Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
The Beggar At Your Gates (Part 5)
If I Were A Rich Man
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NAS)
How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For 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.
Luke 18:24-25 (NKJV)
Money is not evil. If it were, the streets of Heaven wouldn't be gold. Only the 'Love of money' (1 Timothy 6:10) is evil. It's a trap for the rich that few of them avoid. 'Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction' (1 Timothy 6:9).
But how many of us dream of wealth?
In the March 2012 'Mega Million' lottery, an 'eye popping 400 million tickets were sold in only 48 hours' (ABC news). Although stats are hard to find, estimates of total sales reach 1.5 billion. The lottery grows like a rich king feeding from poor dreams.
How many of us choose jobs because of money?
Among Jesus' last words to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane were, 'Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' (Matthew 26:41). We know the Lord's Prayer, and it includes this plea: 'Lead us not into temptation' (Matthew 6:13).
It's not accidental that Jesus, the Man, chose to example a humble life as a 'blue collar' Worker and Itinerant Preacher--rather than choosing to be born, raised, and working as a King or Chief Priest--though He is both.
If you were born rich or financial blessings from God have chased you down, be diligent to follow the advice in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Never allow your money to upstage its Source; 'Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?' (Matthew 23:17). Your gold belongs to God.
Also remember that God doesn't just sit in Heaven taking notes, but He is active to visit us in the form of the poor (see Matthew 25:40).
Unusual advice: If you aren't yet rich by worldly standards, don't seek to be rich. Don't follow the world. Because all too easily 'The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word, and It becomes unfruitful' (Mark 4:19).
Instead, follow the Word. Follow Jesus. He will supply all of your needs; if you tithe, He will exceed them.
To Be Continued...
'If I Were a Rich Man' from Fiddler on the Roof' http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/fiddlerontheroof/ifiwerearichman.htm
Mega Million: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/mega-millions-jackpot-jumps-640-million/story?id=16035555#.UMxlOmgvSeE
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Beggar At Your Gates series.