In Luke 18 we find the story of the rich young ruler. In today’s world he would be sort of a CEO who has come to Jesus to negotiate the contract for a home in heaven. He asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him that he should obey the Ten Commandments. The CEO avows that he had kept all of them since childhood. Jesus then tests his devotion by telling him to sell all that he has and give it to the poor and become a follower. The CEO departs with a heavy heart because his wealth is great and he is not willing to make that deal with Jesus. At some point we all come to that price tag moment when we must decide who or what is most important in our life. For the rich young ruler his greed/love of wealth had taken the throne of his heart and he was not willing to do what it would take to right that wrong. What a sad revelation!
Lk 12:15; Lk 18:18, 21, 24; 1 Ti 6:7-11; Heb 13:5; Ec 5:10-11
Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.” (Lk 12:15)
The rich young ruler is the only instance in Jesus ministry when he tells someone to sell all that they have and give it away. Why? Because the young man’s money had the throne in his life.
Whether we have much or little, greed can take root in our lives. We must guard against it by acknowledging it and cultivating an awareness of how money affects us. Expose the lies that give greed its power. More money will not make you happier or fulfill your desires. Money will not make you more important. Buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like is empty. And money will not make you more secure. Your eternity is what you need to secure. All else is temporal and subject to change!
Does your desire for more dominate your thoughts? Do you spend more time counting your blessings or feeling cheated by your present financial state? If you are presented with a financial need (a person in crisis, your church, a disaster) do you want to give or resent being asked? Are you giving the tithe to God as His Word commands?
Work hard using your God-given potential. Enjoy the fruit of your labor. Learn to be content with what you have. Live within your means! Give a percentage of what you earn to God. The Bible says the first 10% of what we earn should go back to God. If you are not tithing, start somewhere…4 or 5% and establish a plan for increasing 1% at a time until you reach the tithe. The blessings this brings cannot be understood until you do it!
Dear Lord, help me to be thankful for what I have, a good steward with what I have, and generous with what I have. Help me to always remember that what I hold is only loaned to me from your vast wealth. Bless me, I pray in Jesus Name, Amen.