of God to complete the Trinity who expresses the generosity of the Father and the Son through his people.

Consider that those in your lives, people you do life with every day, if they understood how generous God is, the God you worship, only because of the generosity they see in your life, how generous would God be? To talk about generosity, we have to talk about the antonym, that which wars against generosity, which is materialism. I believe today materialism and greed are our single greatest barriers to the life God has for us, and that we are completely blind to it.

In fact, when I was in Haiti once… I've been in Haiti multiple times, but the first time I went there, as I was preparing for the trip and trying to understand the spiritual climate of this island nation, someone explained it to me this way. They said, "You can't fully understand how much voodoo has crept into every single thing they do. They can't see it, because it's a very part of everything that happens in this country."

They described it to me like this: Haiti is 85 percent Catholic, 15 percent Protestant, and 100 percent voodoo. As I walked away, they said it impacts what they do before meals, how they treat the dead, the way they worship God. Voodoo has infiltrated everything they do, and they can't see it. I thought, "What is that for us?" I believe that people would say about us, if they visited us, that Christians in DFW are some percentage Catholic, some percentage Protestant, and 100 percent materialistic.

We can't even see it, because we're drowning in it. It is the air we breathe. We are completely unaware of it. So if materialism and greed are our biggest barriers to spiritual growth, if that's true, then we need this message. We have to deal with it. I'm going to be in 1 Timothy, chapter 6. As we move through this section of Scripture, I'm going to look at the root of generosity, the requirements of generosity, and the result of generosity.

The apostle Paul wrote this letter. We've been studying Paul in Acts about his life. We've just seen his conversion. He went on to be the greatest missionary of all time and wrote much of the New Testament, including this letter to Timothy. Paul planted a church in Ephesus. It's a large, thriving church, and he put Timothy, his protégé, over this church.

There are some problems happening in this church that Paul wants to address in his letters to Timothy. As he writes Timothy, he says, "Hey, I know there are people out there who believe godliness is a means to financial gain. They think that if they know God, he's going to bless them financially, and I want to address that." So he's going to attempt to address that in the Scripture.

To set up where I'm headed, I'm going to begin to read in verse 6. "But godliness with contentment is great gain." It's not those who do something and expect something in return who win. It's those who do what they're supposed to do and expect nothing in return. They're the real victors.

"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." What? Let me make sure I read that right. "But if we have food and clothing…" The Greek word includes shelter. It's a covering. So if it helps you sleep better, we can add… "But if we have food and clothing [and shelter] , we will be content with that."

I don't think we're just missing this a little bit. Can you imagine that "oh" moment? You're there with God, and you look back, and you're like, "Oh, you meant that. Oh, when you wrote that, you meant it." What if we're running 180 degrees the wrong direction? In contrast…

"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Some of us have experienced these griefs. Some of you came in today in the midst of these griefs that the love of money has created in your life. So is it a sin to be rich? No, it's not a sin to be rich. Some of you can't even help it. You were born rich. You didn't do anything. It just happened. Some of you can't help but make money. It's just the way you're wired. It just is reproduced around you. It just happens. It's not a sin to be rich.

Is it a sin to want to be rich? If we just had to answer that from this text… Is it a sin to want to be rich? "We should be content with food and clothing." Okay, maybe. Is it a sin to want to be rich? "Those wanting to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that lead to ruin and destruction." Okay, maybe. Is it a sin to want to be rich? "All kinds of evil come from the love of money." Okay. Is it a sin to want to be rich? "People wanting it have wandered from faith and caused much grief for themselves."

So how do you know if you're guilty of the sin that is the desire of riches? Some of you are like, "Well, I want to be rich so I can give it all away." Can we agree that's a desire to be poor? If you want to be rich so you can give it all away, is that not wanting to be poor? So how do you know if you're guilty of the sin of wanting to get rich? You're not content with food, clothing, and shelter. It's not enough. There's no contentment.

The Bible redefines this idea of the wealthy state of mind. People are content. Why would this be? Because if you have a "take it or leave it" attitude with money, then you're free to be generous, the word we're talking about today. I'm going to teach three verses, 17-19. In that next section, 11-16, Paul begins to admonish Timothy. He writes in a very circular fashion. He takes a moment, parenthetically, "Hey, Timothy, let me talk to you for a minute," and then he dives back here in verse 17 and says this.

"Command those who are rich in this present world…" Underline present world. It's like he's saying, "There's another world. There's another kind of rich. So take those who are rich in this present world. Let me talk to them for a second. Make sure they're not arrogant, that they don't put their hope in wealth…" That word hope is the Greek elpis, which means not like "I hope it doesn't rain today." It means a hope like a certainty, like it's coming to me, like I am counting on it. I'm depending on it.

