Rich Toward God

Published on Feb 27th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

My wife and I are rich.  I didn’t know we were rich and from the complaints by my wife every time she writes out bills I am pretty sure she didn’t know we were rich either.  I am not saying that we were not content, because we were and are.  I am just saying that I didn’t realize I was rich.  I received this great bit of news last year when I was told how much we were going to owe in taxes.  We had been paying a lot of taxes throughout the year last year but found out that because my children are not longer dependents that the government believes that I am rich.  I know that because our government only takes more taxes from the rich.  I can’t wait for the tax bill this year to see how much richer I have become.  To tell the truth, when I used to dream of being rich, it felt a great deal different than it does now that I am rich.

 

In Luke 12 we are told of a man who had a great year financially.  His plan, then, was to build bigger barns to store his riches.  God then informed this guy that he was playing the fool.  That night he was going to die and others were going to receive his wealth.  The problem wasn’t that this man was rich (I am grateful for that, now that I am rich) but that this man placed all of his hope, security, self worth, and joy in being rich.  He failed to listen to the advice of Solomon who told us to enjoy the many gifts of riches that God has given to us but to never confuse the gift with the giver.  We cannot look to those blessings to be our source of joy, security, or anything.  Those things only come from God.

 

At the end of the parable Jesus says an unusual statement that is only found here in the Bible.  He says, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”  Have you ever thought about what that statement “rich toward God” means?  We find the answer to that question in looking at the contrast between finding our hope, security, and joy in things or in finding them in God.  What are your goals for today?  Did you wake up today with the goals of having devotions, then off to work to supply for your family, then home to help with homework, then a time of relaxing and then off to bed or did you wake up today with the goal of seeing and savoring your God in your personal time with him and then seeking his glory as you worked hard and then coming home to display his love and grace to your children and then relaxing in a manner that lifts up his holy name and then laying your head on the pillow asking God if today was a day that brought him glory and honor?  The first situation is one where God is competing with all of the other things in your life to be what is most important and most cherished.  The second scenario is being rich in God.  Does this seem too extreme for you?  What does Paul say?  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Cor 10:31  That is pretty extreme.  We must treasure the beauty and glory of God above all things.  Do not simply raise your children today.  See and savor the beauty of God in the gift of your children and allow the chores that you do today to be opportunities to worship the Almighty.  Who wants to simply go to work when they can serve the Lord of the Harvest?

 

My wife and I are rich.  We know the true meaning of life.  We have an inheritance that will never fade or decay.  We know that our God is pure love, pure grace, true forgiveness, and unmeasurable beauty.  We have above and beyond all that we can ask or think.  I am sure that if the government can find a way to tax all of this, they will.  Let them.  According to God’s promise, I can give them all the gold they want.  After all, it is only used for pavement in heaven.

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