Be like a river (AKA should Christians be rich?)


Should Christians be rich? No.

Even if I have millions in the bank (and I don’t) I am merely administering that money (being a good steward) on behalf of God to bless the poor. Nothing more.

He blesses me to bless others. He works through me to reach them. I am His body, He lives through me. If I won’t pass on the blessings, then He is unable to work through me. If I won’t stop and care for the poor, how will He bless them?

So… if you’re a preacher who has a very expensive personal jet – I say that you must sell it and give the money to the poor… and you will have riches in Heaven.

Jesus said to ask for what you NEED. Do you need a coat? Ask for it. Do you need a home? Ask for it. Do you need a car? Ask for it. Do you need new shoes for a formal? Ask for it. God wants to bless you and give you an abundant life.

But… do you need a second home? A third? A fourth? ten investment properties? Probably not. Do you need a Lear jet? Nope. Do you need 20 pairs of shoes? Unlikely.

Jesus said to give what you have extra to the poor. He said we can ask for anything at any time, BECAUSE He knows what we need and He will give it to us.

But that’s the deal. You give. He gives. If you don’t give… should He still give? You broke the deal.

Today I was in the hardware store. I happened to be looking at some kettles.

kettle.jpgI said to God that I would really like to have a see-through kettle (I love watching the bubbles) and I said I would wait for Him to provide it someday. I thought maybe I’d get a second-hand one (I don’t mind).

SUDDENLY right in front of me (at eye level) was exactly such a kettle. It wasn’t there just a moment before. So I bought it! I’ve been wanting and asking for it since December 2006 – and now here it was. Thanks Lord!

God does love to bless us, we’re His kids! But. He also will expect me to now give away my existing kettle. I won’t sell it, I will look for someone less fortunate to bless with my existing kettle.

He blessed me, I will bless someone else. That’s the deal.

So should Christians be rich? No. Should they have what they need? Definitely.

Christian should not be in debt or be in poverty. They may have money and have some nice things within reasons… but that’s all external… it’s what is in our heart that matters

Our heart should be to bless others, to help the poor, help the needy. Jesus said, if we are doing THAT (keeping His command to love one another) then whatever we ask for we will recieve!

If we keep His command and we need something, we can ask for it, we will receive it. We are representing Him, we are letting Him love through us, we are doing His will on the earth (to love) so WHY WOULDN’T He bless us?

We’re not going to go without and live like a pauper. No. For those who are obedient to His command to love, God wants us to EAT at a lavish banquet in the very sight and presence of our enemies!

Why? Because if they want to have the same lavish banquet, then they too need to listen to what Jesus said, what Jesus commanded:

  • Love the Lord you God will all your heart, soul and mind (meaning: dedicate your life to Him and trust Him)
  • and love one another and give your lives for each other as He did

But. His plan is to bless us and have us bless others. If you truly trust Him to provide… then you won’t store up riches for yourself to keep yourself safe. You’re already safe because He is your God. Whenever you need something, you can simply ask Him for it.

But… if money and savings accounts and insurance is your God… then you’re stuck serving two Gods. But if God is your God, then you will trust Him to provide for you. At least, that is how I live my life. And it seems to work. It’s up. It’s down. It’s maddening. But it works.

The best analogy for this is: will you be a dam or a river? A dam hoardes for future days where there might not be rainfall. A river assumes that God will keep providing and it flows and flows and flows, always trusting that God will send.

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8 responses to “Be like a river (AKA should Christians be rich?)

  1. Good point, Mark! I can agree with you when you say it this way. I don’t know if it’s different or if I just took the first part incorrectly. 🙂 I think for a lot of people who become rich their money becomes their god and they place it in a more powerful position than they do God. That’s when it’s dangerous for them and a very bad place to be. When they stop being generous with what they’ve been given, when they hoard their money as you said and stop placing their trust in God, when they refuse to bless others with some of the blessing God has given them then they are probably not worshiping God but worshiping their money. Those people won’t inherit the kingdom of God but it’s not the money – it’s the love of money. Thanks for responding and clearing that up for me! God bless you as well! 🙂

    Hi mom. Yeah I think I just expressed it wrong. God bless you! Mark.

