Jesus said to His disciples, 'Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 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.'
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
God first nudged me to write daily devotions in 2008. Maybe it was to immerse me more thoroughly in the Bible. Maybe it was to help guide me and my house in transformation. Now we've grown in Him through thousands of days and hundreds of studies.
Thankfully, most AMTC Devotion readers are quite kind. But from then until now, no series has struck more sparks than this one. Some of my brethren feel assaulted with possible conclusions. They suggest I'm condemning rich people and/or prosperity.
So let's go in and dig a bit deeper. God does not say it's a sin to be rich. Rather, He gave wealth to many heroes. In the Old Testament, they include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and Solomon. In the New Testament, they include Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.
However, God does say wealth is a temptation: an enticement few can resist. We should not love it, trust it or hoard it. With it, we must tithe and be generous. We must not take advantage of the poor, nor serve money as the goal of our work.*
Jesus exampled a new kind of wealth: a wealth of Spirit, purpose and mercy; a wealth of love, freedom and fellowship; a wealth stored in a heavenly account; a wealth that grows bigger when we give more; a wealth in sacrifice and not possession; a wealth many Americans don't know.
So if I've offended anyone, please forgive my unintentional sin. I've been wealthy as the world defines it, and I've been poor in many other ways. Speaking for myself, I still need less stuff. The camel through the eye of a needle is a wager I'm unwilling to take.
To Be Continued...
* Bible Verses about money: http://www.openbible.info/topics/money; http://www.openbible.info/topics/wealth
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.