3. With regard to wealth, what should we say?
a. Does the Lord want you to be rich?
b. Not in the vast majority of cases.
c. The Bible says it's far better to be financially challenged than to be financially enriched, unless the Lord gives you an exceptional gift to avoid temptation.
d. The rich were often the enemies of God. James writes, "Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?" (James 2:5-6).
e. The Lord wants us to be content with what He's given us:
(i) Paul writes to Timothy, "But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
(ii) Those who are rich are more tempted to think they don't need the Lord.
(Agur writes in Proverbs 30, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me
with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say,
'Who is the LORD?' Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the
name of my God" (vv. 8-9).
f. Rather than seeking riches, the Lord tells us we must be willing to give everything we have to Him, if we are to be His disciples, "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions" (Luke 14:33).
g. The rich young ruler wasn't able to part with his riches and so he left Jesus without salvation (Mark 10:22).
Jesus said, "'How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!' The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (vv. 23-25).
h. That's why the Lord doesn't give wealth to very many of His people.
Yes, David was wealthy, but this was the cause of his adultery and murder.
Solomon was the wealthiest man who ever lived, and his riches led him away
Very few saints were able to possess riches without being destroyed by them.
4. So what should we learn from this, besides avoiding those who teach this?
a. If you're sick – And you've prayed, and gone to the doctor, even to the elders for prayer, but the Lord has chosen not to heal you –
It's not because you don't have enough faith. It's because He's chosen not to
heal you, so that He can teach you something you need to know, perhaps
what the Lord taught Paul: That you should seek His strength in your
weakness; That you should trust Him, wait on Him, learn what He's trying to
teach you, and serve Him as best you can with what strength you do have
while you're waiting.
b. If you're in need – And you've prayed, and looked for work, but the Lord hasn't provided –
It's not because you don't have enough faith. The Lord has brought you into
this situation to teach you something you need to know. You need to wait on
Him as well. Make sure you're seeking Him first, and being faithful in your
giving: If you are faithful to put Him first, He will be faithful to provide for
your needs as He promised He would.
He may not give you riches, because He knows they will destroy you, but He
will take care of you as He promised.
And so be content with His will:
Trust Him, He has a good purpose, and He will show you what that is in His
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