True Riches Brings Wealth

Do you know a recurring theme in Jesus' teachings? If you examine the gospel narratives, one subject stands out—money. Interestingly, it's a topic many shy away from discussing, especially within the church.

December 4, 2023

Do you know a recurring theme in Jesus’ teachings? If you examine the gospel narratives, one subject stands out—money. Interestingly, it’s a topic many shy away from discussing, especially within the church. The reluctance often stems from the historical misuse and abuse associated with the subject. The mention of money, generosity, or prosperity, a biblical term, tends to make people defensive due to past hurts and abuses. Yet, Jesus extensively spoke about money, emphasizing its role as a resource.

1 Timothy 6:10 – 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.

It’s crucial to note the distinction—it’s the love of money, not money itself, that poses a potential problem. Misinterpretations have led to the misconception that money is inherently evil.

I once held reservations about accumulating wealth, fearing its corrupting influence. However, the truth is, money doesn’t corrupt; it merely reveals a person’s existing character. If someone is inclined towards corruption, having more money will expose that inclination. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that the love, craving, or obsession for money is what can lead to destructive outcomes.

In fact, Jesus, when drawing a parallel between God and something contrary, didn’t mention the devil but used the term ‘money.’ This reflects how deeply ingrained money can become in our lives, almost taking on the role of a deity. While it’s easy for individuals to assume that discussions about the love of money don’t apply to them, a litmus test can provide clarity.

Consider the decisions you make in your life—do they revolve around financial considerations, or are they guided by a desire to hear God’s voice? This introspective examination can reveal whether the love or worship of money might be influencing your choices.

If your decisions are solely based on the balance in your bank account, whether you have enough or not, it indicates a reliance on money.

Consider a simple scenario: when you’re at a store and want to buy a shirt, do you first think about whether you have the money? Rather than seeking the Lord’s guidance, decisions driven by financial considerations reveal a form of worship towards money. However, there’s no need to feel condemned; you can repent and be redeemed from this mindset today.

Jesus extensively discussed money, and one pathway to break free from the love of money is through generosity. Generosity, often underestimated, holds immense power. Everything created by the Lord—sun, trees, birds, oceans—gives freely. Humans, however, seem to struggle with giving, unlike any other creation in the cosmos. Why is that?

Luke 16:11 – If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

Jesus challenges the idea of faithfulness with earthly wealth as a precursor to receiving heavenly treasures. It prompts reflection on human behavior—people may go to great lengths, even harming others, for the pursuit of more money, promotions, or success.

Jesus refers to money as ‘unrighteous mammon’ because it lacks stability and is perishable. Its nature is transient, with a tendency to dwindle away. If we fail to be faithful stewards of the limited and fleeting wealth on Earth, how can we expect to be entrusted with the true, eternal riches of heaven?

So, the question lingers: How faithful are we with the resources, including money, that we currently possess? It’s an invitation to reassess our priorities and align them with the enduring values of the Kingdom.

It’s true; in the world we live in, money is essential. It empowers us to purchase necessities like clothes, a home, and food. Jesus highlights the significance of being faithful with worldly wealth in Luke 16:11, indicating that our stewardship of earthly resources, including money, serves as a criterion for receiving the true riches of heaven. The question is, are we faithful in handling the money God has blessed us with?
Being faithful involves more than accumulating wealth for personal gain. It extends to our attitude toward money, our tithes and offerings, and our willingness to be generous when prompted by the Lord. Are we obedient to His voice, or are we unfaithful?

In the midst of a global rat race for more money, it’s crucial to recognize that earthly wealth has limitations—it perishes, lacks stability, and is ultimately transient. Yet, many tirelessly pursue this perishable wealth. King Solomon, who amassed great riches, declared that everything under the sun is vanity. Even with abundant wealth, he realized the emptiness of worldly pursuits.

So, what are we running after? Is it the money that perishes, or are we seeking the true riches promised by Jesus? True riches provide a different kind of purchasing power—it allows us to possess money rather than being possessed by it.

The desire for money is not inherently wrong; God is not against you having wealth. The issue arises when money begins to have you. Examples from Genesis 13 and David’s generous donation for the temple illustrate that God doesn’t oppose abundance. It’s about maintaining a balance—pursuing true riches that align with God’s principles and using money as a tool rather than being enslaved by it.

