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     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. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:17-18

      Dear heavenly Father, I praise you for the gift of another day. May I steward it well... to your glory and the benefit of others.

     Speaking of stewardship, this portion of your Word could not be more timely or needed. I don't think I've ever lived when the uncertainty of wealth has been more certain than today. Even as the stock market goes up, the value of our homes is going down... that which we long assumed to be the "best investment." Foreclosures and "short sells" are becoming as common as the common cold. Our economy has never felt so predictably unpredictable.

     Therefore, your command for us not to put our hope in money, stuff and wealth is not only well-founded, but incredibly loving. Apart from the wisdom you give we, would be held hostage to the foolishness of men. Indeed, even your commands are a grace-kiss and your warnings are the wooings of hope.

     Father, I want my hope to be in you, and you alone. For your worth is not tied to anything but your changeless, priceless, matchless glory. And as the God of unsurpassing glory you've also chosen to be the God of all-sufficient grace--stunningly generous in the way you relate to us in the gospel, and in everything else. What do we have that we have not received from your hand and heart? You've joyfully given us everything we need for life and for godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and whatever you give us, you give for our enjoyment.

     In times of excess or scarcity, you want us to enjoy what you give us. Indeed, you commend, even command, our enjoyment. Whether it's a banquet or a biscuit; whether it's a symphony or the song of a chickadee; whether it's a trip to Cape Town, or a drive across town for a cup of coffee, enjoyment is not only good, but godly.

     Even as you command our enjoyment, you also command our generosity. But the two really aren't two different things, are they? How can we fully enjoy anything without freely sharing it? The more I understand the gospel the more I believe this, Father. The greatest joy is not found in fearful hoarding, but in cheerful giving--first and foremost in your giving of Jesus to us and for us. Your utter delight is seen most clearly in the generosity of the gospel.

     Father, no matter what this crazy economy continues to do, may the measure of our enjoyment be demonstrated in the gladness of our generosity. So very Amen, we pray in Jesus' benevolent and bountiful name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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