As we come to the end of this letter, Paul addresses our responsibility & privilege to give, as well as some final commands & reminders.
GIVING: (1-4): From Paul’s statements here, we can learn a lot about giving to the Lord:
1. It should be regular: “On the first day of every week…”
2. It should be planned: “…set aside…”
3. It should be financial: “…a sum of money…”
4. It should be proportional: “…in keeping with his income…”
5. It should be a priority: “…saving it up…”
SERVING: (5-18) Paul’s life was constant ministry. His love for Jesus and for believers motivated him. So much so, that he was willing to face hard times in order to know Jesus and make Him known. He was a constant encourager to Timothy toward boldness. And as he served, he took people along with him who would be devoted and serve as well (discipleship). “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” These final commands must have left a stamp on the reader’s hearts.
*How is your giving? Did you notice that there is nothing said about age?! Often times we think this is written to those with regular jobs or those who are finished with college, or those……well…….you fill in the blank. But it is written to all of us who come across any form of finances. Did you know that the second biggest spending group of peeps in the USA is the 14-19 year olds?! (20-25 is largest) So whether we work for it or our parents give it to us, we are making choices of how to spend it. Amazing how a $50 bill looks small at the mall, but to put it in the offering on Sunday – we can think “wow, that’s a lot.” And of course, we all need that 4th pair of jeans. Let’s ask God to help us prioritize our finances so we can invest in “treasures in heaven.”
*How are you & I involved in ministry? Maybe you’re thinking “yeah, you get paid to serve” – which is true. But there are a lot of things I do that are not part of my “job” and it’s a joy to serve. God has great plans to use us (Ephesians 2:10)! If you’re not involved in a regular ministry right now, talk with your parents and pastor and see how you can be! The body of Christ needs you!