Day to day living in modern times includes much more sophistication than that of our Biblical predecessors. Very few of us hike to a well several times a day for water. We don’t spin our own cloth, rely on crude lamps for light, nor do we have to walk everywhere. We own more than two or three articles of clothing and almost more of our time is spent in leisure than in hard labor.
Compared to our ancestors, we live like kings.The challenge for most ancient people may have been learning to depend on God because they had so little. I believe our modern age presents the opposite challenge: how to depend on God because most of us have so much.
The Savior phrased his warning in a vivid, memorable way when he said, “it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Mark 10:25).” Further study reveals that simply having lots of money and possessions doesn’t bar the wealthy from God’s presence. Rather, it’s the haughty, stubborn attitude that so often accompanies riches.
To be “rich” is a relative term depending on where you live in the world. Whether you’re lucky enough to enjoy exorbitant amounts of dough, or simply a comfortable life (i.e. a steady job, a roof over your head etc.), several, key areas deserve a moment of reflection if you desire to pass through those pearly gates.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches (Luke16:11)?
Remember who “your” wealth really belongs to. Properly understanding your role as God’s steward puts earthly possessions in perspective. By viewing riches as a special charge the Lord has put in your care, financial decision-making can spring from a deeper place of wisdom, frugality, and worthy intent.
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life (Proverbs 22:4).
Who do you credit for your success? It’s tempting to attribute it to personal skill, strength, and hard work, but take time to remember the Giver of those gifts that led to your prosperity. Adequately recognizing his hand in all your success allows for a soft heart and teachable mind. Humility is knowing there’s always room to grow, more to learn, and many to thank. It’s knowing full reliance on God is the only recipe for true, sustained success–be it earthly or heavenly.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up (James 4:10).
As Christians, our goal is to follow the Savior and become as Christlike as possible–that is, Charity personified. All the riches, houses, clothes, cars, and esteem in the world amount to nothing if we live life with hard hearts and indifference toward the suffering of others. The Lord tirelessly gave help, healing, counsel, food, comfort, time, friendship, and forgiveness. Who are we not to do the same? Beyond securing our basic needs, earthly possessions and riches are meant to be used for the good of others. What better way to acknowledge the Lord and his compassion towards us? Sharing our bounty and serving others is a heart-felt way of glorifying God.
…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40).
But remember, it must be done with true charity–a condition of the heart rather than an outward display of piousness (see 1 Corinthians 13:3).
Strive For Obedience, Humility, Charity
God is the ultimate provider. Be it food, safety, health, or finances, the Lord is just as concerned with our temporal needs as He is our spiritual well-being. The scriptures are brimming with examples. Manna from heaven and flowing water from a rock for the weary Israelites. A never-empty cruse of oil for the faithful widow and her son. A sea parted for safe passage. A bounteous meal from nothing but scraps of bread and fish. A pillar of fire. A shadow by day. A ram in the thicket. A plea of forgiveness said on a cross. An empty tomb. The Lord will always provide what we need. Most have more than enough. Don’t let your earthly riches keep you from a much more satisfying and eternal reward. Strive for a heart full of obedience to God, humility, and charity. That is true wealth.
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