March 10, 2008 Ration

I Timothy 6:18-19

“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.”

Artists, these verses are preceded by the charge to set our hopes on God, and not on riches, as God richly provides us with everything to enjoy. So here we hear what we are to do with what God has given us for our enjoyment. We are to do good, to be rich in good works, and we are to be generous and ready to share.

If it is God who richly supplies us with various good things for our enjoyment, then why do we so easily embrace the temptations to hoard or control or be greedy with what He has given us to enjoy? Does this not evidence our lack of faith in God’s ability to provide a pleasure again, if He so desires, once the current pleasures are consumed? Does this not also evidence where our affections for what God gives us are stronger than our affections for God Himself? Artist, if you love God, and God says share, yet you keep, then which do you prove to love more: God, or what God gives?

Paul exhorts us to enjoy more of God by using God’s daily consumable pleasures in a way that “stores up” foundational treasures for our future. Generosity is a pleasure multiplier!

Choose your categorical spheres of enjoyment wisely, artists! Do you know the pleasures in the active spheres, or do you only reside in the passive spheres? Jesus says that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Giving is active. Do you know its pleasures? Do not neglect to vigorously enjoy sharing, generosity and good works. We all must be much better stewards and investors of what God has given us for our enjoyment through the arts. God has put artists in the body with a particular health design for the body. Hoarding, controlling, greedy motives among artists will not benefit the body, nor will it store up for the artist any treasure in heaven as he enjoys the pleasures on earth.

Greediness is the weed-flower of unbelief. Greediness with what God has given you proves that your hopes are still set on your uncertainty with what God gives, and not on the certainty of God Himself. Shed your greed and cling not to uncertainties, artist! Set your hope on God in your artistic pleasures so that you can enjoy the next generation of pleasure that God has for you in generosity! Quit being so tight and uptight, you are only forfeiting enjoyments both in this life and the life to come.

But understand this, generosity that is not acted out of hope in God, meaning not from faith, is just worldly philanthropy. Faithless generosity works for no giver’s eternal pleasure.

So store up for yourselves a treasure that is a good foundation for the future by being generous with what you enjoy today. Your future in the life to come far outlasts, completely overshadows, and depending on where you spend it, is absolutely incalculably more pleasurable than this life’s greatest enjoyments. God Himself is the Treasure that all treasures both image forth and flow from. So be rich in good works, artists. Be generous and ready to share what God has given you so that you may lay hold of, for your greater enjoyment, that which is truly life!

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project