For the past three months, I have taught a Sunday School class entitled, ‘Honoring God With Our Money.’ In this final lesson, we looked at true wealth and how to cultivate it. Money is a necessity in our world and it serves many purposes. However, money in and of itself cannot bring true happiness, contentment, or joy. And money most certainly cannot buy eternal life.
The Bible teaches us that true wealth can only come from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, we must admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior, recognize that Jesus is the only one who can be our Savior, and accept His freely-offered sacrificial death as cleansing for our sins. Repentance and faith in Jesus leads to true peace on Earth and ultimately to an eternity in Heaven.
In Proverbs 22:4, King Solomon wrote that “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” We must come to the Lord humbly admitting that we are sinners and in fear that He will give us the just punishment our sins demand before we can truly accept His gift of salvation. In accepting Jesus as our Savior, we become children of God and joint heirs with Christ in the abundance of Heaven.
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to obtain eternal life, Jesus told him to obey the commandments. When pressed for what else was necessary, “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. The come, follow me.'” ( Matthew 19:21) The next verse tell us, “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Matthew 19:22) This young man was so tied to his earthly riches that he was unwilling to give them up for the true riches of Heaven. How very sad! Our earthly possessions are fleeting, but true wealth will last forever.
Jesus further illustrated to his disciples the way to acquire true wealth by telling them the parable of the sheep and the goats, found in Matthew 25:31-46:“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I urge you, as you read this post, to consider whether you are cultivating true wealth through your relationship with Jesus Christ and through your actions. If you are not, it’s not too late to start. For those of you who do know Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you to use the money God entrusts in you wisely and to honor God in all that you do.