We are continuing today with the basic principles that Paul teaches about money. Yesterday we saw that it does not bring contentment. Some people make a god of money but we must remember that wealth does not last forever [verse 7].
Some years ago archaeologists discovered an ancient temple dedicated to the god mammon under the city of London. Mammon is a Bible word, meaning riches, and Jesus spoke about it. He said, “You cannot serve God and mammon” [Matthew 6:24].
Job had a remarkable attitude towards possessions. When he went through the terrible trauma of losing his wealth, his health and all his children, he responded by mourning, worshipping God and refusing to blame Him. His response was, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” [Job 1:21].
Paul affirms Job’s statement and says to Timothy, “We didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die” [1 Timothy 6:7 NLT].
A wealthy lady was being helped into a lifeboat as the Titanic was sinking. A seaman offered her a mandarin orange, but she suddenly remembered the diamonds she had left in her cabin. The last words she was heard to speak as she went back into the ship were, “I must get my diamonds,” and she was never seen again. There may come a day when a mandarin orange is more valuable than a hoard of diamonds!
Tutankhamen’s most valued possessions were placed in his tomb alongside his body, so that he could enjoy them in the next life. Thousands of years later, when the tomb was opened, the possessions were still there!
Solomon wrote, “Don’t weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time? For riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird” [Proverbs 23:5 NLT].
Read Matthew 6:19-21. What does Jesus say about our attitude to riches and wealth? What does he say about the state of our heart [spiritual life]?
Read Luke 12:16-21. What is Jesus teaching in this parable of the rich man?
What does it mean to be rich toward God in verse 21?
It is not wrong to be materially wealthy but Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven [Matthew 19:23-24]. Why is this the case?