Are you rich? Most of us would say no. So then, at what income level would you consider yourself rich? Research indicates that most people felt that if they made twice what they currently earn it would be enough to make them feel rich. However, that was overall the same response no matter whether a person made $35,000 per year or $1,000,000 per year. Our tendency is to believe that just a little more will put us where we want to be. But “more” is elusive, like a carrot dangling from a stick that could be reached if we worked a bit harder, got that promotion, changed jobs, or won the lottery! It’s just out of reach. The fact is, the quality of life isn’t measured by the amount of money you have. But if money were the measure, do you know that around 3 billion people globally live on less than $2 per day. If you make, what’s considered a mid-range income, you are in the top 1% of global wealth. Do you feel rich now?
Scriptures – Luke 12:15, 20-21, 48, 18:24-25; Ecclesiastes 5:19; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Verse – 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. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 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. (1 Ti 6:17-19)
Thought – I have some good news and some bad news for you. First, the good news: You are rich! You may be thinking you have more bills than money, but do you ever spend $6 on a latte? That’s 3 days income for someone in this world. Does it upset you when you go through a drive-up and later find they forgot the dipping sauce? Do you ever try to figure out where to eat and nothing sounds good even though there are 20 restaurants for which you have easy access? You get the idea! No matter what financial pressure you may be feeling, you need to acknowledge before God that you are blessed and live with thankfulness for all that God has provided, be it great or small in the eyes of our culture. Now for the bad news! You are rich! Being rich can put you at a tremendous spiritual disadvantage. Jesus said in Luke 18 that it’s harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Why? Because when you have a roof over your head, food in the pantry, and some savings for the future, it’s easy to overlook the fact that God provides your daily needs. It’s also easy to be distracted. When you have rich people options and opportunities you get busy, tired, overwhelmed, often doing so much that you miss out on what matters most. God has expectations of you. Luke 12 says, “to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Paul gives instructions for the rich in 1 Timothy (see above). Be generous, willing to share, rich in good deeds, and in return God promises a life that’s fuller, better, richer and he promises even more blessings.
Questions – How do you define “rich”? What is your general opinion of rich people? Are you content with what you have? If you had an opportunity to be twice as wealthy as you are, would you take it? How do you think having great financial resources would affect your faith, works, and serve?
Response – Write down things you are thankful for. Thank God for his provision, blessings, and faithfulness. Find ways to bless the lives of others, help those in need, and give to God’s kingdom on a regular basis.
Prayer – Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for providing all that I need and for my many blessings. I want to honor you with all you have given me. Help your spirit of generosity to grow in me and make me sensitive to situations where you want me to make a difference in the lives of others. May I live with a full heart and open hands to do your work and your will! In Jesus Name I pray, amen.