OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
Monday, 5 September 2016
TOPIC: THE GOOD SIDE OF WEALTH
Memorise: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7
Read: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (KJV)
9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 22:11-24:10, Psalms 50:1-15
Wealth is generally interpreted as the abundance of goods or money. However, Biblical reference to wealth is always within the framework of economic, social, cultural, spiritual and political settings of the people. Therefore, terms such as ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ are relative to the context in which they are used in the Bible. Wealth is mostly attached to people or nations but the Bible also mentioned wealthy individuals such as Abraham, Job, David, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, etc. The New Testament Bible occasionally mentioned wealthy individuals such as Joseph of Arimathaea, the rich man in Luke 16:1, Cornelius in Acts 10, Prisca and Aquila, etc.
However, positive references to wealth are few in the Bible; references to personal wealth almost always carries some negative implication. Many statements of Jesus could be viewed as unfair criticisms of wealth. In Mark 10:23-25, He said it is extremely difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. In Mark 4:19, He said the quest for wealth chokes God’s Word. Matthew 6:24 and some other Scriptures says, one cannot serve God and Mammon. In Luke 21:1-4, a poor widow is more generous than rich people. 1 Timothy 6:10 declares that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. To wrap it up, Luke 6:24 concludes by saying “woe to you who are rich”. Revelation 3:17:18 says;
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed….”
However, there is a good side to wealth, having material prosperity or being wealthy is not a ticket to hell after all. God has created an abundance of good things for human enjoyment, but those who have material wealth should understand the true nature of earthly riches and acknowledge God as the source of all blessings. Hence, riches should be thankfully received, and Christians must value Heavenly riches more than earthly wealth. Those that are wealthy in this world must be generous to the poor and ensure that their hearts are not set on their wealth. Finally, in appreciation to God for His blessings, they should devote their riches to God’s service by sponsoring the gospel and the work of the ministry.
Prayer Point: Father, please send poverty far away from me and make me a divine treasurer.