It's important to ask ourselves what has control over our lives, and
what our top priorities are. There are probably a handful of things
that each of us spends most of our time thinking about, and often a
single thing that we see as our major goal. This should be
the Word of God, but for many people, including many Christians, it is
some type of a material things. These things are the details of life
that are really of only secondary importance, and money seems to be our biggest problem.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, "People who want to get rich fall into
temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root
of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from
the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
Lust for wealth is a sin, which will bring us grief. Wealth becomes our
idol, and it draws us away from the Word of God. We should hold your
money lightly, and we shouldn't make life decisions based upon economics or jobs.
1 John 3:16-17 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ
laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our
brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in
need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"
This is why God gives us extra material possessions--so we can share
them with the needy. This is what the first century church did (Acts 2:42-47).
Proverbs 28:6 says, "Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse."
It is better to be poor, and have the Word of God in our hearts.
Proverbs 8:19 says, "My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver."
The godly man has much more than any rich man.
Proverbs 13:7-8 says, "One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. A man's riches may
ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat."
Isn't that strange? A poor man wants to be rich, but a rich man wants
everyone to think that he is poor. A thief will steal from a rich man,
but the poor man has nothing to steal.
If you are not rich, thank God for it. He has spared you many hardships in managing your money.
Luke 12:15 says, "Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard
against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the
abundance of his possessions.'"
Do you want to be rich? Be rich in God's Word. Your true riches are
your spiritual assets--grace, spiritual maturity, the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit, eternal life, and prayer.
Joshua 1:8 says, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your
mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do
everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
Do you want to be successful? Then learn God's Word. True success is
learning doctrine, and being positive toward it. Learn and understand
the Scriptures, and memorize them.
Psalms 75:7 says, "It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another."
You don't have success unless God gives it to you. We should become
oriented toward grace, and wait for our honor to come from God.
Do you want high social status? Proverbs 15:33 says, "The fear of the
LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor." Our social
status and friends are not what are most important. Learning God's
wisdom is what is important. Before we can be honored, we must become humble.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 says, "Bad company corrupts good character. 34
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are
some who are ignorant of God." We should watch out who we socialize
with, and be honest with ourselves about why we're doing it.
Do you want to be praised? Jude 1:16 says, "These men are grumblers and
faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about
themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
Do you have a lust for praise? Do you want to be complimented? We must please God, not man.
Do you want what someone else has? James 4:1-3 says, "What causes
fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that
battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and
covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight.
You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do
not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend
what you get on your pleasures." When we want what everybody else has,
we are coveting. God won't give us things to spend on our own pleasure.
Remember, our purpose is to please Him, not ourselves.
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be
content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave
you; never will I forsake you.'"
Do you have a lust for power or for status? We should be content with what we have.
Mark 12:38-39 says, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like
to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and
have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets."
We should be careful not to develop a lust for power. None of us are
above it--even spiritually strong Christians. We shouldn't indulge any
of these qualities of the old sin nature.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"
We have examples throughout the Bible of envious people, such as
Samson, Ananias and Sapphira, Scribes, and Pharisees. Our honor will
come from God on judgment day, not from men.
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:11-13 says, "I am not saying this because I am in need,
for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know
what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have
learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether
well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
God is not against fun, and we shouldn't be guilty about the details of
life He has given us. However, we can only enjoy the details of life
when you put doctrine first. If our happiness depends on the details of
life, we will worry about them. If doctrine is not first, we will find something else to put first.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, "Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear
God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man."
Envy causes selfishness, greed, and unhappiness.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 says, "Do not forget the LORD your God, failing to
observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you
this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build
fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large
and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then
your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. ...
You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have
produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is
he who gives you the ability to produce wealth."
If we pursue the details of life, and do not master them, we will perish.
Romans 13:14 says, "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus
Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
We should live for Christ, not for ourselves. It's His life that He has
given us. We should be content with what we have. We should seek first
the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and He will provide the
details for us. We won't have to worry about losing something of real
value. The thing that is permanent is deep within our souls. The
details will leave us sooner or later, but the Word of God will last forever.
Owen Weber 2009