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However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthians 2:9

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery? I think about that every time the lottery gets to be up in the hundreds of millions. Even the thought of that is astronomical. Can’t even fathom what that would be like.

We have many reasons for wanting to win the ‘big one’. For some it may be to get out of debt and be able to provide comfortably for our families now and in the future. Some may have more noble aspirations. To build a hospital for example, or to give money towards medical research or solving some social issue that we are passionate about, or to missions. All very good reasons and worthwhile causes to be sure.

Whatever reason we have for winning the lottery, there is one glaring problem we each must admit too. No matter how much we win, or what we spend it on, the results will be temporary. The words of King Solomon ring loudly. There he was, the great King of Israel. He was wealthy, wise and powerful. Anything he wanted was at his fingertips. Yet in all his glory, this great man of God wrote (and I paraphrase) “I could have anything I wanted but soon found out everything in life is really useless. I gave myself everything a man could possibly want. Women, palaces, vacations. You name it. If I wanted it, I went and got it. And what I learned is this. The really important thing is to love and obey God. Nothing else will bring us joy.”

The truth is, it’s not what we have on earth that really counts but what we are building in eternity. Paul writes, (again, my paraphrase) “God loves you so much that the things he’s prepared for you will blow your mind. You can’t even imagine the great things he has for you. It’s astounding!”

Our finite minds can only understand and fathom what we see here and now. We can’t see even one second into the future. Each of us should live to build our treasures in heaven. Treasures that are eternal. Imagine what it will be like in heaven when we see how our lives have affected people. I want to be surrounded by lives that have been touched by my love, my mercy and God’s grace. Those are the things I want to strive for so that someday, I’ll see Jesus and He’ll say, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant. Look at the crowds of people that are here because of your kindness.’ Sound outlandish? I don’t think so. With God’s help that is my desire.

I know I’ll fail some and hurt others unintentionally. But my failures will not allow me to give up. I’m off to win eternal rewards!

PRAYER: Father God. My mind is spinning as I try to comprehend the things you have in store for me. It’s so easy to get bogged down here on earth with worries and concerns. Help me to remember that you have awesome things I can’t even imagine waiting for me. Help me to build my wealth in heaven by living for you here on earth. In Jesus name, Amen.

 


Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all. Proverbs 22:2

Try as we might to avoid it, we put labels on people. We judge them by the way they dress; the work they do; the church they go to; whether they go to church; their sexual orientation; their marital status and a whole list of other things. We don’t even realize it half the time!

I wonder how much anger would be removed from the world if we could just grasp the truth of Proverbs 22:2.

“The Lord is maker of us all.” It’s not our education that makes us. It’s not the government or unions or social status that makes us what we are. It’s the Lord God of heaven that determines the important things about us. I don’t buy into the idea that we are ‘all God’s children’ in the spiritual sense. Spiritually speaking there are plenty of passages in the Bible that tell us that a child of God is one who has accepted Christ as Savior and repented of their sin and called Jesus Lord.

But the Bible also says we are all made in God’s image, male and female, rich and poor, Christian or non-Christian. We don’t always understand the big ‘why’ questions. For example, why are some people rich and some poor? Is it because rich people are smarter? No. Is it because they try harder? Sometimes, but certainly not always. Is it because they were born into a situation that gave them their wealth? Again, sometimes but there are many people who have risen from poverty to wealth.

What is it then that makes us rich? The answer is really two-fold. First of all we need to re-define wealth. Wealth isn’t determined by what you have in your bank account, the size of your pension plan or your social standing. True wealth comes from within. It’s an attitude. So, in one sense we can all be wealthy in the things of the heart.

Secondly, anything we consider of value: money, talents, spiritual gifts, etc. comes directly from God. True wealth is not a government option. True wealth is not a result of unions or political action. God determines, for whatever reason, who is wealthy. Period.

Seek to grow wealthy in the important areas of your life. Seek to show mercy. Sow love. Cultivate compassion. Grow in the riches of Godliness through reading God’s Word, prayer and fellowshipping with others. Stop looking at what other people make or do or have. Focus on what God has given you. He is the true source of all wealth and His wealth lasts for eternity.

PRAYER: Another day Father where your word has cut me to the bone. So much of my anger, frustration and anxiety comes from what I have physically or what I want. I so often forget that anything I have or others have is directly a result of you. Forgive me for judging what others have as though it’s unfair or greedy. Empower me to seek True Wealth through you. In Jesus name, Amen.

 


To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26

History verifies that David’s son Solomon was not only the richest King in Israel’s history, but perhaps the richest King in the history of the world. There was nothing he wanted that he could not have. Money, fame, power, women, Solomon had it all.

Ironically, Solomon saw nothing good in his wealth. He saw wealth as more of a hindrance than a blessing. Rather than bringing him happiness and joy and contentment in his heart, he saw life as being a meaningless adventure tied to making more money and having more toys.

The book of Ecclesiastes is the story of Solomon’s heart. It tells the emotions of one who has lived, by the worlds standards, a rich, full, successful life, only to come to a point when all his labors and successes seem worthless. Why even try? You work hard. You get all you dream for (or thought you wanted) and there is still no happiness, no joy.

Solomon tells us in verse 26 what it takes to really find joy and happiness in life: God. He is the source of wisdom, knowledge and happiness. It isn’t money. It isn’t fame. It isn’t power. It isn’t being popular with friends, and especially the opposite sex! It’s about pleasing God.

To please someone you must know them well. The better you know a person the better you will know their likes and dislikes. You will know exactly how to surprise them creatively. The same is true with God. The better we get to know Him the more we will know what things He is pleased with and what displeases Him.

Beware though! There are plenty of people out there that will tell you ‘what God wants you to do’. There is pressure to follow the crowd, even in religious circles. Some of these pressures will keep you from being what you want to be; they will prevent you from practicing the skills, talents and abilities that God has given you; they will measure your success or failure by the size of your bank account, the way you dress, the activities you do.

God didn’t give us grace so we could follow the crowd. He gave us grace so we could be free to follow Him. To be free of the pressure to conform to social and religious pressure. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by a lifestyle that keeps you from being the unique, talented person God created you for. With His help, follow your dreams. Grow closer to Him so you can hear His voice of direction. You may not get rich in money, but you will be rich in joy and happiness!

PRAYER: Father God, There are so many voices in my life right now telling me what I’m doing wrong or what I’m doing right. I’m pulled in so many different directions that I feel like I’m being pulled apart. What I’m really supposed to do and be has become clouded by ‘human wisdom’. Please help me to listen to your voice and your voice only. Help me to remember that I can come directly to you to know your wisdom. I don’t need to rely on other people to learn how to be what you want me to be. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

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