Summary: This message will help us have a Godly perspective of riches and wealth. It will encourage us to use our resources the way God intended for us to.
The Real ‘Beggar’
We live in a world where a majority of people gain their identity from their economic status. Their status in society is strangely directly proportional to the riches they possess. We do not undermine the value of money, as we are aware that this is essential for our day to day living. However, the bible gives us a good perspective of how one should view riches and how one should use the resources that God has entrusted to us.
Here are some important lessons that the Bible teaches us regarding riches
1. We can’t serve God and money
These are the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” (NLT)
Jesus was categorical when He said that if money has mastery over our lives, then there is no way God can have the controls. He went on further to explain that this is compared to a love-hate relationship. The one who loves God will not love money and the one who is enslaved by money will not be able to love God. This is also why Jesus explained it to us in Matthew 6:21 that where one’s treasure is, there will their heart be also. If our allegiance is to money, we can never love and serve God the way we should.
2. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil
In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul explained it this way, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (NLT)
As mentioned earlier, money in itself is neutral and an essential to live life. Nonetheless, when one falls in love with money, it grows in us a root for all kinds of evil. Paul further explains that those who are in pursuit of it and covet after it have the danger of wandering from the faith and also entangling themselves with much grief. Hebrews 13:5 encourages us with these words, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (ESV) The greatest solace one can have in this world is the assurance that the Almighty God who is with us will never forsake us, no matter what happens.
3. Our hearts should be guarded against covetousness
These are the words of Jesus in Luke 12:15, “And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”(NKJV)
When a man in the crowd asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide his inheritance with him, the above was Jesus’ reply to him. Many families are divided over property disputes and there are those who don’t talk to each other over these conflicts. To such the words of the Lord Jesus reminds us that our life is not measured by the abundance of the things we possess.
4. Riches will never satisfy us
Here are the words of one of the wisest men who lived on the earth, King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (ESV)
Did you know that some of the richest people are the most lonely and unhappy ones? The reason is that wealth and possessions can never satisfy our deepest longings. On the other hand there is a wonderful piece of counsel in 1 Timothy 6:6-7, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (ESV). The right mindset is to be content with what we have and this can be accomplished when we constantly remind ourselves that we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it either.
5. Riches are fleeting
Proverbs 23:4-5 we read, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be wise enough to restrain yourself. When you glance at wealth, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.” (BSB)
We live in a time when there is severe economic crisis like never before and therefore we can understand much better that wealth and riches can disappear in an instant. Keeping this is mind it is good for us to not toil so hard and weary ourselves to acquire wealth, which at the end of the day we are unable to enjoy.
6. Use our riches to bless others