Wealth, It's a Powerful Deception

All the money in the world amounts to nothing when you face death. Let's face it we all do, every second of every day.

+all men die
" 1 Hear this, all you peoples; 

   listen, all who live in this world, 
2 both low and high, 
   rich and poor alike: 
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; 
   the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. 
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb; 
   with the harp I will expound my riddle:

 5 Why should I fear when evil days come, 
   when wicked deceivers surround me— 
6 those who trust in their wealth 
   and boast of their great riches? 
7 No one can redeem the life of another 
   or give to God a ransom for them— 
8 the ransom for a life is costly, 
   no payment is ever enough— 
9 so that they should live on forever 
   and not see decay. 
10 For all can see that the wise die, 
   that the foolish and the senseless also perish, 
   leaving their wealth to others. 
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, 
   their dwellings for endless generations, 
   though they had named lands after themselves.

 12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure; 
   they are like the beasts that perish.

 13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, 
   and of their followers, who approve their sayings. 
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die; 
   death will be their shepherd 
   (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). 
Their forms will decay in the grave, 
   far from their princely mansions. 
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; 
   he will surely take me to himself. 
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich, 
   when the splendor of their houses increases; 
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die, 
   their splendor will not descend with them. 
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed— 
   and people praise you when you prosper— 
19 they will join those who have gone before them, 
   who will never again see the light of life.

 20 People who have wealth but lack understanding 

   are like the beasts that perish."
                                                                                                                    Psalm 49

So don't live for the things that ultimately mean nothing. Live for Christ so that you may not be ashamed when the crowns are given out by our Lord and you receive nothing.

There was a parable that Jesus told which exemplified this very situation.

"19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
   22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
   25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
   27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
   29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
   30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
   31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”" Luke 16:19-31

+store up treasures in Heaven

"19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
   22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!   24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."Matthew 6:19-24

I say all this not to tear down on rich people because there are wealthy Christians but money blinds a lot of people. Because they trust in their money to provide for them they don't depend on the Lord.

+It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

"18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
   19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”
 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said,“How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
   29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”" Luke 18:18-30

"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'" It is possible for there to be wealthy Christians. Remember the man who buried Jesus? 

" 57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away." Matthew 27:57- 60

+ Watch yourself that you may not become corrupted by wealth.

"3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 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." 1 Timothy 6:3-10

I was reminded of this truth as I went through these verses again. Not having much (money-wise) throughout my life built up in me this longing for financial stability and while that's not inherently wrong I know in my heart I will start to worship and idolize money and not depend on the Lord for everything. When you find yourself depending on the Lord constantly you begin to trust Him with everything and rely upon Him and so deepening your relationship with Him because you spend so much more time in the Word. Let me mention this specifically: The Lord is not an ATM!! Like the poor beggar who ended up dying in the street but believed in Christ, you are not promised riches on Earth. Christ does, however; promise that obedience to Him here on Earth will result in riches in Heaven.

+Live your life in accordance to the one who gave you life.

" 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

 20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.

   Grace be with you all." 1 Timothy 6:11-21


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