Despite our best western efforts to wriggle out of the implications of some of the things Jesus taught about money, there’s no getting away from an intrusive truth that barges into our culture of accumulation and achievement addiction…
The richest man or woman on earth is not the one with the most money!
Despite our best Western efforts to wriggle out of the implications of some of the things that Jesus taught about money, there’s no getting away from a very unwelcome and intrusive truth that barges into our present culture of accumulation and achievement and addiction to those things. And the truth is that the richest man or woman on Earth is certainly not the one with the most money in earthly terms, maybe, but in a living, breathing heart and soul level, you can gain the whole world and yet completely miss the point.
Really, no man is poorer than the person who does not know Jesus. Now I often wonder if we pursued contentment and gratitude with the same avid intent that we chase dollars how much richer we would all become. So often our joy is stolen by this hopeful tomorrow of something bigger, better, more.
But it just steals our appreciation of what we already have today. If we were able to kind of just close the door on this endless pursuit, we would find that we have all that we need. And to be clear, I’m not against making money far from it. I believe that exchanging value is a God sanctioned necessity through which we are equipped to serve others well and for the long term, very difficult to serve wholeheartedly. If your belly is empty but honestly pitifully poor is not a pretty sight, nor is it inherently more spiritual or Holy than blisteringly rich.
Either one is really just neither are better or worse than the other. In the eyes of God, the floor has been cleared and we all stand as complete equals. I think that the most clear statement of truly rich living is found in Philippians chapter four. I just love this statement of Paul. He says not that I’m implying that I was in any personal want, for I’ve learned how to be content satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted.
That’s the amplified. How about that? That sounds like a nice one. I would like a slice of that. I have learned to be content satisfied to the point where I’m not disturbed or disquieted in whatever state I am.
I know how to be a base, and I know how to abound and elsewhere. Paul instructed his apprentice Timothy and shared with him a little known secret of the prosperous life. And here it is. It’s a Corker one, Timothy 6:8. If we have food and clothing with these, we shall be content and satisfied.
How far removed from the relentless pursuit of stuff that overwhelms our almost every waking moment in like what we would call industrialised nations. What a magnificent ambition to focus on rich, full, refreshing contentment. Now, the endless bombardment that we find through the media really to become rich, make more, be more, grow big, find followers feel good is so contrary to the peaceful pace of Grace that we find advocated in the Scriptures. And again, I do want to stress this is not like I’m not harping against prosperity.
I’m not harping against having enough.
And indeed, I believe that God’s will is that we have more than enough so we can abound to every good work and charitable donation. It’s more just the culture that we find ourselves in that I want to chip away at so we can get a bit deeper and get into some things that we can actually live from here. On the one side, we have the world with its Mammon size measuring stick, judging your worth by the number of zeros at the end of the bottom line. On the other, though the owner of the entire universe.
Okay, you want rich?
He is the rich dude, and this is what he had to say. Do not gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures on Earth where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal, but gather and heap up and store for yourself treasures in heaven where neither moth or rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart. Also, seemingly, we can open up an account in the heavenly, and we can put rich, full, abundant deposits into that account that we will enjoy for the rest of eternity.
Like nothing can take them away.
Nothing can diminish them.
This is not the way of the world. This is not the way that things work down here. We store up and we accumulate and we pile up and we chase and we run after and we desire and we lust for. And yet all of that passes away. At the end of the day, when someone asks, we finally exit the planet and they say, Well, what did they leave behind?
And the answer for everyone, however much or however little they may have, is everything, all of it. It all gets left, love. Here where your treasure is, there will be your heart be also, money is a heart issue. If you attach your hopes and dreams to it, it’s going to run off with you into the sunset and soon enough, into the dark of night. It parades itself as the promiser of a satisfied life.
But rarely, if ever delivers real lasting satisfaction. Too little or too much can compel us to forsake contentment and just rage ourselves silly on the hamster wheel of the world.
The richest man is the one who wants for nothing. And I’m pretty sure when the Holy Ghost wrote these words through David’s hand, the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want Psalm 23, verse one. It doesn’t mean that God is going to lavish upon me everything I desire to the point of complete saturation, where there’s not one more want I can muster to ask for. I shall not want, quite frankly, sounds like an invitation to a peaceful existence freed from the painful pursuit of transitory things.
It speaks of a life so embraced by the Shepherd’s, care that I no longer care what anyone else thinks. It’s the day we awake to the truth that not only do we already have enough, we are enough with no additives required. And my question to you today is when was the last time you sat down completely secure, satiated fully by the father’s? Overwhelming love. When do you take time to lie back and float in the warm, still waters of Wantlessness?
I think there’s a treasure in those wantless waters that many of us have never tasted. The world can splash in the bloody and restless oceans all day like. But as for me in my house, I choose to follow my shepherd to satisfactions that the world can never, ever offer. Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully, it’s been an encouragement to you today.
If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website. Davidleemartin.com have a great day.