Thursday, September 29, 2011

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

“Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6: 9

Do you want to be rich?

I know, being “rich” is a relative term isn’t it? I mean, most of us would not think we are desiring to be rich just because we wish we had enough money to cover all the bills, put food on the table, pay the mortgage, keep the kids in activities and sports they want to do, take a nice vacation every year, have a few nice cars, be able to put aside some money for retirement and pay for our kids’ college—and all without the uncertainty or fear of where the money was going to come from, whether we had enough each month or if we will still have our jobs next month. That’s not too much to ask is it?

Or perhaps as a young person all we want is enough money to buy a car, pay for the insurance and gas, have an iPod and nice cell phone and some money leftover each month to hang-out with friends at the movies or a restaurant. Again, not too much to ask for, right?

I think we have to understand that Jesus is never saying that money or possessions is sinful in and of itself. So having money for all the things mentioned above is not bad. But what Jesus does warn us about in the Gospels several times is the desire for money or wealth or things. And this is where we can easily get into trouble. Why is this desire for financial security sinful? Basically because it implies two things: 1. We need this stuff to be happy and satisfied and 2. We put more trust in money than in God.

Of course we know the reality is that we do NOT need money or things to make us happy. And in many cases having lots of money or possessions actually leads to unhappiness. Think about people who win the lottery. I’ve seen some statistics that within 5-10 years after winning many of them are bankrupt and/or divorced. And what about all the famous movie and rock stars that drug themselves constantly, sometimes to the point of death? Shouldn’t they be happy with all the money and wealth they’ve acquired?

What happens when we place our trust in creation instead of the Creator? We know too well that we were created for the eternal, not the temporary. If we place our hope and trust in money, there is no amount of money that will ever satisfy us. And our God is a jealous God. He created us for Him and Him alone and He will not stand by and watch us make gods out of things He has created. He loves us too much to allow us to live lives of comfortable mediocrity. And so He will call out to us, He will invite, He will knock, He will whisper to our hardened and jaded hearts. He will never give up pursuing us and drawing us to Himself. He knows that when we pursue things other than Him, that it will ultimately lead us to destruction. And so because of His great love for us He rocks our world. He allows us to suffer, to fall down, to get hurt, to fail. In the hope that we would recognize that nothing in this life is permanent and nothing we do or accomplish or acquire will protect us, fill us—save us! He wants us to live a life of greatness and He will not stop until either we say “yes” or go to hell saying “no” for all of eternity. Our heavenly Father wants us to be rich for all eternity, not temporarily in this life.

Dear Jesus, please help me to only desire You. If my heart ever begins to turn from You and is tempted by the gods of this world, do whatever is necessary to bring me back to You. I want to know the riches of Your glory, Lord. Amen.

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