The apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome, for the second time. Nero was the ruling emperor and Paul would have known that escape or release was not likely. Those circumstances give profound meaning to First and Second Timothy. Paul, expecting to die, was training Timothy to continue his ministry. The two letters to Timothy are filled with Paul’s advice and encouragement to his protégé and to us, including a “get rich” scheme that works every time.

There are a lot of ways to become rich these days. A successful video on YouTube can generate a lot of money from ads. The stock market works if you know what you are doing—sometimes. A good invention and a few minutes on Shark Tank might guarantee success. The lottery has worked for a lot of people as well.

I wonder what it is like to wake up and know that you and your family will split $284 million dollars. Pearlie Mae Smith said her win was divine intervention because the numbers she chose for her Lotto ticket “popped into her head.” The family intends to tithe on their winnings and use a lot of their prize money to help others. I wonder how many Christians prayed before purchasing a ticket after Pearlie Mae’s big win?

Money has always been an important subject in Scripture because it can be a powerful tool for God as well as a powerful temptation. Paul wanted to remind Timothy about God’s definition of wealth in this world. He gives Timothy four important points that guarantee a person will live with great wealth.

The apostle Paul wrote, “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” (1 Timothy 6:17–19).

Place your hope in God, not money. Financial riches are uncertain, according to Paul. Most of us save, invest in retirement plans, and keep up our insurance payments. All of those things are important financial decisions, but none of those things, according to Scripture, are guarantees. Our sense of well being, our hope, should come from our faith in God. What would you do differently this week if you placed less faith in your money and more trust in God?
God provides enjoyment. This is a point to ponder! God provides the important things for us to enjoy. The things we purchase can provide momentary happiness, but as we all know, there is soon something else to want. Happiness happens but enjoyment is an abundant gift from God. Joy is found in family, friends, contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, and a sense of wellbeing. Joy is a spiritual gift, and cannot be purchased—it is received.
A legacy of good works is your most important retirement plan. Paul said, “be generous and ready to share.” The best foundation for your future is storing treasure in heaven. That is the only security that will guarantee a “high” return.
Spiritual wealth is prosperity. Life that is “truly life” is something all of us can take hold of. True wealth is not reflected in our bank accounts; it is reflected in our ability to enjoy the blessings God provides. We have eternal security. We have eternal treasure. We have eternal accomplishments. We have eternal joy. The only question is, are we taking hold of that which is truly life?

Look again at 1 Timothy 6:17–19 and study the things that are our part of the plan. Take an assessment this week of all that God has provided you in this life. Take an assessment of the ways you spend your time and your money. Finally, take an assessment of your joyometer. Are you living the life that God has called you to for this present age? All of us will probably need to make a few changes to our priorities.

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy with joy, even though he was chained up in prison awaiting death. Paul knew he had invested great treasure in heaven and had grasped what mattered most in life. Paul had joy even when he had nothing else. Let’s study and practice Paul’s plan for guaranteed wealth and take hold of all that is truly life. According to Paul, Christians have already won the lottery!



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