Thursday, September 15, 2011

True Riches

Are We Rich?

A little boy asked his father, “Dad, are we rich people?” As you might guess, the father proceeded with the standard answer. How rich is a relative term. How we have more than some people, but less than others. How that as much as we seem to have, we don’t think of ourselves as rich. Like 99% of the people I know, we think of ourselves as “somewhere in the middle.”

I want us to think about the question, “Are we rich?” I want us to look beyond the standard answer. By way of getting started, I need to tell you the truth. All of us who are Christians are rich people.

We are rich people because we have been reborn/redeemed. Romans 5:6-9. 1 Corinthians 6:20 reminds us that we have been “bought at a price.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 reminds us that we were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from our aimless conduct. We have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

We are rich people because we have an inheritance. I’m 45 years old, still young enough that I’ve never received an earthly inheritance. My parents are worth a nice chunk of change. They insist that part of that will be mine one day. To tell you the truth, I don’t want it. I’d rather keep them around. I have a brother who’s running the family farm, and I’d like to see him keep doing that. But, as a Christian, I have another inheritance, a greater inheritance. That one, I want with all my heart. Colossians 1:9-12. 1 Peter 1:3-5.

We are rich people because we know Christ/contentment. 1Timothy 6 says a lot about money and even more about true riches. It reminds us that we brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can carry nothing out (v. 7). It warns us that those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition (v. 9). It urges us not to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy (v. 17). And, it tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain (v. 6). It challenges us to be content with food and clothing (v. 8), because true riches aren’t material. The greatest of all riches is eternal life with God.

We are rich people because we have hope. 1 Peter 1:3. 1Timothy 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope…” Hebrews 6:19, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…”

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