Revelation 3; Nehemiah 4; Psalm 98
Wealth tends to be associated with God’s blessings. When you look at the Old Testament story of Job you see a wealthy man who loses everything. The previous wealth was associated with God’s blessings; his losses were a sign to many that God had forsaken Job because of his sins. All is made well at the end, though, because Job’s wealth is restored. And so we have the paradigm for the belief that wealth means that God is blessing you and poverty means God is punishing you.
Only, Job didn’t suffer because of God’s punishment. He suffered because God trusted him. That thought would not sit well with many in the Church today – at least in the United States. We have exemplified this idea that wealth is a sign of blessing. We add great wealth to some who proclaim the gospel while we look down on those in poverty. Megachurch pastors are exalted while those who work among the poor are swept to the side.
God reminds us that we need to get back to His way of doing things. “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) If our wealth can be turned to gold, we are merely exalting heavenly paving material. More than monetary wealth, we need spiritual wealth and strength from God. Throughout the New Testament we see a call from God not to material wealth, but to spiritual strength through service.
Our call from God is not to a life of luxury, but a life of service. We are the footwashers. We are the servants who make sure the master eats before we even think about it. We bring a message of hope to those in despair; a message of healing to those who are hurting. Oh how sad it would be indeed if we appeared before God and all we could show Him for our work on earth is a fat wallet.
Lord God, it is so easy to be blinded by the glitter of gold; to be taken in by the blessing of wealth. While money is not evil and can be used for good, help me to focus not on material wealth, but the spiritual wealth that comes from following You and ministering to others.