The Giver vs. the Gift
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1 Tim 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.
Too often I find myself putting too much hope in my job, bank account, or my 401K for the certainty of my future rather than the one who has provided those things for my enjoyment. It is an easy trap to fall into when God has provided so abundantly for us. Yet, we need to daily recognize that our hope does not lie in the gift but the Giver of the gift. It doesn’t matter if we are part of the 1.3 billion people in this world who make less than $1.25 a day, if we are part of the top 1% of global population that make $35,000 or more a year, or even if we live in a lavish suburban mansion, our hope does not come from what we have but from the one who willingly gives it to us. In whatever circumstance we find ourselves God wants us to learn to depend upon him for our daily bread. Unfortunately, our prosperity often trains us to look to our stuff and take our eyes off of Him.
I have two plump and healthy dogs that come see me every morning around the same time to remind me to feed them. They growl, spin around in circles, even nudge me with their sturdy heads urging me to put food in their bowls. I have faithfully filled their bowls every morning for the last five years. I doubt that I have forgotten once during those years. If you were to look at their sagging mid-sections you would immediately recognize that they have received a hearty amount of food each of those mornings. Surely they know by now that I will wake up and be sure to provide them a tasty morning meal. Yet, every morning they don’t go out to their bowls to see if they are filled to the brim with food. Instead, they go through their elaborate routine recognizing the giver of their day’s bounty. They look to their master to fill their bowls rather than thinking the bowl itself hold key to their abundance.
What are you putting your hope in? Day by day we need to express our need for God and be reminded that no matter where we stand in the prosperity index our hope always remains in the Giver more than in His bountiful gifts.