Posts Tagged 'the danger of riches'

Excess Wealth

JESUS SPEAKING

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.'” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God?” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 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.” (Mark 10: 17 – 25)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

A wealthy young man asked Jesus how he might receive eternal life. The Lord insisted he sell all of his possessions; only then could he embark on his Christian journey. Sadly, the idolatrous man walked away; preferring to continue worshiping his wealth rather than God. Jesus responded by issuing an additional proclamation stating that it is nearly impossible for those who are wealthy (and trust in their riches) to enter the Kingdom of God. Excessive wealth is therefore a frequent hindrance to faithfulness and a detriment to those who seek after it.

As the story goes, one day Martin Luther found himself penniless, yet he was asked to contribute to an important Christian work. He remembered that he owned a beautiful medal of Joachim, Elector of Brandengurg, which was one of his most prized possessions. He promptly approached the drawer, opened it, and said: “What are you doing there, Joachim? Do you not see how idle you are? Come out and make yourself useful.” Then he took the medal and gave it up for the work of the Lord.

Excessive wealth and abundant resources can often become a stumbling block for those who are seeking to follow Jesus Christ. Many place their trust in bank accounts, precious assets, or stock portfolios. Christians however are called to place their faith and trust in God alone. Wealth can be beneficial, but only when it is used to further the gospel message, to express God’s generosity, or to accomplish something eternally beneficial.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we use our excess possessions to serve you; to spread the gospel and to proclaim Your plan of salvation. May we be grateful, may we be generous, and may we be faithful. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and cleanse our hearts and minds. You truly are an awesome and amazing God. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray, amen.” God bless all of You!


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