"…nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." That word enjoyment was really hanging me up. I'm like, "Who richly provides everything we need," but that's not what it says. It says enjoyment. What does enjoyment mean? Enjoyment means use, for their use.

What does that mean? It means consider what you have that you do not use and that it might not be yours. Consider extra watches, extra purses, extra cars, extra houses… Consider the things you have that you don't use. That they might be somebody else's. God may have given you them for a different purpose. Let's talk about the root of generosity.

1.The root of generosity is losing the love of money. A root of all sorts of evil is the love of money. The root underneath generosity… When you peel it back, you will see someone who does not love money. You cannot be generous and love money. You can love money and give and trick yourself into thinking that you're generous, but you cannot love money and be generous. It can't happen. The root of generosity is losing the love of money.

He says, "Command those who are rich in this world." Who is rich in this world? Who is he talking about? What net worth? How do we figure out who's rich in this world? We hear that and we're like, "Yeah, you guys who are rich in this world." Fortunately, through technology, we can figure this out. There's a technology out there, globalrichlist.com.

These people are representative of the seven billion people on earth. Let's agree that top line are the wealthy. The top line, those are the rich ones. You might think, "Well, I'm probably right about there, where it says 'you.'" I did the math and figured it out. That person makes $1,300 a year. That's the middle of those who have money in the world.

Let's just say you say, "Okay, well, then, how rich am I?" If you make $20,000 a year, you're in the top 4 percent of wealthiest people in the world…3.65 percent, to be exact. "Okay, JP. What if I make $33,000 a year?" At $33,000 a year, you actually break into the top 1 percent wealthiest human beings alive on the planet earth.

Let's just say you've heard about people or you know someone or your boss' boss' boss makes $100,000 a year. If you know somebody who makes $100,000 a year, they are in the top .08 percent wealthiest human beings existent today on the planet earth. They are in the top five million wealthiest humans alive. That's five million out of seven billion. That's like DFW compared to the world. That's how wealthy they are.

We see that, and we can agree that we're wealthy. Because of where you woke up this morning, you are the people rich in the world. We're rich. We're just really bad at it. We're just not that good at being rich, because we begin to compare ourselves to each other. There's always someone who has more. We ratchet up our lives. We know that comparison is the thief of joy. We don't feel rich. Feeling rich has less to do with what you have and more to do with what you are mentally able to release.

It says, "Do not hope in wealth." How do we know if we hope in wealth and we are this arrogant person we're talking about? How do you know what you hope in? This is the gift of God making us emotional beings. What makes you anxious points to what you hope in. Are you anxious about, "Man, there are so many needs around me. How do I release these resources to meet the needs around me?" Is that what you woke up concerning yourself with, or are you anxious about, "How do I pay for college? We need a bigger house. What about that car and these luxuries over here?" What am I anxious about?

I experienced this in a very real way personally. Recently, my wife went in and needed dental surgery. It was not an elective surgery. It was not cosmetic surgery. We went in and they said, "Hey, you need to have this in six months or you could start losing teeth." There was gum recession that was occurring. We met with community. We went and got a second opinion. The second opinion even gave us a shorter time line. They're like, "Hey, you need to have this surgery."

The surgery was thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, to which I began to kind of panic a little bit. I'm like, "Are you serious?" We're thinking about this and wrestling about this. She needs the surgery, and I'm like, "What are we going to do?" We meet with community. We move some things around and make some changes in that season, and it happens, but I just feel stress about it.

After the surgery, we get into one of those top 10 arguments. Like, out of 12 years, top 10 arguments. We're in that argument, and I'm being a bonehead, and I say, "You just don't seem very grateful." To which she says, in her really sweet way, "Well, I think I'm grateful. I just thought it was all God's money." Point, Monica. I'm like, "Oh, Jesus juke. Okay. All right. Yeah, I see. You're taking all that stuff I said and turning it back on me."

She's just like, "Isn't it God's money? I'm not going to worry about this. I need the surgery. We'll pay for the surgery. We have people in our lives who love us. We're going to be okay." What was happening was I was spiraling, and I was reaching for someone to come down in the pit with me, and she was like, "I'm not going to get in the pit with you. I'm going to stand on the Word of God. I'm going to stand on the promises of God. I'm not going to climb in the pit with you."

"Do not hope in wealth," it says. "Rather, hope in God who gives us what we need." But it doesn't say "what we need." It says "for our enjoyment," that is, "our use," that we would use it. We're going to find out how in a moment. Why did Weston's gift mean so much to me? Somebody had given him that truck. I didn't pay for that truck. That was his most prized possession, and he freely gave it to me.

