Thursday, April 28, 2016

Devotion: The Deceitfulness of Riches

Scripture upon scripture has revealed that God wants his children to prosper and he enjoys helping us to prosper.  Misinterpretations have caused many to reject the prosperity message, seeing it in a negative light.  Since “no man can serve two masters, because he will either love the one and hate the other or he will keep or hold on to one and have not respect for the other” (Matthew 6:24), prosperity has been taken off the table.  However, the Bible makes it clear that there is a right way or a godly way to prosperity and that there is a wrong way or an ungodly way to prosperity.

“Then someone called from the crowd, ‘Sir, please tell my brother to divide my father’s estate with me.’  But Jesus replied, ‘Man, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?  Beware!  Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have.  For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.’  Then he gave an illustration: ‘A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.  In fact, his barns were full to overflowing—he couldn’t get everything in.  He thought about his problem, and finally exclaimed, ‘I know—I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones!  Then I’ll have room enough.  And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “Friend, you have enough stored away for years to come.  Now take it easy!  Wine, women, and song for you!”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  Tonight you die.  Then who will get it all?’  Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven” (Luke 12:13-21 TLB).

Although this rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops, his only concern or problem was that, “his barns were full to overflowing and he couldn’t get everything in.”  His biggest problem was that he did not have enough room to store all that he had amassed.  He thought he was the source of his prosperity, which is why he had the conversation with himself about what he had done and what he was going to do.  But God revealed to him “the deceitfulness of his riches,” eventually saying “every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.”

Before you throw this message under the bus, like other prosperity messages, keep in mind that we stated, “there is a right way or a godly way to prosperity and that there is a wrong way or an ungodly way to prosperity.”  Most people use the world’s roadmap to obtain their riches and/or to measure their wealth.  When we are the source of our financial prosperity and not God, we worry about everything and we tend to take credit for everything that we have amassed.  However, when God is the source of our prosperity, we do not have to worry about anything.  God’s roadmap is different from the world’s roadmap.  This is what God is talking about when he says, “every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.”  If we used the world’s roadmap to get rich and to measure our worth, then “we are fools.”

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen.  Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves.  If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too” (Matthew 6:19-21).

This rich man tried to store all of his wealth on earth, in barns no less.  None of his profits were stored in heaven and his heart was not on the things of God.  Scripture tells us that “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).  According to this passage, it is “the blessing of the Lord” that makes a person rich.  When our prosperity comes this way, there is no sorrow added with it.  It appears that having “the blessing or favor of the Lord” is the key to receiving true prosperity God’s way.  With “the blessing or favor of the Lord,” we do not have the burden or the weight of producing and/or maintaining our own riches.  “The blessing or favor of the Lord” will bless all that we do and make us prosperous with no sorry or bad success added, for the sole purpose of enabling us to be a blessing to others.

To strive or chase after money as our main purpose or goal in life is the lure or “the deceitfulness of riches.”  It is this love of money, when money holds first place in your heart, that scripture says, “is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:6-10).  It is this love of money that leads many down that dark path where they will do all kinds of wrong things to get it.  It has the same properties as being addicted to something, where a person will do anything to satisfy that desire, that itch, or that need for more.  This is completely different from having money and knowing God’s purpose for having the money.  When correctly understood, prosperity is not for us, where we amass as much wealth as we can for ourselves.  This is “the deceitfulness of riches,” because “real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.”  The primary goal for the prosperity is for us to be a channel for money to flow through so that God can use us, “that he may establish his covenant” and that we may be a blessing to others.  Our personal wealth is a by-product of having “the blessing or favor of the Lord” in our life and is not the primary goal for the prosperity.  Do not allow yourself to be “deceived by the riches.”

As always, we pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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