The greatest royal command given to God’s people is written in Matthew 6:33 ‘Seek his kingdom above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need’. God’s Kingdom, according to the Gospel of Matthew, can be found in the poor who realise their need for Him (Matthew 5:3). Further, in Matthew 5:6 God tells us ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’ and God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right (Matthew 5:10 & 20). Therefore the Word of God is showing us that true wealth is intimacy with God, our creator of heaven and earth and in fact it is love that makes us wealthy. Matthew 6:10 tells us that we bless God when we bring His kingdom on earth, when we help the orphans and the widows (James 1:27) and when we help a brother in need (1 John 3:17). Money should never get in the way of our love for God. Everything we have has come as a blessing from God and it all belongs to him, our relationships, education, family, jobs, and possessions, absolutely everything is His, Amen.
Peter was so rich in love that when in Acts 3:3-6 he was asked for money by a lame man; ‘Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’. Jesus Christ is the name above all names, the name at which every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:9-10) Amen. The gift of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour is a free gift and when Simon in Acts 8:18-23 offered money to buy the power of the Holy Spirit he was rebuked by Peter; ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!’
As already stated, money is neither good nor evil, however 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that it is ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’, in fact the chilling account of the sudden deaths of Ananais and his wife Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 should be a warning to us all. Ananais and Sapphira had sold property and gave the proceeds to the apostles, but in collusion they kept back part of the money for themselves. It was Ananias’s free will, his own choice to sell his property and to give the money to God but it was also his choice to lie and keep some of the money back. The sin committed was a sin against God and God’s people. Sin often blinds us to choose short-term gains in this life, heedless of the long term loss in the next; Luke 9: 24-25 ‘For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
This journey of life is full of temptation and we know our great enemy the devil roams around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). We must fight every day as Christian soldiers with God’s full armour of protection on us (Ephesians 6). We have to set our face like flint (Isaiah 50:7) and know that Jesus has defeated Satan once and for all time and we are covered and protected under the covering of the Blood of the Lamb; (Revelation 12:11) Amen. In order to further protect ourselves we should seek after the things of God and pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding Proverb 8:10-11 ‘Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her’.
The book of Ecclesiastes is a deep reflection on human life and can read a little on the negative side as the author struggles to find any real purpose for his being here on earth, however he triumphantly sums the book up beautifully with his final statement in Ecclesiastes 12:13 ‘Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind’. Obeying God and having reverence means being generous with all that God has blessed us with, both physically and spiritually. Amen
May God bless and enrich your life
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