All of those other gifts I received were purchased out of my checking account. I bought those gifts for me. Had I actually picked them out, they would have fit. It's kind of like, "Okay." That's what we're doing. All the stuff you have is God's stuff. That's the comical kind of sense of that. He's like, "It's my stuff." All he's asking us to do is, "Hey, would you share the stuff I give to you with others around you? I'm going to give you some things. They're really my things. You have it on loan. Would you share it with those who are around you?"

You're just sharing God's money. The money you have is determined by God. You have it on loan, and you will answer for what you did with it. So what do we do with it? Verse 18: "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share."

2.The requirements of generosity are to do good and share. When we don't love money, we are free to use it to do good and share. If I have $100, I can do bad things, I can do morally neutral things, or I can do good things. Let's just talk about that. If I have $100, I can buy illegal drugs. I can get a prostitute. Those are bad things. I can buy new Bluetooth headphones. I can buy some new earbuds. That's morally neutral. If I have the money and I can spend it, it's morally neutral, not good or bad.

Or I can take it and I can find a family and say, "Hey, I want to buy your dinner," and at dinner I can say, "Hey, I brought you here and bought your dinner so that you have to listen to me and I can share the hope of Jesus Christ with you." Is that manipulative? Yes. It is absolutely manipulative. The Scripture calls you to that form of manipulation. Are you uncomfortable with that?

Read this passage later, Luke 16:1-13. It's a parable God gave us. He says, "I want you to be shrewd with my resources. Use it for my fame. Unapologetically use the money I give you so that others would know who I am. Be shrewd with it." So we come to this question now. How much good can we do with the wealth we've been given? That's a tricky question. Let's just make it personal.

Imagine if you took all of your savings, any money you have in an account right now, and you said, "I want to leverage it completely for the sake of the kingdom." How creative could you get? What could you come up with? You say, "Well, JP, am I supposed to do that?" I don't know if you're supposed to do that. You say, "We're supposed to save for emergencies." There are all kinds of emergencies around us.

"We're supposed to save for college. Right?" I think so. I'm wrestling with it myself. I'm wrestling with it too, because when I begin to justify it in that way, I can begin to justify keeping most everything. As I've spent some time in these texts, the one thing I'm certain of is I know I'm not going to stand before God and he's going to say, "JP, man, what were you thinking? You gave too much away, bro. I mean, come on in, but geez. What were you thinking?"

I'm certain that won't happen, at least not for me. Maybe you've crossed that threshold and God is judging you right now. That's where you just plead no condemnation in Christ. But I know it won't happen for me. James 4 says, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them."

I want to tell you about another birthday present I received. This one was last year. These birthdays keep coming. To set this up, I have to tell you how it happened. A friend of mine in ministry was buying a car. The car was $2,300. He said, "Would you come look at it with me?" So one night we went after work and looked at this car. He determined that it was a good car for his family, that it was going to meet his needs.

He went to the ATM, and it would only let him pull out $1,000. I said, "Well, I can pull out $1,300 over here. Here's $1,300." He bought the car, and the next day I had a check from him there, a $1,300 check. He just said, "Thank you for lending that to me yesterday." I looked at the check, and I'm wrestling with some of these Scriptures.

I'm just like, "Why would I think this is my $1,300? What makes me think it's not his? He had need last night. I had the money. Why do I think I need this back? Why am I entitled to this back? God, it's your money. Who am I to say that I'm going to steward it better than he would?" So I just ripped up the check and sent him a picture. It wasn't a heroic deed at all. It was just a wrestling with God. I'm like, "God, I don't think this is mine. I think it belongs to him, so it's his."

When my birthday came around, he gave me this. It's a pipe. And he gave me this. It's a parable he wrote. It's a gift that has continued to minister to me. I won't read it all to you, but here's the gist of it. The parable says that there's a land, and there's a drought in the land, and everyone is thirsty. Everyone is dying of thirst in this land.

He says, "There are two men. There's one with a pail and one with a pipe. Both men prayed that God would fill their pail and their pipe. The Lord heard their prayers and answered. The man with the pail took his water and hid it under his bed so that no one would steal it from him, and the water sat stagnant and grew contaminated. The man with the pipe said, 'What do I do with a pipe full of water? I'll direct it out to the people who have need.'

Through the pipe flowed water, and the people's thirst was quenched. As water flowed out of the pipe, the Lord continued to fill it, continued to fill it, continued to fill it." The punch line is "Be a pipe, not a pail." Be a conduit, not a container. Not a storehouse, but a vessel that God's resources flow from, giving life to everybody around you. Not a container, like, "Mine, mine, mine. Gimme, gimme, gimme," but how do I be a pipe?

