Are You Rich?
A person’s perspective probably plays a part in the way they would answer the question, “Are You Rich?” Some who have amassed great wealth may think they are rich, but in reality, they are poor in their values, relationships, and morals.
Some are rich in their values and relationships, but have very little of the world’s wealth. I have a great appreciation for the wisdom the Apostle Paul showed when he penned 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
“So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, a we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Years ago, someone wrote a song titled, “One Life”, and it contained these words, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Dr. George Truit was a godly man of the faith. On one occasion he was a guest in the home of a wealthy Texan. One evening they went out to the back yard and the Texan said to Dr. Truit, “Look in any direction and as far as you can see, I own it.” Dr. Truit put his hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing towards heaven he asked, “How much do you own up there?” The man did not respond.
The prophet Hosea, I believe, showed great insight about life when he said that his people were destroyed due to a lack of knowledge. (4:6)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
God, in this verse, is directing His remarks to the priests who were failing to faithfully teach the people God’s Word. This failure was seen in the lives of the people. Because they were not taught God’s Word, it showed up in the lack of really knowing God; His Word and His ways. There is an even more sobering thought. The lack of commitment by the priests would not only be seen in the lives of the people, but also, in the lives of their children. They would be unable to pass on what they had not learned. It is a serious matter for those of us who have been called of God to shepherd His people and feed them on God’s word; to fail to do so, God will hold us accountable. The end result was the people were spiritually impoverished. They were not rich in their responses and relationship with God.
Let me share with you Hosea 4:6, from the New Living Translation. God is speaking and He says:
“My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know Me, I refuse to recognize you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God. I will forget to bless your children.”
Hosea lived in Israel, the Northern Kingdom, which had separated from Judah, probably 100 years earlier. It is interesting to note that in that kingdom’s history, there had not been one godly king. Politically, the world of Hosea’s day was one of anarchy, bloodshed and revolt. His own home was in a pathetic condition and so was his nation.
Chuck Swindoll writes — “Socially, it was a world of compromise and corruption.”
Verse 1 tells us, “Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel. The LORD has brought charges against you saying: ‘There is not faithfulness or kindness, no knowledge of God in your land.’”
· Due to their lack of knowing God, there was no faithfulness or kindness.
· Verse 2 describes factors even worse:
“You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere, one murder after another.”
· Verse 12 reveals there was rampant idolatry.
“They ask a piece of wood for advice! They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and forgetting their own God.”
In so many ways, I feel what we read in the book of Hosea, describes our nation.
How well do you and I really know God? To really know him, we must consistently meet Him in the pages of Scripture. In Daniel 11:32, we read, “Those who do wickedly against the covenant, he shall corrupt with flattery; BUT the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”
· Job lost everything — family, wealth, health — still, he prevailed. In Job 19:25-27, he declared —
“But as for me, I know my Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth at last and after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought.”
· Because Daniel knew the LORD, he could continue to pray even though he knew he might be thrown to the lions.
· Because Daniel’s three friends, really knew their God, they wouldn’t bow down and worship an idol even though they knew they faced a fiery furnace.
· The Apostles, knowing they probably faced martyrdom, pressed on because they knew their LORD and Master was alive, they refused to stop proclaiming Christ wherever they went.
In Acts 5:29, we read, “But Peter and the apostles replied, “we must obey God rather than any human authority.”
Are you rich in all the ways that pertain to your LORD and Savior, because you know Christ? Here is the key —
Paul, in 1 Timothy 6:11 wrote, “But you Timothy, are a man of God; so, run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. And, I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now on until Jesus Christ comes again.”
Dear friend, follow this charge from Paul and you will have a rich relationship with Christ, and a rich life now and a rich eternity forever.
God bless you,