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12:00 PM   [27 Oct 2019 | Sunday]

Wealth and You (Part Two)

 Do you desire to be wealthy? Does the thought of it frighten you? Believe or not, some are afraid of wealth. How do you define it? True wealth requires a Kingdom perspective. Any attempt to filter it through worldly perceptions taints it. Kingdom wealth centers on God and furthering His will on earth. Worldly wealth is self-centered, and by that definition, it’s a counterfeit of the real. As stated in part one, biblical wealth is connected nobility and strength. That strength includes the riches required to fulfill the mission of the Kingdom. Its aim is benefitting others, while glorifying God. Moreover, true wealth includes biblical spirituality, which leads to a healthy mental and emotional disposition. All of which affects your physical wellbeing -it’s holistic. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

   How much is enough? What do you require in life in relation to your calling? Everyone has one. It’s a question of answering it. Wealth is God’s idea, and He knows what is best for you. What did Jesus say about your needs?

   Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (see verses 24-34 for full context).

   Now consider another passage of Scripture: “Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the Name of my God in vain” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

   Is there an amount of money and possessions that would cause you to become prideful? Has your soul prospered to the point where earthly possessions have no effect on you? Are you able to be content in whatever state in which you find yourself? Here’s an interesting thought: persons have learned to be content with little. Can they be content with having much? Paul talks about this in Philippians: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

   Some can handle great sums of money, because they understand its purpose and to Whom it belongs. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some who have little or nothing, and are extremely greedy. Many of them want something for nothing. For instance, how many play the lottery in hopes of hitting it big? To what end? To spend it on themselves. They may help some friends or family members; perhaps, even give to charity. However, they do it to alleviate the guilt for having it in the first place. A fool and his money is soon parted is illustrated by some of the “lucky winners.” They lost it all in less than a year, and wound up in a worse position than before they won. They didn’t know how to handle money, and it slipped through their fingers. Don’t forget those who want the greedy rich people to give them a piece of the pie -something for nothing. The truth of the matter is some don’t want to work; much less, do what it takes to create wealth. Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

   Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Here’s another consideration: a good number of first generation rich who happen to be wealthy, created their wealth through honest, hard work. They built businesses from the ground level. In order for them to succeed and stay in business, they had to be honest. Their reputation required it. If they had one that revealed they were untrustworthy, they would have soon been out of business. No one wants to deal with a crook, except maybe another crook. To be sure, there have been some who lacked integrity or became dishonest, but they’re the exception. Generally speaking, a flourishing business serves people well. It’s the only way it can survive. Even that’s a Kingdom principle: serve people well and you will be rewarded. That does not mean give to get; it means focus on serving humanity, and don’t worry about the money.

   If you worry about money, you are its slave. In the Kingdom, money serves you; it does not have dominion over you. Worry is fear, and fear has no place for those who are Spirit led. If you constantly worry about it, it’s time for a heart check. Priorities are misaligned. When it gets down to it, money is fake. It only has value when value is placed on it. Is it worth your time? If you work for money, you will never know true wealth or freedom. You’re a slave to it, and time is escaping you. Here’s a secret: we were all created to labor. Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. People who avoid work are unfulfilled. So why should we work? Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Labor is outward focused. Labor is service to God by serving others. True wealth centers on love, which is why we read the term, labor of love (see 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:10).

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