Being rich towards God

In our western culture, so many Christians have lost the heart of worship because we store up things for ourselves but not rich towards God. Many Christians are living in danger cultivating self-sufficient lifestyle that is deadly to their faith. The accumulation of wealth can be a great enemy to our spiritual life, because we would less likely to depend on God.

According to Jesus, some men will go far to forfeit and exchange their souls to gain the world (Matt. 16:26). Jesus is simply addressing the senselessness of the worldly ambition. Jesus talked about a rich fool who was only rich towards himself and not towards God (Luke 12:13-21). Here are some reasons for being a rich fool:

He made plans for the future without thinking about God’s plan for his life. “He thought to himself, ‘what shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘this is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.”

He accumulated wealth for himself without releasing any to serve God. “And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

He was investing in the earthly life and pleasures without investing in the eternal life and rewards in heaven. The rich fool believed that what he does with his wealth had no eternal consequences. “But God said to him, ‘you fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

We can become just like this rich fool if we lose the sense of eternity. Many Christians, due to lack of spiritual focus, we think and act as if there is no eternity. We are so focused on our present life we see our eternal life as unreal. We must ask ourselves how does my lifestyle and investments serve eternal purpose?

Illustration: After striking a large deposit of gold, two miners in the Klondike gold rush were so excited about unearthing more and more gold each day that they neglected to store up provisions for the winter. Then came the first blizzard. Nearly frozen, one of the miners scribbled a note explaining their foolishness. Then he lay down to die, having come to his senses too late.

Months later, a prospecting party discovered the note and the miners’ frozen bodies lying on top of a huge pile of gold. Obsessed with their treasure, these men hadn’t taken into account that the fair weather wouldn’t last and winter was coming. Hypnotized by their wealth, they failed to prepare for the imminent future. The gold that seemed such a blessing proved to be a deadly curse.

We must number our days so that we will intentionally invest in what will last forever. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). God is in the business of giving us eternal rewards for our good works (Eph. 6:8), persevering under persecution (Luke 6:22-23), displaying compassion to the poor (Luke 14:13-14), and treating our enemies with love (Luke 6:35).

We must live in urgency to do good works because night is coming when we can no longer work. When Christ returns I pray that He will say to many of us “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) because He will not say, “Well said” or “Well believed” but “Well done.”

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