Summary: Wealth is not just the accumulation of money. That would be the wrong target. Wealth is not solely money. In fact, this is not a message of how to achieve your financial dreams. This is a message about how to live right.
A lot of our perception about wealth and riches comes from the way we were raised. If you were raised in poor conditions, you have a very different view of wealth and what it means than someone who was affluent. Building wealth was always a mystery to me!
I grew up in the poorer part of Palolo Valley in Hawaii. The house still stands and my brother lives there. But the house is still standing only because termites are holding hands! I would go to school with one slipper. The teacher exclaimed, “Oh, you lost a slipper!”
“No,” I replied. “I found one!”
God Will Provide
It is not always that easy to get a handle on money. I had a relative who was a Christian who was also very poor. She would always say, “Well, praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! God will provide.” After a while I thought, “He is not providing. We don’t have anything. My mother is a single mom working at the Flamingo Restaurant for tips. That is all we have.”
Sometimes people don’t like people with faith. I was like that. My relative would say, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! God will provide,” and I would get angry at her.
A black lady came out on her porch every morning in a very poor part of town, and would say, “Praise the Lord for You provided for me today.” She just believed God would provide. Her neighbor who was getting sick and tired of hearing her praising the Lord every morning shouted, “Hey, be quiet, you fanatic!”
She looked over at him and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord! You are just going to provide for me today.”
“Well, He ain’t providing for you is He?”
“Praise the Lord for You provided for me today.”
This neighbor got angrier and angrier. Remember, not everyone likes people with faith.
The neighbor got an idea. This lady came out one morning, “Praise the Lord for providing for me!” She looked down and there was a bag of groceries. “Praise the Lord. You provided my groceries today.”
Just then, the neighbor jumped out from the bushes, “Ha, I bought those groceries. God didn’t provide them for you! Ha, ha, I did!”
She looked at her neighbor and praised, “Lord, thank You for providing me these groceries and You even had the devil pay for and deliver them!”
Don’t mess with those faith-filled Christians!
Blessing of the Lord
What is it that makes us wealthy?
“It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it”
(Prov 10:22 NASB).
It is the Lord’s blessing that makes us rich. He adds no sorrow to it.
What is the Lord’s blessing? Is it just one thing? Is it only money? Not necessarily. Some people think that the key to happiness is wealth but if we look at any key, there is more than one cut on it.
We can have wealth or financial stewardship as one of the cuts. Don’t get me wrong. God isn’t intimidated by people of affluence. If we are faithful to steward what God gives us, He will be happy to funnel more wealth through us to help more people.
Money is one cut on the key to wealth, but there are other cuts that contribute to our success and our future. God’s blessing is multi-faceted, not just one-dimensional. So how do wise people build wealth? The first step is to:
ACCURATELY DEFINE WEALTH
Wealth is not just the accumulation of money. That would be the wrong target. Wealth is not solely money. In fact, this is not a message of how to achieve your financial dreams. This is a message about how to live right. I have found that when you live right, your dreams will be achieved.
That is why the Bible says to “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” On the other hand, if we seek other things, we may miss the kingdom of God.
So what is the definition of wealth? It may be more than money. I have friends who are wealthy because of their honesty, their purity of heart, or their deep friendships. They are married and have a family, a faith, a ministry. When the end comes, what is it that would make us wealthy?
We need to accurately define wealth. Think it through. It is more than just money. Whatever is at the top of our treasure heap – if it is not God – will morph into a god that the Bible calls mammon. Then mammon will begin to dictate everything about our heart. The Bible says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There is only One who can fit that bill and it is God Himself. If money, which is a default of the world, is on top, it will become our god. Ask people, “What will make you successful?”