Sunday, November 23, 2014

Are You Rich?

A dear saint of God who had spent most of her life blessing others through prayer, giving, ministering in nursing homes, distributing bread and food to those in need just went home to be with the Lord.  During her life she purposed to bless every single person she met. 

The night before her funeral God showed me in Proverbs that, in spite of her appearance of having very little material possessions, she was very rich.  The world looks through fallen-nature eyes and thinks that the rich people are those with billions of dollars, fancy cars and houses, and lives of ease and comfort.  But in reality, Jesus made it clear that true riches are only what we give away.  You are only as rich as what you have given to Him and to others.  Matthew 6:20 encourages us to lay up treasures in heaven that can never be lost.  In God's sight and for all eternity, she is rich.

Most of us in the Western world think that we are barely making it, working to provide money to pay bills and meet expenses, with little left over to spend for luxuries or even to bless others.  However, the question is "what is rich?"  Are we hungry or do we have food enough to eat?  Do we have clothes to wear and a roof over our heads?  Do we have some of the comforts of life: heat, lights, and electricity?  What about clean water, cooking appliances, beds and furniture, flooring and carpet, or a car or two for transportation? What about entertainment items such as televisions, computers, music devices, smart phones and high-speed Internet, eating out or an occasional movie?  We get addicted to having the latest "things" and even start feeling sorry for ourselves if we can't buy the latest item immediately.  Often we live with completely twisted and distorted concepts of our needs and the provision we have.  In fact, we are rich and have received much.

Lets start with two simple truths.  Every thing that we have is given.  1 Corinthians 4:7 asks "what do you have that you did not receive?"  God does "give us all things richly to enjoy" according to 1 Timothy 6:17, so He does not resent us having good things.  He does, however, want us to at least be like the tenth leper and return to give thanks.  Thanks giving is more than words, it is an attitude of appreciation that is so overwhelming that only serving the One who gave it makes sense. 

Secondly, God gives us resources so we can be like Him.  God is a giver.  He so loved the world that He gave His only Son.  He loves a cheerful giver.  Isaiah 55 says He gives bread to the eater and seed to the sower.  So there is always enough to meet our needs and always enough to bless someone else.  We are called to bless (1 Peter 4:7) that we may receive the blessing.  Do you see the sowing and reaping principle: Give and it will be given, forgive and you will be forgiven, bless and you will be blessed.  This life is just an internship for the position God has destined for us for eternity.  We are allowed to sow seeds that bear eternal fruit, that can make a difference for eternity in someone's life.  But most of all, using our God-given resources provides an opportunity to become a giver like Him.

So, are you rich, in the things that matter?  Do you recognize where everything you have came from?  Are you seeking to use your resources to return blessings to God and to meet the needs of others?  May the Lord give you a heart of thanksgiving so you can enjoy being rich, now and forever!

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