  2. I agree that we should be generous with those who are poor (and in this country I would classify as one of them! 🙂 ) but I don’t agree that you can’t be rich if you are a Christian. If we place our riches above God then that will get us into trouble but God does not call us all to be poor (or however you would classify not being rich). There are many things that would never be done in this world if Christians did not have wealth with which to do them. I don’t believe in the “prosperity gospel” that is being preached so much today but I don’t believe there is anything wrong with wealth either. If you look at Scripture there were many men of God that were wealthy – Job, Solomon, and David for example. God blesses some with an abundant amount of money or things and that’s His prerogative – it’s up to us to be good stewards of that just like you said and we have a choice of whether we will serve God or serve the wealth but as long as God stays first in our lives I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being rich.

    Hi mom. Intellectually I personally agree with you. However there must be a reason why Jesus said that a Christian should give away the extra coat and the extra shoes. So if you have extra money… what would Jesus say? Maybe the reason is that we should rely on God for our needs and if we can supply our own needs, then we don’t rely as heavily on God every day. Maybe this why He said that the rich person will find it almost impossible to enter into the KINGDOM of God (while on this earth). I think that is the reason. So you and I certainly WON’T lose our salvation if we hoarde riches in our bank account. It’s not about salvation. It’s about being dependant on God, obeying Jesus command to give away what we have extra… these things are what enables us to experience the KINGDOM of God while we are here on Earth. That’s what I think Jesus was saying. Not that money is bad. Not that we lose our salvation. Nothing like that. But the person who is dependant on God gets an experience that others simply don’t have. THAT is why He said that about the rich young ruler – that it’s hard for the rich to get into the KINGDOM of God. God bless you mom!! Mark.

  3. Great insight! I agree. It is so easy to get caught up in the world’s standards of what is “necessary” and what isn’t. Thank you for the reminder.

    Hi Mary Anne. Believe it or not, I sometimes visit your flckr to see what new wonderful pictures and scriptures you have. And now you’re here on my blog. Small world huh? God bless you, Mark.

  4. Hoarding for the future when you are not even sure you have one seems senseless. One of the best things my parents taught me is that I have nothing. God lets me use everything. I try to take good care of it because it does not belong to me, but I also try to use it for Him because it belongs to Him already. I could never obtain such grand things for me like what He lets me use. Because He gives me the very best, I am indeed very rich. Being the child of the King has grand perks.

    Peace and prayers, my brother
    neva

    Grand perks. Amen. And thanks for your prayers! – Mark.

  5. Great entry! It is so much better to give then to receive. I notice it more and more as we have given, God has blessed in abundance. In fact, we can’t believe the provisions God has made for us simply because we were willing to give with an open heart in a manner plaeasing to God. He truly is amazing!

    Take care,
    Amy

    Great stuff Amy. Thanks for visiting. God bless you, Mark.

  6. Hi Mark-
    Brave post! I am so abundantly blessed but if I were being looked at through the worlds eyes, they might consider me poor! I hardly have anything I can really call mine, but I sleep so good at night. I don’t waste time worrying about the things I don’t have because I know my Daddy will always take care of me. What a comfort!
    I am praying about fulltime missions to Africa and it is amazing because I don’t even want anything because I know I will have to get rid of it when I move there.
    I was reading an interview about a mission worker in Africa who asked a young man this question, “what is the one thing you would like to have right now?” This young man answered here, “another t-shirt.” I thought about the storage bins I had of t-shirts and other “old” clothing and I was so heart broken. We think we are poor but we can’t even grasp what poor is. I open my closet and think I have nothing to wear and all this young man wants in another t-shirt. Another t-shirt. Wow. We are truly blessed. I pray that I get to meet that young kid and give my lots of t-shirts!

    Go for it. Enjoy Africa. God bless you, Mark.

  7. Hi Mark,
    Sorry I haven’t been around–had workshops and then grandchildren. (the little ones go home tomorrow) I should be able to try and catch up on Tuesday. Hope your worship was wonderful today.
    Peace and prayers
    neva

    May God bless you Neva! – Mark.

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