Your mind jumps to the craziest… "But what if I give it all away?" Did you guys hear about the man who gave everything away and starved to death? Me neither. Use God's money to do good and share in his resources. I'm not talking about adding a dollar at the grocery store in the checkout line. I'm talking about seeing what you have as his and asking him, "What do you want me to do with this? It's yours."

Verse 19: "In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." Very interesting imagery here in this text. He says they'll lay up for themselves a foundation. Not just a foundation, but a foundation in the coming age. What does this mean? It's like if some friends of yours were to get married and you were to give them money and you said, "Hey, I want this to be like a foundation. Build your marriage on this money. Here's a little nest egg for you to get started on."

That's the language he's using here. They're building for themselves a firm foundation in the coming age. It says, "Then they will have life that is truly life." The word in the Greek is zoe, which always means eternal life, eternal life that begins now. He could have used psyche, another word that means earthly life, your 60, 70, 80, or whatever years here, but he uses this other word. "Then they will grasp life that is truly life."

3.The result of generosity is a truly rich life. If you're generous, you get rich. That's the truth. That's what the Scripture teaches. Now there are problems with that, because it's also what a lot of heretics teach. They'll say that, and then they'll take up an offering that goes to them. Let me just give you some facts.

My income is fixed. Todd's income is fixed. We do not get a percentage of what you give. That's not how giving works here. I'm not giving you this message so I can benefit personally from it. I'm giving you this message so you can benefit personally from it. I've already benefited personally from it. It has already convicted the heck out of me. Now I'm giving it to you so the Spirit of God can do as he pleases with your heart.

I understand there are people who say, "Give to get rich," that godliness is a form of financial gain. We're talking about something different here. You're not going to be here forever. You're going somewhere else, and it talks about storing up treasures there. That's profound, because it means that everything that flows through that pipe goes somewhere, and it's waiting on you. Do we believe that?

"Well, JP, it's an interesting verse, but I know sometimes verses say crazy things. How do we know it's actually true?" Well, Jesus says it again in the greatest sermon ever told, Matthew 6:19-21. It's certainly what Paul was drawing from.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Okay, Jesus said it too. Paul was ripping off Jesus. Also Psalm 112:9, Matthew 19:29, Galatians 6:7-10, Ephesians 6:7-8, and Philippians 4:16-17. We have in the Gospels this reoccurring account that Jesus said. We have Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Old Testament Psalms, and multiple other places. All of these verses (I'll summarize them; look them up later for yourself) say, "Your generosity will be rewarded in heaven." Everything flowing through that pipe is being stored up for you, earning interest.

If this is true, if we really believe this… If you don't believe it, if you reject it, then you say, "Hey, something else must be happening there in the Greek that I'll understand later." But if you believe this, if you really buy into this with your life, if it's your worldview, then the smartest, most financially savvy, most strategic thing you could possibly do is be as generous with your life as you possibly can.

"Well, how generous is generous enough?" I don't know. I'm there too. I don't know. Romans 14:12: "So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God." There will be this auditing. I'm still trying to figure out what that's going to look like. What it's saying is the man who had $500 million and gave $1,000 a month is going to receive differently than the woman in Luke 21 who gave two copper coins but it's all she had.

There's something about generosity that is not just giving. It's more than just giving. It's living. It's a mindset. It's an eternal perspective. It's understanding that it's God's and not asking the question, "What do I spend?" but, "How much of your stuff do you want me to keep?" There are a lot of examples of this kind of generosity, a lot of stories.

In fact, I'll say this. I've seen and heard the craziest stories of generosity over a decade in vocational ministry. I want you to hear this. I've never met a truly generous in character person who wasn't full of joy, and I've never met a truly generous person who had need, ever, in 10 years of vocational ministry. So I can teach this not just what the text says but even what I've experienced in relationships.

There are a lot of examples of crazy generosity. One who's more well known is R.G. LeTourneau, who had a quote about this that really captures what I'm trying to say from the Scripture. If you don't know, R.G. LeTourneau made millions in invented and patented earthmoving equipment. He was known for his generosity. He left a legacy behind him of generosity. He was a reverse tither, meaning he lived on less than 10 percent of his income and gave over 90 percent of his wealth away.

He said this: "They say you can't take it with you, but I say you can send it on ahead and have it waiting for your credit when you get there." I read that and said, "That is a man who knows his Word. That is a man who was not just rich on this earth; he's still extremely wealthy…very, very wealthy…long past his life here expired."

