June 19, 2107
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Does money make you happy? I heard that a pastor once asked this question rhetorically, and then called someone from the audience to the stage, gave them a $100 bill, and asked them, “Are you happier now?” And of course they were! Money can make us quite happy and the absence of it can make us miserable. It’s ludicrous to claim the opposite.
But Jesus never suggests that we should not work, pay our bills, accumulate wealth or take care to cover the cost of living. His point, again, is our focus and goals. If my goal is wealth, I might be successful, and in fact I could easily claim that right now I suppose. But if my goal is Christ Jesus, I cannot be simultaneously chasing more and more wealth.
I have a few friends that have been outrageously successful financially. Some have made hundreds of millions and some have made billions! but not a one of them have drawn closer to God as they have increased their net worth——not a single one. In fact I have seen the opposite. Wealth has clouded their vision and they have deluded themselves into believing that they are “self-made”—-the biggest lie in the universe! All the gifts the entrepreneur has comes from God—-none of us are “naturally” gifted—it’s all quite supernatural.
The question is simply what do I worship: the gifts or the Giver? Do I seek the admiration of others through the accumulation of wealth and property, or the smile of God as He says to me one day, “Well done”. ?
As I write this little page, I am well aware that some of my friends that read these blogs might take offense to what I have said. But I fear that some of those that I love dearly have lost their true love as they pursue greater and greater fortune on this earth. Some folks that used to be quite generous to this little camp when they were struggling have become very “careful” with their support as they have expanded their portfolio. They have become too wealthy to “let go” of what they possess. As in all things, if you possess something, you can give it away. If you can’t, it possesses you.
I believe that many of us have lost our way as we have “succeeded”, and we have forgotten Who it was that blessed us in the first place. Better to “pluck out your eye and enter into heaven blind”, than to allow a healthy eye to lead you away from the Kingdom of God. I am understanding better and better why Christ remarked that there will not be many rich men in heaven.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?