You are on page 1of 3

What Does the Bible Teach about Wealth and Work?

Do you consider yourself a true follower of Christ? Do you consider the price He has paid for you and what He calls us to do in this life here on earth? I urge you to begin by considering the sacrifice Jesus has made for us all. We are utterly hopeless without Him: But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:5-7 When we consider the great, unfathomable love that Christ has for us, we begin to fall passionately in love with Him. When we fall in love with Him, we hunger for Him. We hunger for His word and to be in continuous prayer with Him all day. We may not be on our knees in prayer all day, but our mind and spirit are always considering what He is guiding us to do, how we can obey Him and what direction He is leading us in. We love Him so much His presence is always welcomed in our thoughts and decisions. We have joy in obeying Him, it is not a chore, it is our delight. We begin to long to sacrifice our selfish will and to allow Him to take over our desires. Although the world is clamoring for us to follow its delightful offers, when we are seeking obedience to Christ and His will, then we will experience a deep fulfilling life here on earth that is ultimately preparing us for the life in eternity with Christ. So, do you have this deep, genuine love for Christ? Is He your everything? Do you want to passionately follow Him no matter where He leads? Are you willing to give up all the desires in your selfish human heart and live for Him, or would you like to be saved and go to heaven, but still dabble in the delights of this world? Is it OK to enjoy just a little bit of what the world has to offer, yet still be considered a follower of Christ? The church in Laodicea was very wealthy. Christ told these followers to buy their gold from Him (spiritual treasures). Instead of centering their lives on comfort and luxury, He commanded them to find true riches in Christ: So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 Jesus does not want to be a resident in your life.He wants to be President! When you make Him President, you will experience a deep joy and meaning in your life that no vacation, career, possession, party or friendship in this life can every replace. Think about the wealthiest, most well-known people you know. Most of them end their lives because of overwhelming emptiness. They have experienced every luxury, vacation, possession, party, prestige, etc. that the world has to offer, yet their lives are empty and hopeless. They were not willing to give it up, to follow Christ. Now think about the poorest, most sacrificial humans you know. Im thinking of people like Mother Teresa who didnt even have shoes that fit her. Im thinking of Pastor Emmy who lives an overwhelmingly simple life giving all to help the orphans of Africa. Im thinking of even Paul himself who owned nothing and died a martyr to spread the gospel. Do you think these people longed for worldly riches? When you examine their lives, their words and their appearance, do they appear empty, sad, or searching? I tell you, they demonstrate more joy than anyone I have ever seen. Why? Because they were willing to die to self and live for Christ. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

So you can seethere is a battle going on. It is between the pattern of this world and the renewing of your mind. Are you willing to allow God to renew your mind? Are you willing to give up the American dream of wealth, vacations, nice cars, named-brand clothing, up to date technology, countless hours of selfish luxury watching mindless television, being on your computer and spending time with activities that really have no meaning or purpose for eternity? It is a decision to offer your body as a living sacrifice. Wow, those are pretty powerful words. Are we willing to give up worldly pleasure to seek Gods purpose in our life? Do you think its worth it? Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price (what an incredible price it was, too- my addition). Therefore, honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19 So, you DO consider yourself a sold-out follower of Christ? You have decided to be a living sacrifice. You are willing to give each moment, situation and decision over to Gods kingship in your life. Now what do you do? Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lords will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:15-18 So how do we know how to live this life? By immersing our minds, thoughts, and spirit to Gods His Word, through the teaching of godly teachers and through personal examination and meditation on His Word. What is Gods calling for you if you are a student? What if you are a worker that doesnt enjoy his work? What if you have such a desire for the fun things in life and just cant seem to discipline yourself to work hard. Isnt working hard for things legalistic? What about those students and their families that put their entire self-worth on the measuring rod of academic achievement. Is that what God wills for us? So, I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Ecclesiastes 2:17-18 So what happened to Solomon? He worked hard, he was known as wise? He accumulated lots of worldly wealth and what was his conclusion? Solomon wrote this after he had sinned against God, continued living for himself and did not give his life as a living sacrifice. Hard work bears no lasting fruit for those who work solely to earn money and gain possessions. The key here is who are we glorifying in our workourselves or God? So, why do we work and how should we work whether its the career God has led us to, or the work we have as students, parents, and servants of Christ? Always give yourselves fully to the word of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 So what about the way we desire to spend our free time and our earned money from all this hard work? Dont we get to choose what we want? I thought we are to enjoy life? Well, it depends on who controls your thinking? Are you a living sacrifice or do you live just sections of your life for God? The Bible is filled with many verses about living selflessly for others, about seeking Gods direction in all our decisions from vacations to how we spend our free time away from work. Do you want to please yourself or Him? Do you think its OK for people to live lavishly in mansions, own new cars, buy expensive clothing and

shoes while there are so many lost, poor, suffering people in this world? Are your values being based on the culture around you or in the true word of God? How can starving people in Africa hear the gospel unless we first give them some food and water? How did the first followers of Christ look? Were they wealthy, comfortable, entertained, lazy, and well-fed? How did Jesus look? What did he own? Did He entertain people in His big, beautiful mansion and throw extravagant parties? What was His goal as He awoke to each day of his 33 years on this earth? Are you willing to truly live in obedience to Christ? In the words of Christian pastor David Platt, If we are going to live in radical obedience to Christ, we will need the church (body of believers, not a building) to do it. We will need to show one another how to give liberally, go urgently, and live dangerously. So how does this idea fit in with your walk the past year? As you study and work, is Christ your focus? Are your goals in this life the ones God gave you, or the ones you selfishly want to live a comfortable, luxurious life in America? Do you work at everything as if for God and not men, or do you give it a menial effort because you really dont know why you are doing what you are doing? Are your hopes and dreams based on selfish desires such as cars, vacations and money, or are your hope and dreams rooted in your absolute love and passion for Christ? Are you willing to be a living sacrifice? Are you willing to give up space in your room for an orphaned child? Could you give up those named-brand tennis shoes to sponsor another child in Africa? Are you willing to give up time on Facebook to volunteer to help at a camp or school? Just how much have you really sacrificed in your life as you walk around claiming to be a follower of Christ? Are you willing to give it all up for Him? Whats stopping you? What do you fear? I encourage you to get on your knees, cry out your fears to God then stand up, and move forward in determination and faith that God will lead you if you are willing to give it all to Him. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal? 2 Corinthians 4:18 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me Galatians 2:20 live for God IS to die, daily, as the apostle Paul put it. It is to lose everything that we may gain Christ. It is in thus laying down our lives that we find them. Elisabeth Elliot How will you choose to live your life?