It’s evident from the examples of Abraham and David that wealth itself isn’t corrupting. Judas, on the other hand, succumbed to corruption for a handful of silver coins. This highlights a crucial truth: it’s not the abundance of money that corrupts, but the corruption already present in one’s heart. A significant amount of money merely unveils the pre-existing corruption. Instead of fearing wealth, the focus should be on seeking transformation and healing from the corruption within.

Last week, we explored the idea that in the Kingdom, not increasing or multiplying is deemed wickedness by Jesus. The purpose of blessings isn’t solely for personal gain but to transform the city and geographic locations we inhabit. To fulfill the mandate of making disciples of nations, one needs purchasing power derived from true riches.

True Riches

Humility

Matthew 5:5 – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Meekness or humility isn’t weakness; rather, it involves exercising God’s strength under His control. Humility includes self-restraint. Abraham, blessed with the promise that he and his offspring would inherit the earth, received it through humility. A humble heart is a teachable heart.

Ask yourself: Are you teachable? True humility is evident in a willingness to learn rather than assuming you know everything. A humble heart is crucial for receiving God’s gifts. Without humility, even divine gifts may remain unclaimed, as one must be open to receiving with gratitude.

Let us embrace humility, recognizing that it is a true riches from heaven. A humble heart positions us to inherit the promises God has for us, making us channels of His transformative power in the world.

Consider any field of worldly knowledge—let’s take information technology, for instance. It’s vast, intricate, and no one can master every aspect of it. Individuals often spend decades honing their skills in a specific niche within the field. If we recognize the depth and breadth of worldly knowledge, how much more profound is spiritual knowledge?

When we claim to know something, it’s essential to realize our limitations. Even the Apostle Paul advised the Corinthians that their knowledge was insufficient. Acknowledging our lack of understanding and approaching spiritual matters with humility is a crucial starting point. This humility becomes a powerful posture, drawing out valuable insights that others might be hesitant to share.

Humility’s significance lies in its ability to extract precious knowledge from others—knowledge they might cherish. Being teachable is a key indicator of humility. A humble person doesn’t dismiss potential lessons based on preconceived notions, judgments, or assumptions. Age, status, or credentials become secondary when the desire to learn is genuine.

In the same way Jesus emphasized the importance of what we hear, he also highlighted how we hear. The quality of content is crucial, but so is the attitude of our hearts. Children, in their innate humility, can serve as a valuable example. They carry a spirit of openness and receptivity, qualities that align with the humility necessary for spiritual growth.

So, let us adopt a humble posture, recognizing that in our pursuit of spiritual knowledge, our capacity to learn is vast, and the journey is ongoing.

How do you discern humility? Look at teachability. Even Solomon, renowned as the wisest king, surrounded himself with wise counselors, acknowledging the importance of seeking counsel. Despite having divine wisdom, Solomon understood the value of humility and the need for wise advice from others.

Wisdom begets humility. Even Solomon, with the wisdom bestowed upon him by God, recognized the significance of surrounding himself with counsel. Wisdom and humility go hand in hand.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God’s grace is attracted to weakness, not strength.

James 4:6 – But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

This verse echoes this sentiment, stating that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Teachability becomes a vital sign of humility, opening the door for God’s grace to flow.

Favor

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

Favor is better than silver or gold. If given the choice between $1 million and favor, the wise decision would be to choose favor, for it is more enduring than material wealth.

A compelling example of favor is found in Exodus 3:21-22,

Exodus 3:21-22 – And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.

God promises favor to the Israelites as they leave Egypt. This favor leads to the Egyptians willingly giving them silver, gold, and clothing, transforming a multitude of slaves into instant millionaires overnight.

Understanding that one moment of favor surpasses years of labor highlights the potency of favor in our lives. Favor is not only better than silver or gold but possesses the transformative power to bring about miraculous outcomes. Embracing humility and seeking God’s favor positions us to receive true riches that extend beyond the temporal and into the eternal.

Ephesians 1:7-8 – according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.

Here, ‘grace’ is synonymous with ‘favor.’ God’s favor is not merely a magical opening of doors and opportunities; it comes in the form of wisdom and insight. In the same way you receive your salary in a specific currency, God’s favor is bestowed in the currency of His wisdom and insight.

Growing in God’s favor is not just about unlocking doors; it’s about sustaining those opportunities. Joseph, who went from prison to the palace, experienced God’s favor that not only opened supernatural doors but also provided the wisdom to navigate and thrive in those opportunities.

Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding

Proverbs 3:16 – Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

This verse describes wisdom as a person with riches and honor in her left hand and long life in her right hand. When Solomon sought understanding to judge God’s people, the Lord granted him not just wisdom but also riches and honor. This acknowledgment underscores that acquiring riches without honor often leads to shame.

So, to sum it up: humility brings favor, favor brings wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The wisdom bestowed by God’s favor is a true richness that extends beyond mere material wealth. As we seek God’s favor, let us also grow in His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, recognizing the enduring value of these true riches.

Consider Proverbs 3:16, where it states that you don’t want riches and shame; you want riches and honor. And that honor comes from godly wisdom.

Proverbs 24:3 – By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.

Proverbs 23:23 – Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

This verse encourages the purchase of truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding, highlighting that these invaluable qualities cannot be bought with money but require a different cost—your attention and humility.

1 Kings 3:9 – Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?

Solomon, known for his wisdom, didn’t ask for wisdom but understanding. His humility and recognition that the people he governed belonged to God opened the door to divine wisdom. Understanding that everything we have belongs to God and embracing a stewardship mentality fosters humility.

Diligence

Diligence is the constant and earnest effort to accomplish something.

Proverbs 10:4 – A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 21:5 – The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Diligence might not be a favorite word for some, but it’s a crucial element in the pursuit of true riches. It requires a persistent and earnest effort to accomplish the goals set before us. As we delve into the fourth point, remember that humility, favor, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and diligence are interconnected components in the pursuit of true riches. Diligence is not just about hard work; it’s about smart work, being proactive, and prepared to accomplish the necessary tasks.

Proverbs 10:4 – A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 21:5 – The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

To illustrate the importance of diligence, consider two people sent to cut down trees with five hours and an ax. The first person immediately starts swinging the ax at the trees, while the second person spends four hours sharpening the ax. Who do you think will cut more trees at the end of the day? The one who diligently prepared by sharpening the ax. Diligence is like having a sharp knife, enabling you to accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Now, let’s discuss an interesting point. What is the highest paying job? Many may think of corporate positions, but let’s consider this: the lowest paying job involves tasks done with hands, skills that have defined salary ranges. The highest paid job, however, belongs to the person who thinks. This highlights the value of strategic thinking, problem-solving, and intellectual contributions in the pursuit of true riches.

Diligence, therefore, includes the commitment to constant and earnest effort, but more importantly, it involves smart work and a strategic approach to achieving one’s goals.

It’s disheartening that many people, especially those trained in specific tasks, tend to stop thinking. In corporate settings, individuals are often confined to departments where they perform repetitive tasks, stifling creativity and critical thinking. This deliberate confinement hinders personal and professional growth, as the renowned T L Osborne wisely stated, ‘The day a person stops learning, they start dying.’
Diligence involves not just mindless action but thoughtful consideration. In your workplace or ministry assignments, ask yourself how much time you allocate to thinking versus doing. The ideal ratio should be 80% thinking and 20% doing. By investing time in thoughtful analysis, you become more diligent, proficient, and proactively prepared to tackle tasks.

Proverb 18:16 – A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.

Diligence begins with your thought process. King Solomon exemplifies this principle; his wisdom was so renowned that people from the east, including Queen Sheba, traveled to witness it, bringing abundant riches. The exercise of diligence involves coordinating your mental processes with your actions.

Imagine a scenario from my strength training days when I realized the importance of mental coordination during physical activities. You are not a robot; you are a human being. Therefore, think diligently, for your mind must be in sync with your actions for optimal results. In fact, I discourage mere hard work in my team, emphasizing the importance of working smart. Smart work surpasses hard work because it not only achieves tasks efficiently but also accelerates the time required for completion.

You have the potential to achieve much more, so strive to work smart. This necessitates diligence – consistently engaging your mind while at work. Avoid letting your mind idle; instead, make a conscious effort to continuously utilize and exercise it. Consider that your brain is akin to a muscle. When a muscle goes unused, it weakens. Similarly, when you neglect to use your brain actively, it may not function at its best. So, by staying mentally active, you contribute to optimal brain performance.

Integrity

The fifth point to emphasize is integrity, also synonymous with credibility. A good name is invaluable and cannot be bought with money alone. People observe everything, and trust is built on various factors. Interestingly, rebranding exercises are widespread in corporate settings, reflecting the immense value placed on a trusted name. In India, recommendations and family background can significantly impact job opportunities. It’s crucial not to compromise your name for financial gain.

