riches are from God

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy me a boat, and a truck to pull it,” Chris Janson sang. God has a lot to say about money and happiness. What do you think?

In Ecclesiastes 5, we read, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” We hear this again and again, but do we listen? “Riches are kept by their owner to his hurt, those riches are lost in a bad venture, and he’s left with nothing in his hand. There’s nothing to leave to the next generation, no inheritance, and nothing to take with you; you can’t take it with you, anyway. Naked we come and naked we go. Besides, all the riches don’t let you sleep; it causes anxiety, sickness, and anger.” How true.

Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Luke 16:13).” And in Luke 18:24-25 He told a rich young ruler who could not let go of his riches,“Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Followers of Jesus must not covet. Hearts devoted to riches are alienated from the Lord; they are divided between God and their own lusts. You can’t obey God and your flesh both. Where riches reign, God loses His authority. Calvin said, “Covetousness makes us the slaves of the devil.”

So what’s the answer? We need to reorient our lives to God’s reign. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to buy that?” At the core, following Jesus is about what we love and worship. We cannot serve both God and the wealth this world offers. This world has nothing for the follower of Christ. Again in Ecclesiastes 5 we read about perspective and a focus on God: “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the work God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his work—this is the gift of God.” Riches are a gift from God, and we use them for His glory.