September 23, 2009

Question of Affluence

Written by Boyd Bailey

Question of Affluence… “Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Proverbs 30:9a

“How much is enough?” is a wise question to ask. Why? So that, by God’s grace, we are able to keep the love of money from dissolving our faith. The pursuit of cash, left unchecked, tends to leave the Lord out of our conversations. The wise question is eventually replaced with a foolish one, “Who is the Lord?” Cash is competitive with your devotion to Christ, but, if you keep affluence on the outskirts of your heart, it will not dominate your desires.

Jesus made this clear when he addressed those who romanced riches, “You cannot serve both God and Money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus” (Luke 16:13b-14). The temptation to worship your net worth attracts everyone: young, old, religious, secular, westerners and easterners can all become entangled by earthly riches. Honestly ask, has Christ or cash captured the affections of my heart?

Prosperity can make us proud and lead us to dismiss the Lord, or at least regulate Him to the rough times in our lives like sickness, death, divorce and job loss. If we feel no need for faith in God, then we will not feel obligated to obey Him. However, heaven is pleased when you prayerfully place prosperity under the will of God. He will lead you to loosen your grip on stuff, until with an open hand, you give back to Him what was already His.

Generosity governs your heart’s devotion to God. As you humbly handle earthly wealth well, you will experience the true riches of intimacy with Jesus and the satisfaction of serving Him and Him alone. “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11). How much is enough for my family to be freed up to serve Christ and others? Freedom from money is freedom for God and people. Who is the Lord? He is the owner of my life and my stuff.

Related Readings: Psalm 10:4; Ezekiel 13:3; Luke 6:46; 1 Timothy 6:10

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