When we think of being rich, we think of money, or lands, or possessions…..
……but when God thinks of us being rich….it is an entirely different answer…
….let us consider what God thinks…
Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.”
Many have found that their riches have brought “things”…..but also much sorrow.
Whenever we begin to build on a foundation of…”what we have”….we are in trouble. (Psalm 62:10)
But the Lord promises no sorrow with the riches of His blessing….for they are given day by day…..heavenly blessings which come to us through Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
In scripture there are two very good examples of “rich”….
Luke 12:16-20: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully….”
(This man was already rich in this world’s goods….yet the Lord gave him a very good crop of “fruits”.
What would he do with them?
Please understand that every law in Israel about harvest, included sharing with the poor, the priests living nearby, and those that gleaned.)
“This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”
This man decided to forget about God’s liberality to him…overlook the laws God had set down….and devote all that he had….to himself.
(When we share our blessings with others….it should not be for them….but for God. All things given, in obedience to His Will, is an offering to Him…and a blessing to others)
We know what the man was going to do…..so what did God say?
“But God said unto him,…”.
This is amazing….God speaks to all….through His Word, through others, to their conscience….He speaks and asks them…
….Who is in charge? What will happen to all your plans if “your soul” is removed?
Things will come and go….but your soul is the value of your life….why are you just wasting it?
“Thou fool (Psalm 14:1), this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
Sadly this man……thinking he had gained all….lost all that was important…when he could have been really rich.
Then the Lord speaks:
Luke 12:21 “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. “
The other example is Paul:
Paul was a very ‘up and coming’ Pharisee,…till he was saved on the road to Damascus.
Then he became a simple believer….an apostle to the Gentiles…a missionary which worked as a tent maker to provide for himself and others that were with him.
His testimony after many years…
2 Corinthians 6:4,10 “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,”
(Now this does not sound “rich”…yet…)
“As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
“Possessing all things”….God could change circumstances for Paul….and did….many times. Paul had “all things” in Christ.
Paul knew of the “riches of His goodness and forbearance and long-suffering;” which leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
He knew of the “riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23) to share in Christ’s life within us by the Holy Spirit!
He knew…”O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33) in planning our salvation…both Jew and Gentile!
Paul knew God’s power to give him directions and guidance in His Will…. “the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” (Ephesians 1:7-8).
He knew he was saved to preach about the grace given him….”Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8)
And he knew the mighty working of the Holy Spirit within him….”according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” (Colossians 1:29).
Paul was rich….and wanted every Christian to share in the manifold riches of Christ.
Ephesians 3:17-19 “That Christ may dwell in you hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ , which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
He wanted all to know these true riches….(Paul speaks at length about the practical life of “gain”. 1 Timothy 6:6-12)
1 Timothy 6:17-18 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”
But the living God, Who gives us richly…all things to enjoy!
Are we “rich” in this world…..in things….or in plans and ambitions?
Or are we becoming rich in grace, and the love of Christ…..experiencing the many blessings of the living God?