Friday, February 6, 2015

Storing Up Treasures

The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper. (Proverbs 28:25 NIV)

Storing Up Treasures
“We are in a time where CEOs over the years have given themselves raises to the point where they are making billions of dollars a year for being the head of a company, while their employees are just barely making ends meet,” wrote Matthew Gates at the website currently run by him, ConfessionsOfTheProfessions.com. “We are in a time where it is okay for the government to help out greedy banks, but the banks help no one in return. … where interest rates and the cost of education are extremely expensive and profitable, yet not everyone can afford it, or spends almost a decade paying it back.”

“Anyone and everyone can begin to become less greedy, become more charitable, and help each other, not for the purpose of self-gain, but for the purpose of realizing that we are all connected as souls living inside of human bodies,” Gates continued. “If we wait for the people we elect to do anything, we will never progress forward. We must do it ourselves and only then, once we realize we have that power, we will advance beyond our imaginations.”

In a sense, there is much truth in what Gates talked about. Greed knows no bound, but if those who have plenty are willing to become more charitable, the society would probably be better off at succeeding its goals.

The Bible warns us of the greedy who exploits people with false words, whose judgment from long ago has been determined. The righteous will receive deliverance, but the treacherous will be caught by their greed. Those who are greedy will bring ruin to their households, but those who hate bribes will live. Greed stirs up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper (2 Peter 2:3; Proverbs 11:6; 15:27; 28:25).

Are we feeling a strong desire within us to want to have lots of money and possessions to keep for ourselves? Does our heart contain any insatiable greed for riches to want to hoard wealth?

Jesus shared in a parable of a certain rich man whose land yielded an abundant harvest. This man thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God (Luke 12:16-21 NIV).

What good, therefore, will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for his soul? Rather than store up for ourselves treasures on earth, let us store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal (Matthew 16:26; 6:19-20).

Forgive us, dear Lord, for the times when in our weakness we give in to our carnal selves to covet worldly gains and possessions. Grant us in our plenty to desire to help those in need and not to hoard our wealth. Help us take earthly wealth lightly and with love give generously to aid the poor. Do not let greed overtake us, but put in our hearts contentment and the desire to bless others with what You have given us. All good things come from You, and we are grateful to You for prospering us in all we do. 

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