Archive for September 25th, 2007

I Want To Be Rich

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 22:1-9 and Matthew 19: (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

TIME Magazine, September 18, 2006My thoughts (David Zier):

This recent Time magazine asks a provocative question: Does God Want You to Be Rich? My first reaction is “of course”, and Proverbs 22 came to mind. But the article is really talking about “prosperity religion,” which sometimes seems to contradict the words of Jesus in Matthew 19.

In Proverbs 22:4, we see that “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor!

But in Matthew 19, Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus also tells us that those who have given up much to follow Him, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.

I would agree that God wants us to be rich, but I do see a cost here. God is asking for something from us. (I know many TV preachers ask you to “make a vow” and God will send you even more money!) I don’t think that is the message of Proverbs 22, or what Jesus is telling us in Matthew 19.

We should expect God to bless us, but how we are blessed is something that only God can answer and provide. If one of the riches we are blessed with is money, we are to be generous with it. If those riches are other things, like love, grace, service to our Lord, or spiritual gifts, that is also like money in the bank that we use generously to bless others.

We are supposed to be giving ourselves over to God, and living our lives and making decisions the way Jesus taught us.

When it comes to defining the riches that God provides us, we should think more broadly and beyond money, accept and acknowledge all the gifts we receive from God, and use them generously to show Gods love, grace and hope to others.

Thought for the day: What riches (using a broad definition) have you received from God that you should share generously?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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