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

This principle underscores the importance of prioritizing a good name even when presented with the option of material wealth. In Philippians 2, we find that God highly exalted Jesus, emphasizing the significance of a good name. When healing is invoked, it is done in the name of Jesus, showcasing the power and value attributed to that name.

A good name is true wealth. Therefore, in your professional endeavors, if a situation arises where you risk compromising your name for a particular assignment, exercise caution. Refrain from actions that may tarnish your integrity, as a good name outweighs monetary gains. It is crucial to maintain your integrity, even if it means short-term setbacks, as the long-term benefits are immeasurable.

Regardless of external pressures or temptations, hold onto your name and integrity. Standing firm in your principles may lead to temporary losses, but in the end, you will reap a harvest of success. Remember, it’s essential to withstand external forces and always stand for your integrity.

Relationships

In God’s kingdom, the value of relationships is unparalleled. Our faith in God is evidenced by our love for people. Professing belief in God, Jesus, and the finished work is insufficient without a corresponding love for others.

Ephesians 1:15 – For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints.

This verse emphasizes that genuine faith resonates audibly, and this resonance is manifested through our love for people.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

The significance of companionship is further underscored, illustrating that in times of stumbling, having someone to lift us up is invaluable. Despite the evident importance of relationships, believers often encounter challenges in their interactions with one another, even more so within the church community. The Bible is replete with directives to love, care for, bear with, cherish, and celebrate one another. This emphasis on mutual support reflects the heavenly currency of relationships that can bring lasting wealth and prosperity.

Consider the poignant scenario of a person on their deathbed, not preoccupied with counting wealth but seeking the comforting presence of those who matter. Relationships, therefore, constitute true riches. Every association, as mentioned last week, either adds to or subtracts from one’s life. Hence, exercising caution in choosing relationships is paramount.

Genesis 12, when God calls Abraham, the directive is clear: set yourself apart. This separation from family and relatives is a divine setup for blessing. The subsequent chapter illustrates God’s abundant blessings upon Abraham, encompassing silver, gold, livestock, and resources to the extent that nations were in awe of his prosperity. This narrative underscores the transformative power of relationships and the remarkable impact they can have on one’s life.

Once, a king approached Isaac, the son, and informed him that he needed to leave the current place because his presence was surpassing and greater than the community. This incident highlights the immense wealth that Isaac possessed, all due to the divine relationships he maintained. Isaac’s obedience to God’s command to set himself apart from his family resulted in divine connections that significantly impacted his life. In various seasons of life, God might guide you to disassociate from certain individuals for your benefit and encourage connections with others for your growth. Every person entering or leaving a church is considered a blessing.

Moving on to the seventh point: anointing. The anointing is a supernatural empowerment from God that magnifies all the aforementioned true riches. It acts as a force multiplier for qualities such as humility, favor, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, diligence, integrity, and relationships. The analogy of a microphone is apt – the anointing amplifies the existing virtues, much like a mic amplifies sound. However, the anointing operates effectively only when coupled with the other six true riches. It serves to magnify these virtues so that individuals in the world, who may lack the anointing, can still benefit from the true riches.

Deuteronomy 8:18 – You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The power mentioned here is instrumental in confirming God’s covenant with His people.

Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

God’s blessing enables fruitfulness, multiplication, and dominion. Without His blessing, achieving these feats is impossible. Hence, the blessing of the Lord is essential for taking dominion and prospering.

Let’s recap the seven true riches:

Each of these riches, when embraced, has the power to automatically increase your financial well-being. However, the real magic happens when you possess all seven, as these true riches from heaven are immeasurable and limitless. You can continuously grow into them, attracting abundant resources from the earth as you do.

Our priorities should align with Matthew 6:33 – “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Instead of chasing after worldly possessions, they should be running after us when we prioritize seeking God’s kingdom, purpose, plans, and dreams. Notice the beautiful flow: everything starts with humility. Humility begets favor, favor begets wisdom, and so on.

Today, God is asking you: Are you humble enough to receive His blessings? Humility is the key. It’s not something that can be imparted through prayer; it’s a decision you make. A decision to set the posture of your heart and say, “I want to be humble.” Humility is the starting point—it’s the ability to learn, to be teachable, and to have a heart ready to receive.

Consider the impact of humility on great men of God, particularly their willingness to listen and learn. It’s a mastery that opens doors to various blessings. So, be humble. Embrace humility, and watch as it puts a spotlight on you, attracting favor, honor, and various blessings.


About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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