Some people believe that it is God’s will for us to live in poverty. Using “Matthew 19:24 and Luke 16:19-31, they claim that if you are rich then you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. They say that anyone who spends to the extent of buying jets, houses, etc are wicked. But this is absolutely wrong. As the scriptures declare, “it is for lack of knowledge that my people perish”. Please note that the purpose of this article is not to focus on wealth and riches but to simply present the facts.
First of all, wealth is not limited to money or finances, wealth and riches by definition is “an abundance of valuable possessions, plentiful supplies of a particular resource(s).” It is true that some people may not be permitted to possess a “bursting” level of wealth and riches because God sees their hearts and knows that increasing them in that area may lead them to go astray. But God’s ultimate plan for the believer who truly follows Him is to prosper him, for him to be in good health [good health is wealth], even as their soul prospers. Hence, it is imperative that we understand the mind of God concerning this matter.
The Wealthiest God
Wealth & riches is God’s plan for His people. If the wealthiest God is thrice holy, then it is possible to be rich and be holy at the same time. It is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money – 1 Timothy 6:10. When Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, He was speaking of those who love, depend, and would do anything to keep the riches they have acquired – in place of God. Clearly the rich man was not willing to leave his riches and follow Jesus. The issue is not money or possessions, but the love and pursue of it.
For God delights in the prosperity of His servants. “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” (Psalm 35:27)
Then He says …You shall not be a borrower but a lender. Lenders are not beggars, they are not in poverty, they have and so they give. If God can say this, then it’s enough to understand how He wants us to live.
For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. (Deut. 15:6)
Now You cannot possibly give, if you do not have. We are commanded to give to others, to freely give what we have been given. Whatever God is is what He has given us as we bare His nature, are alive in Him, the same life that He has He has imparted to us and He expects us to also freely give. Now God is not in poverty, in lack and in want. What He has, He has given to us, therefore, I cannot lack any good thing (Psalm 34:10) in Christ. I am not permitted to manifest anything that God isn’t in the life that God has given me.
The Silver & The Gold (Wealth & Riches)
Haggai 2:8 – The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
The Silver and the Gold are His and it is His will and agenda for His children to manifest wealth and riches (note definition), even as our souls prosper – 3 John 2. He said that if we first seek the Kingdom of God, everything else, including wealth, riches, abundance, will be added to us. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matte. 6:33). Hence, it is wrong to be of the mindset that it is against God’s will for you to prosper and to increase in riches.
In fact, the bible declares that if you serve the Lord, He shall bless you and take sickness away from you. And as we know, “health is wealth”. Blessings on the other hand comes in various forms and dimensions, including favor, protection, honor, growth, goodness, abundance, etc.
“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Ex 23:25)
It is also God’s plan to increase His people. Joel 2:23 speaks of increase, stating that the latter rain shall be more than the former.
- Joel 2:23: Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month (Joel 2:23).
The Richest Men – Made Rich BY GOD
- Job was the greatest man in all of the east, he had great possessions and riches and yet God’s testimony of Him was that there was none like him, he was perfect and upright before God, he eschewed evil (Job 1:8). And even he was restored back, God restored him double what he had before.
- David was one of the wealthiest men in his time, yet he was a man after God’s heart.
- Solomon’s disobedience or walk against God did not result from the wealth He had, but his love for women.
- Joseph, Jacob’s son, was very wealthy in Egypt and he was made so by God. This was actually God’s plan for him even before he was sold into Egypt. His father, Jacob, was also rich.
- We say Abraham’s blessings are ours. Well, Abraham was the richest in his time, he possessed great wealth and was made so by God; and the blessings of Abraham are to those who will receive it.
Joseph of Arimathea, the rich man that took the body of Jesus and buried him was prophesied prior to the event. If God was so particular about the poor, He would have had the poor bury Jesus; but He clearly chose Joseph to show that His plan for wealth and riches is that we can be called on to be a helping hand to someone in need.
- Jabez prayed “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” (1 Chro 4:10) You cannot have an enlarged coast without influence and affluence in varying degrees. God honored his prayer.
- ObedEdom was a man that God blessed/increased with riches and favor when he took the ark of God into his house.
