Ever since my teenage years I had always believed that I would amount to something, I would do something really important and become a real benefit to all of mankind. Well here I am approaching my sixtieth birthday, I was laid off four years ago and here I am sitting at my computer wondering what went wrong. My wife calls me cursed and a loser and my kids say that the employers who were supposed to call me back were just playing a joke on me. |
I can remember asking God if He would just let me win the lottery all the good I could do with all that money. I could solve world hunger and I was even willing to cut God in for a slice of my winnings. I thought I had all the bases covered. How could God resist! I was going to cut Him in for 10%.
That reminds me of my dad, who never went to church. One day after he did his tax returns I was looking at his tax form before he mailed it and I noticed that he had declared $500.00 in donations to his church. I said “hey dad, what’s this $500.00 in donations to the church, when have you ever been to church much less when have you ever donated any money to them?” His reply was straight forward and he said “Tim me boy, if I was a church going man I would attend church every week and if I attended church every week I think a donation of $500.00 for the year is more than reasonable.” I replied “dad I didn't realize you were so generous.” I think the same principle applied to me when I asked God to win the lottery. Here I was thinking that I was doing God a favor by cutting Him in for 10% when the reality of the situation says that all the wealth on the planet belongs to God in the first place. I would be fortunate indeed if God would cut me in for any amount.
So the question still remained. God how come I’m not rich? My answer came to me the same way all of my questions get answered and that is through the Bible. I think you might be surprised like I was when I searched for my answer in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 5:12 we read, “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.”
It appears that all that money wears heavily on the mind. My sleep is very important to me. I don’t want to spend my nights worrying about who’s trying to get my money and how I’m going to stop them. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:9, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” And also in 1 Timothy 6:10 we read, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Am I saying all rich people are bad people? Not at all, the Bible says the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. If you put the needs of your money over the needs of the people or if you justify your actions by saying “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business” then you need to reevaluate your situation. If God has blessed you with great wealth then it is up to you to use that money in accordance with God’s will. You need to be praying daily for God’s guidance.
The temptation a lot of people fall into when they acquire a huge fortune is they tend to look down on people and talk down to them thinking they are better people because they have more money. They forget that everything belongs to God and they would have nothing if it weren't for God. Remember in heaven we will all be equal. No more upper, middle and low classes. We are all equal in God’s eyes we are all one in Christ. To be fair I know that there are a lot of good rich people who have used their money very wisely and have benefited a tremendous amount of people.
It looks to me like being rich is not all what it’s cut out to be. Where much is given, much is required. Being rich is just an illusion and doesn't lead to happiness at all. My prayer to be rich seemed like a reasonable request at the time and looked like it was the road to happiness but reading these verses is showing me that my intent to be rich and even wanting to be rich is evil and would lead me on a course to my own destruction. So let’s keep going and let’s see what else the Bible has to say about riches. In Jeremiah 9:23 we read, “Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;”
It looks to me that if I were rich there would be a tremendous temptation for me not to depend on God for my salvation and rely on my riches to save me which would be a deadly mistake. In Luke 12:48 we see that God puts a huge responsibility on the rich. “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”
To the people of the earth that God has blessed with abundant wealth God will also require the rich to be accountable for every penny spent. How well do you think our rich people are doing? Having all that responsibility would be a tremendous burden to bear. No wonder the rich have a hard time sleeping. Having all that money would be like playing king of the hill. Everybody would constantly be trying to knock you off the hill. You would never know who your friends really are; you would always be worried about losing your money. That’s why Jesus said what He said in Matthew 19:24, “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Not only is being rich a huge responsibility the Bible also says that it’s almost impossible to enter the kingdom of God and if that weren’t bad enough in Luke 6:24 the Bible says that the wealth they received on earth is all that they are going to receive in the afterlife. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”
The above verse reminds me when I was young and my friends and I would go to the carnival. We would play the concession games for hours trying to win the big prize. Of course the game was rigged or so we thought and we would end up paying more money than the prize was actually worth only to receive a consolation prize or a booby prize after all our money was gone. That’s what Jesus is saying in the above verse. When the rich person’s life is over after all the heartache that they put themselves through, all the sleepless nights Jesus says the life that they lived in luxury is their only reward in the afterlife.
