Posts Tagged 'Using Wealth to Glorify God'

The Blessings of Charity

JESUS SPEAKING

    And he said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.”  Then he spoke a parable to them saying, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this:  I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul will be required of you; then whose things will those things be which you have provided?’  So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God?” (Luke 12: 13-21)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  Jesus warned his followers to avoid covetousness; covetousness is the “excessive desire for another person’s belongings; or the urge to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves.”  Most human beings are unsatisfied with the bare necessities.  They, like the wealthy man in this parable, need things in abundance in order to feel secure. In this parable, when the rich man had fully filled his barns, he selfishly sought to keep the additional grain for himself. Unfortunately he never considered the needs of the less fortunate. The man’s plans for a comfortable future would be short lived; for death would visit him that same day.  As a result of selfishness and greed, the man lost his possessions, his life, and ultimately his eternal place with God.

   When I was a young child, my mother would often bake cookies.  When she had finished using most of the cookie dough, she would give the bowl and spoon to myself and my siblings.  We enjoyed scraping the bowl and licking the spoon clean. In the end, whatever hadn’t been consumed was wasted.  God as well is not fond of wastefulness.  Whenever we seek to possess more than we can use (see note), we engage in a worthless and futile endeavor.  The Lord is greatly pleased when His children utilize their wealth to bless those in need.  When asked how to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, John the Baptist said, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food let him do likewise.” (Luke 3: 11) [Note: This may not include things like saving for retirement or a child’s college fund; as this type of saving is simply storing up resources for someone’s future needs.]

    As Christians we are required to employ our abundant possessions to glorify God and to bless the needy.  If we are wealthy, we can put our money to work for the Lord.  If we own property and we are not using it, we can offer it to someone who can.  If our closets are overflowing, we can gather up the overflow and bring it to the thrift store.  If we have excess time, we shouldn’t waste it; instead we should use it to love those who are hurting.  If God has given us abilities and talents, we must exercise them constructively; using them to serve our fellows.  No one is guaranteed tomorrow; so we should put whatever we have been given in excess to work for God.  May His generosity fill our hearts; may the desire to serve and to provide for the needs of others become a newfound principle in our lives; and may we find comfort in knowing that our earthly charity will produce eternal riches.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask that You help us to be generous toward You and toward those who are in need.  Relieve our fears, so we can let go of greed and seek to use our abundance to bless others.  As we become more willing to give, may we procure eternal riches; riches without end; riches reserved for us in Your Heavenly Kingdom.  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; amen.”  God bless all of you!

Using Our Wealth to Glorify God

JESUS SPEAKING

        “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12: 32-34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

        Jesus commanded his followers to sell their earthly possessions and use the profits to help those in need.  For each sacrifice, he promised a future reward held for them in God’s eternal kingdom.  Although many amass great amounts of excess wealth, all possessions are impermanent; nothing tangible is of any eternal value.  Banks fail, thieves break in and steal, and death is inevitable.  No living person can carry any possessions from this life to the next; everything is left behind. Yet, for those who have heeded the command of Christ, far greater treasures await; no compassionate contribution, selfless act, or sacrificial donation is ever lost.  The Lord will credit those who have made charity ‘the backbone’ of their existence.  Death cannot take from the unselfish, what remains within the living God.  He is a divine vault that contains an eternal treasure.  In Him, every believer who has sacrificed their belongings will inherit the true riches of eternal life [Note:  Some things are necessary for living; if you own a home, a car, a computer, God is not necessarily asking you to sell them; especially if they are essential; pray about what Jesus Christ might be asking you to relinquish and use for His glory.]

        In the Old Testament, when Solomon succeeded his Father David as king, the Nation of Israel was at its Zenith; making him one of the wealthiest men who has ever lived.  Over the course of his 40 year reign he earned nearly 40 billion dollars worth of Gold (based on one estimate.)  He also acquired 700 wives and three hundred concubines.  He sat on a large mechanical throne covered in gold figures, which was allegedly carried around with him wherever he went.  His monumental building projects astonished onlookers for generations.  He constructed the temple in Jerusalem (one of the largest buildings ever created in the ancient world.)  His palace took 13 years to build and all of his drinking vessels were made of pure gold.  He owned many exotic animals and bread thousands of horses.  He owned 1,400 chariots and employed 12,000 horsemen.  Foreign rulers, the world over, traveled to his Kingdom to marvel at its prosperity.  The bible records that Solomon “made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones.”  With so much wealth and power, did Solomon live a satisfying life?  The answer can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes, which he wrote near the end of his life.  As he looked back upon his actions and accomplishments, he expressed extreme regret.  He concluded that the large buildings, the Gold and silver, the women, the exotic foods, the fine clothes, and the abundant possessions were all meaningless.  He wrote “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, by increase […] there is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: riches kept for their owner to his hurt […] as he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand […] just exactly as he came, so shall he go.”  As death approached, King Solomon had finally discovered the true value of wealth; homes are unimportant, bank accounts are trivial, and fine clothes are insignificant; but generosity lasts forever. 

        Jesus Christ continually reminds the world of the truth that Solomon discovered so many years ago; wealth is only valuable when it is used to bless others.  Those who have utilized their excesses to help the poor are in fact wealthier than the richest man who has ever lived.  For when death arrives, the wealthy man will have nothing, but the faithful believer will inherit true riches; everlasting possessions that cannot be taken away.  Our wealth serves no purpose, unless it serves His purpose.  The things we have that are not being used, can be used to glorify God and to help others.

        “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask that You give us the strength and the courage to use our wealth for Your purposes.  May our excesses be given over to help those in need.  Give us opportunities to be instruments of kindness; may we abandon ourselves to You.  May our lives be lived in sacrifice, and self-denial; and may we one day inherit the true riches of Your glorious Kingdom.  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.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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