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Be Rich toward God | Jesus’ Awareness of Material Conflict

Jesus was keenly aware of the conflict between devotion to God and the lure of material wealth.

Be rich toward God. This struggle is arguably more intense in today’s Western world than it was in the East during His ministry.

The people of the East, during Jesus’ time, were often more content with the simple desires of everyday life.

They valued community, spirituality, and modest living, whereas contemporary Western society often emphasizes material success and consumerism.

This cultural difference makes the message of choosing God over wealth even more relevant and challenging for us today.

The Influence of Material Wealth

We often underestimate the extent to which material things drive our lives. Society encourages us to pursue wealth as a measure of success and security.

This relentless pursuit can overshadow our spiritual goals. By setting aside the desire for wealth and embracing frugality, we can transform our lives.

Financial leeway certainly changes life’s dynamics, making it easier to meet needs without the stress of constant labor.

However, a focus on simple living and contentment can bring a deeper sense of fulfillment and closer alignment with spiritual values.

The Dangers of Obsession with Wealth

An obsession with earning money can lead to sinful desires, ultimately making us servants of wealth rather than faithful to God.

The Bible warns against the love of money, which can become an idol that replaces God in our hearts.

While seeking financial growth for your family’s welfare or to advance God’s kingdom is understandable and even commendable, it’s crucial to recognize the potential spiritual peril.

This obsession can erode our moral compass, leading to unethical behavior and a distancing from God.

The Power and Peril of Money

Money wields tremendous power, and its lack can leave us feeling helpless. It greatly influences those who do not have a strong faith foundation and can even ensnare believers.

When a heart is captivated by money, it cannot fully align with God and Jesus, despite good intentions.

Money and Satan work together to lead one into a cycle of greed, ultimately dominating and pulling one away from higher, nobler pursuits.

This highlights the importance of vigilance and spiritual discipline in managing our relationship with money.

Jesus’ Teachings on Wealth

Jesus understood the corrupting nature of wealth, urging people to abandon their pursuit of it and return to God.

He taught that one cannot serve both God and money, emphasizing the need for a single-minded devotion to God.

Only through a sharp contrast between serving material wealth and serving God can we resist the power of materialism.

Jesus’ teachings encourage us to prioritize spiritual wealth over material wealth, promising that God will provide for our needs if we seek His kingdom first.

True Submission to God

By truly submitting to God, we gain control over money rather than being controlled by it.

This submission involves trusting God to meet our needs and using our resources to serve His purposes.

Conversely, trying to protect ourselves from the allure of material wealth without God’s help distances us from Him.

When we try to manage our lives and resources independently, we make ourselves masters of material forces rather than servants of God.

True submission to God brings freedom from the tyranny of wealth and aligns us with His divine purpose.

Be Riches in God vs. Be Riches in the World

Jesus highlighted the difference between those who are materially rich and those who are rich in God. These states are not mutually exclusive.

Being rich in God does not diminish the enjoyment of worldly abundance.

Instead, it positions you as a steward of God’s wealth, allowing money to serve God through you.

This perspective transforms how we view and use material resources, seeing them as tools for God’s kingdom rather than ends in themselves.

The Hollow Nature of Worldly Riches

Being rich in worldly goods but poor toward God leads to a hollow life and spiritual poverty.

Material wealth cannot satisfy the deep longings of the soul.

The ultimate question is: What remains when all material possessions are stripped away?

What true wealth do we possess in our hearts that will accompany us into eternity?

True richness is found in our relationship with God and the spiritual treasures we store up in heaven.

The True Value of Spiritual Wealth

Our true value lies not in material possessions but in the spiritual wealth we cultivate.

Knowledge, talents, and character development have value but only in this life.

They lose significance after death unless they align with eternal blessedness.

Spiritual wealth, on the other hand, endures beyond this life and prepares us for eternity with God.

This wealth includes virtues such as faith, hope, and love, which have everlasting significance.

Developing Eternal Faculties

Developing faculties and talents for the kingdom of heaven enriches us spiritually and qualifies us as citizens of heaven.

In fellowship with God, His powers work within us, bringing comfort and greater capacities in the celestial kingdom.

These spiritual faculties enable us to serve God more effectively and enjoy deeper communion with Him, both now and in eternity.

Be Rich toward God

Be Rich toward God. This means possessing God Himself, being a home for the Holy Spirit, and constantly drawing from the source of living water.

Despite worldly distractions, turning away from material pursuits brings us closer to God’s infinite riches. This spiritual richness provides inner peace, joy, and fulfillment that material wealth can never offer.

The Inexhaustible Spiritual Wealth

This spiritual wealth is inexhaustible and continually increases, rooted in the Infinite One.

The Bible speaks of an inheritance for the saints, a glorious state awaiting us in heaven, free from sin and sorrow, filled with eternal contentment.

This inheritance includes the fullness of God’s presence, the joy of being with Him forever, and the blessings of the new creation.

Enriched Through God

Ultimately, those enriched toward God are also enriched through God.

However, our human nature often leads us to seek things that separate us from God, impoverishing our character.

Recognizing and resisting these temptations is crucial for maintaining our spiritual wealth and growing closer to God.

Striving for True Riches

Let us strive to be truly rich in God, embracing a life of spiritual abundance and eternal inheritance.

This involves prioritizing our relationship with God, cultivating spiritual virtues, and using our material resources for His glory.

By doing so, we can experience true richness both in this life and in the life to come.

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