God Wants You to be Rich, But Maybe Not the Way You Think
Your greatest assets have nothing to do with money. God wants to bless you with riches in Christ.
If you read the Bible right, you can’t escape two conclusion: Jesus is loaded. And God wants you to be rich, too. Just maybe not the way you think.
According to scripture, the only begotten Son of God is wealthy beyond belief. And He wants to share some of His riches with you.
Don’t worry — I’m not here to preach the prosperity gospel. (In fact I’ve written before about the shortcomings of prosperity teachings as a spiritual and financial philosophy.) But one of the things that makes the prosperity gospel so enticing is that the Bible has a lot to say about money. And the New Testament in particular talks a lot about having riches in Christ.
God wants you to be rich, but does that mean He intends to shower you with cash? Or does He have something even more meaningful in mind?
Start With the Basics
To get to the bottom of this, let’s start with some basic principles. First, God owns everything. He created the world and possesses everything in it. This means all of the world’s wealth and material things really belong to Him. Although we like to think that we own our possessions, we are really just managing resources for Him.
When we manage God’s money, we’re not just doing it to support our families, or even to build the church or support good causes (though we should be doing all of those things). We’re also laying a foundation for things that will happen in eternity. The things that we do with our money on earth have important ramifications in Heaven.God wants you to be rich, though not necessarily with large quantities of silver or gold. Instead, He wants you to be absolutely swimming in glorious riches of Christ. tweet this!
The Bible also tells us that if we handle our worldly wealth well, God will entrust us with “true riches” (see Luke 16:11). So what are these true riches? God wants you to be rich, though not necessarily with large quantities of silver or gold. Instead, He wants you to be absolutely swimming in glorious riches of Christ.
The New Testament talks a lot about Jesus’ riches. One of the better-known verses on the subject is Philippians 4:19:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Christians like to quote this verse a lot, especially when they’re facing a physical or financial need. And since God owns the wealth of the entire world, it’s conceivable that He can direct some of it your way to help you in difficult times.
But I don’t think that this verse is really talking about money. After all, the text says that God meets our needs “according to the riches of his glory.” And the glory of God is much bigger than money.
If we’re going to understand what true riches are, we need to learn more about the riches of the glory of Christ. Fortunately, the Bible gives us a lot of material to study.God meets our needs according to the riches of his glory. And the glory of God is much bigger than money. tweet this!
Here are some of the characteristics of Christ’s riches that God tells us about in the New Testament:
- He is rich in kindness, forbearance and patience (Rom. 2:4).
- He has deep riches of wisdom and knowledge (Rom. 11:33).
- He has the riches of understanding the knowledge of God (Col. 2:2-3).
- He is rich in grace (Eph. 1:7).
- He is rich in the inheritance of His people (Eph. 1:18).
- He is rich in power and love (Eph. 3:8-16).
I could go on and on with more scripture, but hopefully you get the point. Although God is the owner of all of the physical world, He doesn’t value any of the world’s wealth. God says that true riches are in Christ. And when we live in Christ, we have access to the limitless riches of His kindness, wisdom, grace, knowledge, power and love.
Focusing on True Riches
As we go through daily life, it’s so easy to become distracted by money. And though money is important and can be useful to us, the value of worldly wealth pales in comparison to the true riches of Christ.
The prosperity gospel, which teaches only that God wants you to be rich, falls short because it emphasizes worldly wealth instead of the true riches in Jesus. And every time you let money take a place in your heart that rightfully belongs to God, you fall prey to the same deception.
You might think I’m contradicting myself, saying that money matters and yet that doesn’t matter at all. But here’s where it all comes together: If we don’t properly handle our relationship with money, it will rob us of a proper relationship with God. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 — “You cannot serve both God and Money.”A deep relationship with Jesus is far more valuable than any thing you can ever own. tweet this!
The only way to ensure that you don’t become a slave to money is to become the master of your money. Work hard and practice discipline. Spend time planning where your money will go and make it work for you according to God’s plan. That takes a lot of time, and it’s very important. But it’s only important because it give us access to true riches — the ones that you have in Christ.
In the end, Christ is the greatest treasure of all, and He is the source of all of the true riches in this life. Managing your money matters because it keeps you in right standing with Him. And a deep relationship with Jesus is far more valuable than any thing you can ever own.