I'm going to try to illustrate this in the strangest of ways, kind of let you into my strange mind. I waited tables for a number of years. I was a server. When you're a server, interestingly enough, you have a window into people's generosity every day on the regular. You see it. That's a crazy phenomenon, tipping, that exists. That's normal to us, but you think about it. You're actually paying someone above and beyond the cost of the food for their service.

Everybody thinks about this differently. I think we all think we think about it the same, but we don't. I'll tell you firsthand you all think about it differently. Some of you are keeping score. You show up at the table, and you're going to grade them based on how they do, and your tip is going to be a reflection of that grade. If they do great, it's going to be more. If they do terrible, it's going to be less. That's how some of you think about it.

Others of you think, "It's 15 percent straight. That's what I'm going to do." Others of you think, "That's too hard of math. I'm just going to double the taxes." Don't raise your hand, but I know you're here. "I'm just going to take the tax and double it. That's what I'm going to give." Others of you, "I'm fixed 20 percent. I'm going to look at that first number and double it and give that." We all think about this differently.

I thought about it when I was in the thick of it. I thought, "What if this is all a scheme from the government, and we're going to get all this money back one day?" Like, our Social Security is really based on how you tipped servers, all the money you gave to servers, and when you hit some age of retirement, it's going to come back and be set in front of you. Somebody kept track and is like, "Here it is."

I know it's weird and I'm sick, but it's kind of true. It's kind of what God is saying. It's kind of exactly right. All of the money you give generously is coming back to you. It's the wisest investment you can make. The stock does not fall. It's not based on our economy here. It's not based on decisions that China makes. It's fixed, earning income, giving eternal dividends.

Generosity is the wisest investment you can possibly make. I'm certain of it. Generosity is the only sure investment. Generosity builds the currency of heaven. In summary, the root of generosity is losing the love of money, the requirements of generosity are doing good and sharing, and the result of generosity is a truly rich life.

I've learned so much lately from my 4-year-old. He's an incredible teacher God uses. Let's just agree that he does not understand the value of money. I know that. I get that. I understand that. But he is funny in his generosity. He takes great joy in giving stuff away. In his four years of life, he has collected a bag of change, and he'll sit his siblings down, my daughters, and divide it up.

He's like, "You take a quarter, and you take a quarter, and I'll take a quarter. You take a dime, and you take a dime, and I'll take a dime." Of course, they do. They're like, "Okay. Thanks, Weston." The other day, we go out to dinner, and he takes that bag of change with him. We're walking through the restaurant, and he's just giving it to people. I know; it's crazy.

I sit him down, and I find myself… I'm here in the text, and I find myself in this parenting quandary. I'm struggling, because I'm like, "He does not understand the value of money." I'm like, "Weston, come here. Sit down. Buddy, you can't just give it all away…I don't think. I don't think you can do that." Then I begin to think, because I'm like, "I have to teach him the value of money."

I'm like, "Maybe there are some things I need to unlearn about the value of money. Maybe there are some things that I've been instructed more by the world than the Spirit, more by the world than God's Word, about how I view money, and maybe I need to be careful the way I pass this on to my son. Maybe his actions are more reflective of the heart of God than what I want to give to him."

As I wrestled with that, and I'm like, "God, you have to show me what to do here," it was almost like the Lord said, "Let me show you something." I came to an understanding of Weston's generosity. Weston doesn't trust in those pieces of nickel and silver for his provision. He trusts in his father for his provision. The reason he can be like this is that he knows he's going home and is provided for by a father who loves him.

I think that's what God is calling us to. Do you believe, having no need to be anxious, that you can steward God's resources in a way that the world would call irresponsible because you believe in a Father who loves you and is going to provide for you? I'm going to pray that we would.

Father, we need your help on that. Thank you for a 4-year-old teacher. I know it's your Spirit. Protect and preserve that in him, and multiply it in this place. Father, I know materialism and greed are robbing us of joy. I know we're not experiencing the fullness of your joy today, God. I know we've been greedy. I know we've kept too much. God, would you make us more like that 4-year-old?

God, as people entrust resources to this place, would you give us and our elders wisdom to steward it accordingly in a way that brings you joy and honor and glory? Father, would you show us the blindness in our hearts, the things we've been so entrenched in that we can't see anymore? Start with me. In Christ's name, amen.

Here's the picture I leave you with. It's heavy. It's a pipe. I think we're missing it. I'm just overwhelmed, not just conviction personally but even as a shepherd of a body. Be a pipe. Be a conduit of his resources. If you're wondering what that looks like here, specifically, if you have questions, you can go to watermark.org/giving. We have answers. We'd love to help you with this. Let's be the best stewards of his resources that we can. Thank you, guys. Have a great week of worship.