Words from the Heart for Wednesday December 21st, 2016
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant 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.
1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
Putting Our Hope in Christ
We live in one of the richest countries in all of human history. We are surrounded by luxuries that have become necessities. How can you use your material wealth to bless others? How can you be generous to those in need this Christmas season?
A Canadian on death row in Montana has been living on borrowed time since admitting he murdered two young men more than three decades ago, but he says he has renewed hope he might be able to return home. “I’m ready to come home,” said Ronald Smith, 59, in an interview with The Canadian Press last month at Montana State Prison. “If you’re willing to take me back, I’m willing to come home.” Smith, who is originally from Red Deer, Alta., has been on death row since 1983. His hope is based on a statement made by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion last February. It says “We must end this incoherent double standard. Canada opposes the death penalty and will ask for clemency in each and every case, no exceptions.”
The world that Jesus was born into was in need of hope. Particularly Israel, where the hated Romans were in control and their puppet, Herod, was leading the nation. Israel had been under the thumb of foreign nations often during their history. And so what they were facing under Rome was nothing surprising. But once again their hope was gone. Into the midst of that, Jesus had been born and in His life, death and resurrection many had found hope. Paul would write in 1 Timothy 6:17: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant 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.” It has always been a temptation for those who are wealthy to put their hope in their riches, in their bank accounts, investments and real estate. God knew this would always be a temptation. When the people of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, He warned them not to forget Him when they lived in the houses they did not build and ate of the crops they did not plant. In our wealthy society, we see people going the same way. In their comfort, they forget the Lord who has provided everything. But the things of this world are fickle and so easily lost. Place your trust in Jesus Christ and He will give you hope that will last for eternity.
These have been words from the heart.