Riches: What Does the Bible Say?

Text: Luke 8:14

There is a clear spiritual danger that is posed by the riches of this life. This doesn’t mean we must give away all that we own. But we cannot allow riches to take precedence over our service to God. We have all been blessed with varying amounts of riches. We need to understand what the Bible says about them so we will use them appropriately & so we will not allow our spiritual life to be hindered by them.

Riches Are Useful

  • Money itself is not evil (1 Timothy 6:10), the “love of money” is – this evil attitude about money can exist in both the rich & poor (1 Timothy 6:9)
  • We should not have the idea that riches themselves are bad – the Bible does not teach this
  • For many things, money is a necessity (Ecclesiastes 10:19) – work is required to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10); wages are paid so that the worker can buy food
  • Since money is useful, we must be sure to use it wisely (Proverbs 10:15; 13:7; Luke 15:13-14)

Riches Are a Blessing

  • Riches are a blessing from God (Proverbs 10:22) – following the wisdom that comes from above may lead to prosperity (Proverbs 8:21)
  • But we should not take these general statements in Proverbs as guarantees of wealth for faithfulness
  • A child of God may be rich or poor (Philippians 4:12) – but whatever we do have is from God (James 1:17)
  • We are free to use our riches as we see fit (Acts 5:3-4) – but we must be careful to honor God in the use of our wealth (Proverbs 3:9-10)

Riches Are Uncertain

  • Riches may be lost or stolen (Matthew 6:19; Proverbs 23:4-5)
  • Over time, riches will decay (Matthew 6:19)
  • In the end, we can’t take them with us when we depart from this life (Luke 12:20; 1 Timothy 6:7)
  • We must not fix our hope on riches (1 Timothy 6:17) – focus on the riches of the reward of heaven (1 Timothy 6:18-19; Matthew 6:20-21)

Riches Are Unimportant

  • We already noticed how riches are useful – to say they are unimportant is not a contradiction
  • Matter of priorities – we must put God & spiritual things first (Matthew 6:24, 31-33), recognizing the eternal value of the soul (Matthew 16:26)
  • Understanding this, we should learn to be content (Philippians 4:11-13) – the “love of money” (1 Timothy 6:10) comes from a lack of contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

Riches Are Deceptive

  • Riches cannot buy happiness (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11) – only a distraction from the misery that exists apart from God
  • Riches cannot be taken with us (1 Timothy 6:7)
  • Riches cannot save us (Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter 1:18-19)

Conclusion

  • We must have the proper attitude toward riches – do not think they are evil in themselves, but do not allow them to distract you; use them wisely as blessings from God
  • Remember the true riches that come from serving God (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Peter 1:3-4)

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