As followers of Jesus, we’re often called to live our lives a little differently than most people. God gives us instructions on how to follow him all throughout the Bible, and in 1 Timothy 6:18, he says, “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.”
Each year at our church we take the month of November to focus on our call to “Be Rich” by providing opportunities to give, serve, and love in practical ways that impact our communities with the love of Jesus. But it’s our goal to “Be Rich” every month of the year by giving financially to those in need, serving with nonprofits that know the specific needs of our communities, and loving in tangible ways like sponsoring a child in a community across the world from us.
So why are we called to be rich in good works, and what kind of benefit can it really have for us and for others? Check out 5 reasons we’re called to “Be Rich” as followers of Jesus.
1. “Being Rich” Reflects the Heart of God
In John 3:16, we see that God gives extravagant gifts. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Because of God’s great love for us, he gave the very best and was generous beyond comprehension. He offered his only Son to bring us back to him. So when we’re giving - whether it’s our money, our time, or our resources - we can know that we’re following God’s example to live generously in everything we have.
2. Good Deeds Capture the Attention of the Watching World
In 1 Peter 2:11-12, Peter instructs some of the very first Jesus followers when he says "Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” Being rich in good deeds is a way to point people to Jesus. People may not agree with what you believe, and they may not understand your faith right away, but they can’t argue with the good you’re doing in the world - and that might just lead them to ask more questions about your faith.
3. Followers of Jesus Have Always Been Called to be Generous
Throughout the New Testament, which documents the life of the early Church, we see a repeated pattern of generosity as the natural outpouring of a life changed by Christ. The early Church didn’t need to rely on the government to meet the needs around them - through their relationships with one another they stepped up and met each others’ needs as they arose. As a result, there were no needy people in their presence. See Acts 4:32-35.
4. Giving and Serving Others Grows Our Faith
The giving of our money, time, and resources as well as using our gifts to serve others puts us in a position to exercise our trust in God. Our world today operates under the assumption that everything we have or receive is for our own consumption. But God asks those who follow him to give first as a way of showing that we trust God to provide for our needs over ourselves, recognizing that everything we have is a gift from him (Proverbs 3:9-10). When we choose to give and serve, our faith and dependence on Jesus grow.
5. Generosity Fuels Contentment
In 1 Timothy 6:6, we learn “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Marketers spend millions of dollars trying to convince us we need to buy something to be happy and content - but we know that’s a lie. God is all that our souls need, and when we stop striving for more and let ourselves be happy with what he’s already given us, our stress levels drop exponentially. As we live generously, we practice contentment and put the words of Jesus into practice: “it is truly better to give than receive.”
For more information about Be Rich this year, visit LCBCchurch.com/BeRich. or check out:
LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!