Summary: Wealth is NOT the evil that it is made out to be. Wealth has NEVER been the problem with God. What we do with that wealth, and how our heart reacts to that wealth is what God is concerned about.
Date Written: October 22, 2002
Date Preached: October 23, 2002
Church: Barataria BC [PM]
Series: A Study in 1 Corinthians
Title: We Are Rich!
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:5
The other day I was driving and I saw a billboard on the highway. It was a billboard for the PowerBall lottery. The billboard advertised that the current lottery grand prize was 51 million dollars.
Now that is not the first really large amount I have seen on that board. Just a short time ago the grand prize for this lottery was 286 million. 13 people won and split that 1st prize.
Now, I would be lying to you if I told you that I have never thought about stopping and buying a lottery ticket on the extremely remote chance that I would win.
I mean I have even discussed this with God. I told him that I could do SO much for our church and my family (All my family) would be debt free and we would be able to more serve Him in our mission efforts and our giving to good causes.
I have thought about what the tithe check would look like if I won that kind of money. But as I thought and talked to God about this and tried so hard to rationalize why it would be a good thing…God began to speak to me!
God said, yes the money could be used for missions and yes that tithe could be used for great ministry efforts here in Lafitte and around the world. But God informed me that the money WAS NOT the problem.
God informed me that my heart and the selfish desire I harbored for worldly riches was the problem. I cringed and began to shrink in His presence. God revealed to me that much money given to any church would reduce their dependence on God and it would destroy the act of worship we refer to as the offering.
Can you imagine the church members saying, “We don’t need to give because that person won the lottery and our budget is taken care of…” God revealed to me that NO amount of money can replace what a church could lose in commitment and dedication!
God shared with me that wealth is NOT the evil that it is made out to be. Wealth has NEVER been the problem with God. What we do with that wealth, and how our heart reacts to that wealth is what God is concerned about.
So I began to seek God’s face about this subject and once again He chastised me and told me I was looking in the wrong place. He shared with me that material wealth has never and will NEVER be a priority with God, and therefore it should NOT be a priority with us.
God began to reveal to me that when we become a Christian we inherit wealth that is unimaginable and we become rich beyond our wildest imagination!
Now those of you here tonight, if you know Jesus Christ as your lord and Savior…you are rich! Tonight, I want to share with you a particular passage of Scripture from the book of 1st Corinthian.
I want us to look at 1 Cor 1:1-9 and see how that the source of our riches is found in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Second we will look at the promise of these ‘heavenly’ riches, and finally tonight we are going look and see that to be enriched there are certain conditions that have to be met.
1st let’s look at the source of our riches…Jesus Christ! Looking in v.5 we find that Paul says, “…that in everything you were enriched in Him…” [NASB]
We are enriched beyond our wildest imagination, but only when we are ‘in Him.’ This indicates several things that I can see. First I see that this indicates God’s riches are for His children and not for all of creation. If you are not part of His family, then you are not entitled to His riches.
Now we know that Paul was writing this letter to believers so our first observation is sort of an assumption that Paul is making when he wrote this letter.
But in our world today, we find people saying things like “We are ALL God’s children” and wanting all of God’s promises to be poured out on ALL people, regardless of their relationship with Christ! People we cannot claim the promises and riches of God unless we are part of His family.
But when we DO become part of God’s family, God desires His very best for us! He wants the best for His children. In looking at this entire verse it says, “…that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge…”