Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. —Mathew 19:23
Let’s say right now you were given the opportunity to receive $1,000,000 or eternal life through Jesus. Which would you take- the money or eternal life through Jesus? Unfortunately, the vast majority would take the $1,000,000.
But this is not new. The lure of wealth, or I should say the love of wealth, has destroyed many lives. It is not wealth itself. Wealth itself is neutral. It is the love of wealth that people are lured by. They think “If only I had $1,000,000 life would be so much better.” I could help other people. I could… But why not do that now with what you have? Life does not consist in wealth. It could include wealth but real life is known only by a relationship with God through Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:4; John 10:10; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23). Unfortunately the vast majority of people, regardless of how much or little wealth they have, depend on that wealth and not on the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy Chapter 8 shows how this can happen.
Jesus had much to say about wealth being the focus of one’s life. In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus told the Parable of the Rich Fool. This man was only focused on material possessions, not on others and surely not on his relationship to God. Just when he was entering into a self-satisfying early retirement he suddenly died. Unfortunately, he only thought about himself. Now he would face God’s judgment. It would not be good.
Going along with this, Jesus told the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. Again, this super wealthy man had all the world could offer, but he did not heed God’s messengers or God’s Word. The severely sick beggar, Lazarus, just desired crumbs from this man’s table. The story never mentions whether he received any or not. The point is, like all of us will do, the wealthy man died. He faced God’s eternal judgment in hell because of his non-existent relationship with God. Lazarus, on the other hand when he died, was a believer and went to heaven. Yes, the love of wealth eternally destroys many lives.
Dear Father, please help me to focus on that which is eternal and not the temporal. May I live wisely with the wealth that you have given me, but may my focus be on what You desire to be done with that wealth in the authority of Jesus.