Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 3, 2011
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18
God is the source of wealth. He has the ability to give it, and He has the ability to take it. Wealth is not a result created by ourselves, but by Him. We have skills, but He gave us the skills. We have intelligence, but He gave us the intelligence. We have business acumen, but He gave us business acumen. We work hard, but He gave us the drive and the health to work hard. Wealth’s creation and accumulation comes back to God.
He is the “brains” behind the operation. He gives us the abilities to produce wealth. Whenever we forget this, we begin slipping down the slippery slope of pride and self-sufficiency. Indeed, it was easier to depend on God when you had nothing. Now that you have more than you ever dreamed, it is tempting to not credit King Jesus with your wealth and resources. He is not a silent or passive partner with you.
He is the owner of you and your assets. And as owner He deserves and desires full disclosure of His powerful position. Therefore, this does beg a very significant question. How does God expect me to steward the wealth He has entrusted to me? Of course it is not the “bigger barn” syndrome of lavishing all these resources on my wants and desires.
Indeed, a good place to start is with the poor. The poor are prevalent in unprecedented numbers. However, their screams are silent, so they still lack the proper attention God desires. The poor are mostly “out of sight,” thus “out of mind,” in the life of the wealthy. But the heart of Christ breaks for the poor. His heart for the poor is “top of mind.” This is His desire for His followers. The poor do not deserve what is left over. They deserve “first dibs.” We need to direct our front line giving to the poor and needy. Rub elbows with the poor, and you will give to the poor!
Wealth is a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly. If you take credit for it, you have your reward. Your control of wealth without regard to God’s heart assures an earth-bound reward. However, wealth invested and given to heavenly endeavors produces results and rewards way beyond this life. This is a promise of God. Pride facilitates spiritual amnesia.
The less needy you become, the more you drift from your greatest source of need, Almighty God. In reality, the more you have, the more you need God. You can only handle wealth well with God’s guidance. Otherwise, you are too guarded by greed, obsessed with opulence, or faith-frozen by fear. God’s guidance will free you through generosity and unleash you to pursue Kingdom initiatives.
So never forget that He is the source of your strength, the provider of your power, the wellspring of your wisdom, the artist of your abilities and the underpinning of your wealth. You remain “blessable” and blessed when you are quick to give Him the credit for your success. Your model of dependence on Him in an independent environment will lead your children to do the same. Stay relentlessly reliant on your Savior and Lord. Then wealth remains a blessing and not a burden. Use the world’s wealth as leverage for other-worldly purposes. This is confirmation of a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, grow wealth and give wealth for His glory!
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