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The Love of Wealth

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There are 22 million Chinese living along the periphery of China, largely in the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Fortune magazine called this “the most powerful economic force in Asia, second only to Japan.” And Japan has 100 million pe … More

Wealth

God promises material blessings to those who honor his principles but it does not imply that all wealth is a necessary sign of blessing (vv. 19-21). A common error of Judaism was to regard material wealth as always indicating the blessing of God. While it is true that the book of Proverbs promises material blessings to those who honor God’s financial principles it does not imply that all wealth is a necessary sign of blessing. Nowhere did Jesus magnify poverty or criticize the legitimate getting of wealth. In fact He has given us all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17). It is not wrong to possess things, but it is wrong for things to possess us. Our attention to wealth, possessions, social status and retirement benefits tends to cause us to trust that which man can provide rather than that which God has already provided. Our simple appreciation of the natural provisions of God are frequently overlooked in favor of the plastic provisions of our contemporary technology.

The believer’s attention needs to be directed toward the treasures in heaven rather than possessions upon this earth (v. 20). The only way man will ever overcome his natural inclination toward materialism and wealth is to place the priority of his possessions in heaven. When our goal is to accumulate wealth in this life it occupies our heart and mind (vv. 22-24). That is why our writer says “No man can serve two  masters” (v. 24). Either Jesus is our Lord or money is our Lord. This statement is as true for those who do not have much money as it is for those who may already be wealthy. it may be more of a problem for those who don’t have money as they have a compelling desire to get it. The ultimate destiny of our lives is either earthly or heavenly and the concentration of our efforts will reveal where our real treasure is.

Application

I need to be careful as to how culture has affected my view of money and earthly possessions. In light of this passage is there anything I need to do differently?

Matthew 6:19-24 (English Standard Version)

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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