Jesus in the book of Luke uses a parable about a rich man and a beggar. I believe that all wealthy people need to heed the warnings of this next parable found in Luke 16:19-25.
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
Several years ago I knew a man who was rich and owned his own company who professed to be a Christian. One day as he was watching his surveillance cameras he spotted a group of three homeless men camping behind his warehouse. He was mentioning to me that he spotted these men on his cameras and was wondering what to do about them. I thought that the fact that my boss being a Christian was going to be a benefit to these homeless men. The Lord knows that these men down on their luck could sure use a loving hand to help them in their time of need.
When I returned to work the next day I was sadden when I learned that my boss called the police. When the police arrived they took the homeless men to jail. After the homeless men were gone my boss had the warehouse manager go outside and gather up what little belongings the homeless men possessed and tossed it in the dumpster. Seeing what God did to the rich man in the above parable, what do you think God will do to the rich man in my story if he refuses to repent for his actions?
When we see poor people begging for money we need to remember that the burden of responsibility lies with the receiver, not the giver. Too many times I hear people say that they refuse to give money to the poor because they know that they are going to buy alcohol with that money. It is not our job to judge them. It’s our job to love them. Remember what Jesus said in the Book of Matthew 25:45, “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
Being wealthy is an enormous responsibility, one that cannot be taken lightly. As if all the above wasn’t bad enough there’s more the Bible has to say about being wealthy. In Revelation 6:15-16 we read, “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”
All the mighty men of the earth are all going to run and hide in the mountains because they are the ones responsible for destroying the planet that really belongs to God. At no other time in earth’s history can we point a finger at those responsible for destroying the earth as we can today. With global warming, nuclear warfare, self centered corporations, and a world system that could care less about feeding and caring for their fellow man it would appear that as we progress in the final time period of man’s reign pin pointing exactly who’s at fault will become increasingly easier.
In Revelation 11:18 we read “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
All of us as caretakers of the earth must remember that we can’t take it with us when we die. In James 1:11 we read, “For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and it’s beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.”
Well I learned a very important lesson. Be careful what you wish for! I thank God that the prayer to be rich was answered and that answer was “No!” Asking God if I could be rich would be like a little boy asking his dad if he could have poison to drink. God does what’s best for us whether at the time we like it or not. At the time I felt I was let down then God led me to other Bible verses saying that I am richer than any billionaire on the planet. In James 2:5 we read, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.”
The reason I can’t be rich now is because God hasn’t chosen the wealthy to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, He has chosen the poor! Our most important possession to God is our faith and our belief in Jesus Christ. God will not give us anything that will jeopardize these two foundations of our faith. So if I am an heir of the kingdom let’s see if we can get a better idea of just what being an heir of the kingdom means. In Revelation 21:7 we read, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
To me this verse is amazing. The maker of the universe is telling me that if I overcome I will inherit all things. God is going to give me all things, not some things or a few things, He is giving me everything. “Inherit all things” My mind can’t even comprehend just how much that is. It makes all the riches of this world look puny in comparison. All the wealthy people of the earth who back stabbed their fellow man to reach the top now appear to me to be very lost and very foolish.
What I love about being a Christian is just when things seem to be depressing and bleak God always has all the bases covered. I wanted to be rich and important but God had something much better in mind for me. We can see this in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “ But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
How can we be sure that all these promises really pertain to us? Maybe Jesus gets the lions’ share of the kingdom and we get what’s left over. This next verse puts everything in its proper perspective. In Romans 8:17 we read, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
My wife and I have a joint banking account and she has just as much access to the money as I do. The Bible also states that in heaven the first main event is the “marriage supper of the Lamb”. Who’s getting married? We are! We will be joined or married to Jesus Christ and we are going to be sharing in all things. Just as a husband and wife are one, we will also be one with Jesus Christ.
In conclusion when I stated that I wanted to be rich and important it appears that I am really rich and important after all.pleasegodhelpme
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