All of these examples clearly show that God will purposely bless (note definition) and increase people who serve Him and walk according to His will. Everyone who walked with God was blessed, increased or transformed for good. God has clearly given us examples in His word (for referencing). We cannot remove from it.
Quit the Poverty Mentality
Matt. 19:24 – Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
The rich man in this case was not following Jesus Christ when Jesus called him. He was already wealthy and had everything he needed so asking him to drop all of that and follow Jesus became hard for him to do. But the blessings, riches or wealth that the servant of God receives as they keep focused on God cannot cannot be compared with this example. In the case of those who have a healthy relationship with God, they have already entered the Kingdom of God, unlike the rich man who hadn’t entered yet. These men and women of God who want to serve God with all that they are can manifest richest and wealth to the glory of God and to be a blessing to others. God will readily increase anybody whom He knows would be a blessing to others.
Poverty is A Choice
2 Cor. 8:9 – For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Why would anyone want to live in poverty if Christ came to take it away? Jesus became poor that you might be rich so you should refuse to be in poverty of any form. He has already died and freely given us riches by taking on our poverty so anyone who wants to remain in poverty makes the choice to do so.
Deut. 8:18 – But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
God gives power to get or make wealth; and He does this to establish his covenant that he sware unto thy fathers…as we also see in Genesis 22:17. God has already sworn, even to Abraham, to bless and multiply his descendants. This is a covenant that still stands. The scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35). So if a person wills to be used of God to be a blessing to others, God will readily increase them.
“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Psalm 113:7 – He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
Some people use Psalm 113:7 to argue over this topic but they fail to see a clear picture of what God is saying. Psalm 113:7 was first declared in 1 Sam. 2:8 and it states:
1 Sam. 2:8 – He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
The question you should ask yourself is where does He raise and lift them up to? This verse clearly speaks of raising the poor and the needy out of penury and poverty. He lifts them up to sit among princes and to inherit the throne of glory. Among princes and glory is riches, wealth, gold, etc.
John 12:8 – For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Poverty is not in the state of a man but first in his mentality, the way he thinks. If he changes his thinking, his state of living will also change. John 12:8 clearly confirms that there will always be people with the poverty mentality so if you find yourself here, it is a choice or stay there or ask God where He wants you to be.
The Rich Man & Lazarus
“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day…”
From Luke 16:19-31, we see that this rich man was extravagant, he
Don’t Short-Change Yourself
Don’t short change yourself because of false prophets or false teachings. That the prosperity message is being preached by false prophets does not mean God’s agenda for you to prosper has ceased. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever; hence His plan for you to prosper still stands, He never changes because of the wicked things that men do.
Waste Will Not Be Tolerated
Throughout scripture, we see that God does not like waste. Prov. 30:8-9 says “don’t make me poor lest I steal and don’t make me rich lest I be full and deny thee” [paraphrased]. So you can actually get to a point where riches and wealth can lead you astray as mentioned earlier…thus we should be more concerned about God’s plan for us, rather than pursue after wealth and riches.
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. (Prov. 30:8-9)
Warning!! If wealth and riches will hinder you from entering heaven, you are better of without them. But if you will humble yourself and do His will, God blesses or increases those who serve Him and His glory can also been seen in their life through wealth and riches received from the Lord.
The same way God teaches through experiences (of poverty), is the same way He teaches us through riches and wealth, of abundance…but the ultimate place is not to remain poor or in poverty. Hence, it is not for us to focus on riches or wealth or poverty, but first in contentment. That is, do not pursue after riches or wealth, just stay focused on God according to Matthew 6:33. Like Paul said, I know what it is like to be poor and I know what it is like to abound [paraphrased]. Paul knows what it is like to be poor and he also knows what it is like to be rich/wealthy. So he understand both world and knows the plan of God concerning his life, hence his contentment.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.9Philippians 4:11-13)
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.” Prov. 21:6.
The above verse speaks of wisdom. This verse clearly shows that there are means to getting treasures or wealth, etc. You can get it the wrong way (lies, deceit, etc) or you can get it right way (trusting God, from God, God)
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