Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To Be Rich or Not To Be Rich

How I know you love me
I know you love me
What makes me convinced
Are the blessings before me
A pinch of your abundance and riches;
Wealth and health you did not withhold
Life and Smiles you make part of my whole
I own all good and perfect gifts that come my way
So much you give that I cannot repay;
I know you love me
I know I am blessed
I am convinced
Because of the riches you’ve given me.

The Inspiration
I had walked into the office when I heard some people involved in a heated (but friendly) argument. I did not want to get involved in such but I could not help overhearing what was the cause of the apparent inferno. The basis for the argument was that Jesus Christ should be the model for Christians, and while He lived He was not rich. Therefore, Christians should not be rich!

Whether or not I have facts to back this statement, I will state clearly that Christians are meant to be rich. We are princes and princess, the children of the Most High God, the creator of heaven and earth, who owns the earth and the fullness thereof; the world and all that dwell in it [Psalm 24:1]. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood [1 Peter 2:9], why then should we be living in poverty?

Before I start talking about why we should be rich, let me also point out that Jesus Christ was not poor (For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was RICH, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich [2 Corinthians 8:9]). HE was humble [Philippians 2:5 – 9]. Humility is an attitude. Jesus Christ taught us so many things while HE was on earth, never did He say we should not be rich. With His humble nature, He taught us not to worry about the future [Luke 12:29-31], He taught us what faith really is, He taught us that we have power and authority over the enemy, He taught us that riches and abundance comes from God. Having riches is not the problem. Being wealthy is not the problem. It is what you make out of that state and what you do with the money that determines whether there is a problem with Christians being rich. For instance we know that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil [1 Timothy 6:10]. It is not money that is the root of all evil.

I remember a statement my pastor made last week. She stated that, “The Devil’s greatest nightmare is wealth in the hands of the righteous!” This is simply because the righteous man knows what to do with wealth. He will use it for the things of God (as money answereth all things [Ecclesiastics 10:19]). Why will God withhold wealth from HIS children when HE wants them to live like HE does and use it to accomplish HIS will?

What has God promised you concerning HIS blessings? They that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing [Psalm 34:10]. The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and HE adds no sorrow with it [Proverbs 10:22]. If I say I am blessed by God, then I should know because I am rich, and the riches do not come with sorrow. Rich means having an abundant supply of DESIRABLE QUALITIES or substances. It also means possessing MATERIAL WEALTH. It also means marked by great fruitfulness and very productive. Child of God, you are blessed and you are rich. If you did not know, you know now. If you have not started enjoying your richness spend time with the Word and find out what to do to become rich. The secret has been revealed to us and it is in there.

Paul said in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. He did not say some of your need. He said ALL. King Solomon talks about the gift of God when every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, HE has given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour [Eccl. 5:19]. This gift of God is for HIS children and you are one of them. David said “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” [Psalm 37:25]. God is faithful. HE will definitely supply all our needs.

You might say, “but Jesus said, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God’ [Matthew 19:24]”. But if you read just above in this scripture, it came after the rich man was told to sell his possessions and give to the poor. It clearly shows the attitude some people have towards their riches (and I’m using all the definitions of riches mentioned above, not only material wealth). Jesus was only telling the rich man what He should do to enter the kingdom of God, to be as a son. It is written in Psalm 41:1 – 2 “Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and the LORD will keep him from the will of his enemies.” It is also written that, “He that gives to the poor shall not lack”.

Being a Christian is not synonymous with being poor. It is not a reflection of the glory of God. What we should learn as Christians is the attitude of Christ towards riches. This is a topic for another discussion. But I can quote Paul here, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” [1 Timothy 6:17-19].

Have a wonderful day and remember you are meant to be rich.

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