If you could…would you…get rich quick? Whether it be an inheritance, an investment, or an insane winning, wouldn’t it be great? It would be wonderful to relieve the financial woes and pressures that many of us feel with our currently obligations and debts. Could you imagine the excitement you would feel if you knew that your riches were guaranteed to continue forever?
Luke 12:15 “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’” (ESV)
Unfortunately, human wealth almost never works that way. Even those who gain a large amount of money overnight often lose much or all of it as time passes. Jesus warns us through the Bible about the dangers of the love of money being a “a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). Wanting what others have (covetousness) does harm to our soul. Storing up goods on earth is eternally futile as they ultimately pass on to others at our death. Jesus also speaks to the opportunity to gain a wealth that you will never lose…
Luke 12:20–21 “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.’” (ESV)
Being “rich toward God” comes through faith. When we trust, treasure, and love Jesus more than anything we discover “a living hope” that brings a guaranteed “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for us. (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Focusing on earthly possessions and treasures can cloud our mind and warp our daily priorities. What should we do when we realize we’ve loved and pursued and trusted money too much?
1) Repent where we have failed. We’ve all messed up with money. We’ve overspent, undersaved, and made unwise decisions. If we are honest we have all loved money more than we care to admit.
“people will be…lovers of self, lovers of money…ungrateful…without self-control…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
2) Avoid bad influences. God warns us that “bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The places and people we associate with affect us. We need to surround ourselves with godly influences and protect what comes into our mind through our ears and eyes.
“Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5)
3) Pursue Jesus more than pleasure. Our time and energy is limited. Our choices matter. Let’s work on saying “yes” to things that matter more and saying “no” to free up our time and energy for what is better. Jesus is more satisfying than any earthly pleasure.
“live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:2 ESV)
4) Work hard to invest more in eternity. God has gifted us with varying skills to do our work with excellence and enjoyment. Hard work still takes discipline but the money we earn at work can be best used for eternal purposes through our local churches and Christian missions and ministries.
Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
5) Keep this world in perspective. Life is short. We can’t take anything here on earth with us. Our possessions need to be held lightly and in this perspective.
Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Let’s be content with what we have and rich towards God, enjoying His presence now and for eternity.
Hebrews 13:5 “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.’”
"Every time you doubt that you can live on 90% of your income, let the glorious promise of God strengthen your faith: ‘My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19)." John Piper