“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8) Do you know what an infidel is, the easiest description is the one this individual is being compared to, one who does not provide, but if I am correct, all of you reading this first thought went directly to money, money to provide the earthly needs of those under your care. But I would ask you to contemplate this, do not most of those infidels you know, those individuals who do not serve God and love Jesus, work, do they not get up nearly every morning at the same time, perform basically the same routines, and then at the end of the week decide where those funds they have labored for are to be distributed?
If the lost are doing the exact same thing that you are, toiling and struggling for those items of the world they call needs, than how are you differing any from them, what sets you apart from them if your actions are the same as theirs throughout the work week. Perhaps some of you just thought, “Well, because I do them as unto the Lord” which, no offense intended, just usually means that you are not as frustrated as the person working next to you, that you understand that all we have and are is a blessing from the Lord God, and that is all well and good, but have you left it there. If there is one thing that is to set us apart from the infidels, from the lost, it is who we are in their presence, it is how we carry ourselves, how they perceive us, and my friends, if you behave yourself just like them, they will not see Christ in you, if you do not open your mouth and give them the words of life, you will be seen by them as just like them, just another nice, polite person who minds his own business, does his job and then goes back home to his family, you will be seen as one of them.
A man who spends time in the Word of God with his family is a man who will attempt to spend time in the Scriptures with all he meets, this is the defining attribute of the man who is not an infidel. You are of little use to those who depend on you if all you do is provide for the material needs, if all you accomplish is to bring home enough money for that week until they are old enough to go and do that for themselves. Finances are not to be left out of the equation, that is a given, but they are never to be the main focal point of this verse, nor of any part of the walk of the believer, for does not the Lord promise to provide all of our needs? (Matt. 6:31-33) Nothing is an obstacle for our Savior, when He wanted to prove a point one day about the unwarranted pursuit of it, he had one of His disciples go and fetch a coin from the mouth of a fish, that is about as much concern He had for obtaining it, and although He spoke on the subject often, it was almost always in the context of our worries and concerns about His provisions in this area.
I could be mistaken, but I cannot recall anyone asking the Lord while He was here amongst us to bless them with money, something that would have been just as easy for Him as creating the heavens and the earth, every stone could have been turned into gold and silver, the nation and all in it would have known great wealth, and then as usually occurs when that happens, He would have been forgotten until He was “needed” again. In thousands of years we have not changed.
The man who rises early, and not only himself but his entire family, to spend a few moments in the Word of God and prayer for and with them is not an infidel, the man who has devoted the entirety of his life to the service of Christ, and has acquiesced all of their needs to the faithful hands of Almighty God is not an infidel, he who trusts in Jesus to be faithful to His promises, and shares that faith daily with those under his care is never to be compared with an infidel, no matter his income, no matter the amount of the world he is able to bring into his household. The man of God realizes there are not treasures here that will last, he places no value on the materialistic items he has been blessed with beyond how they can be used for Christ and His glory. An infidel can have much, and own nothing of the eternal, the man of God is rich beyond comparison, though he lives among the poor and destitute.
The value that we place on a thing is relative to our emotional attachment to that thing, and no man who lives shows not that love. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) All worry and concern of the future is cast aside by those who believe in their heart just this one simple verse, though he rises to perform his duties every day or is bedridden and unable to work, the promises of God know no boundaries. Faith my friends is not just a matter of believing, it is acting upon those beliefs, it is living a life completely dependent on Christ, not on ourselves, it is “Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Not thinking that we can do it, but knowing for a fact that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)
Current circumstances mean nothing more to this man than the opportunity to watch as the Lord works in his life, it means trust and obey. The words “Poor” and “Rich” in this context the world can in no way comprehend, it cannot understand how the poor man can remain content, why the rich man endeavors to give of what he has, it is not the way of the world, it is not the way of the infidels. All that you own is not yours, it all belongs to Christ, (Col. 1:16) all that belongs to Christ belongs to you, for we are heirs with Him. It’s a wonderful plan isn’t it, give up everything and you will gain everything.
Stop thinking like the world, start living the life of a servant, provide for those that are under your care with the eternal things, the temporal needs are no problem for God to fulfill.