What is your measure of wealth?
1st of 3 part series
By: Rev. Steven B. Smethers DD

How do we measure wealth? In todays materialistic world, wealth is measured in money and possessions. The big house, fancy car and big bank account. All the wonderous things that money can buy. The good life. Bought with our own money. Is it really?

First let us remember that God had the power to create heaven and earth. All things, are God’s creations. Nowhere does it say that God created everything EXCEPT money.
The Bible teaches that all money is God's, all of it. All the money that you have is God's money. You just manage it for Him. Leave that in your mind.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18
confirms that, "But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth." Everything is God's and He gives you the ability to earn wealth.

Proverbs 8:20-21
says, "I walk in the way of righteousness. . .to endow those who love me
with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries."
So if you have wealth, it came from God, He endowed you with it.

First Corinthians 4:7
says it this way, "What do you have that you did not receive?" And the answer is nothing. So everything belongs to God and He has given it proportionately by His sovereign will, to people in differing amounts. And you cannot give to someone else what doesn't belong to you, and since everything we have came from God, everything we have that came from God, belongs to God. He gave it. It is not wrong to have money. It is not evil to have money.

It is EVIL to Love money, and when you start loving it, you are going to deal with the anxiety, and the covetousness, and the selfishness, and the greediness, and the discontent, and the unfaithfulness, and the flattery, and the idolatry, that all flows out of the loving of it.
(no man can worship both God AND money)

It is a gift from God. All the money you have is a gift from God. And it depends on how you handle it, whether it is a blessing or a curse.

Luke 12: 15-21

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry.
20 But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou
hast provided?
21 So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Even Israel was rich, Isaiah 2:7 says, "Their land is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures." It is not wrong to possess that, but Israel was warned by God, "You shall remember the Lord your God. Don't forget me, don't become conceited, don't waste it on your own lusts, don't consume it on yourself."

So when we examine Scripture, we first of all want to see the way that we are to use or possess money, and as far as we can tell from Scripture, it is a blessing from God, we ought to thank Him for it. He gives it to us so that we may meet our needs, so we may help meet the
needs of others who are in distress. And so that we may give to the eternal ministry of Heaven, by winning people to God. That's why we have our money. To take care of our needs, help the needs of others be met, and give to the Kingdom enterprise.

In Matthew 6:19
, Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

So many people stop supporting God's work because they don't have any money. They pay it all out in bills. And then when they can't pay it out any more, they go get a loan to consolidate all their bills, and wind up paying more over the long run. And it is all because we get caught in this materialistic trap. We are limited as to what we can do for God. And if the Lord called us to forsake all and to follow Him, we would say, "I am sorry, I can't do it, I have too many debts." Do you see the Great American Lie, you know what it is?

The Great American Lie is that you are to buy things you don't need, with money you don't have, from people you don't even like.

We must be very wise and very thoughtful stewards of everything God gives us. We manage it for Him. It is a spiritual test and if we can't handle it, He says in Luke, "If you cannot handle money, do you think that He'll give you the true riches," which I believe are people. Do you think that He will let us be a spiritual leaders if we can't even handle dollars? Why would He give us people if we can't handle dollars?

Proverbs 27:23-24
says, "Know well the condition of your flocks
and pay attention to your herds, for riches are not forever."

Do you have personal or heavenly wealth? The glory had better be to God !

Written by: Rev. Steven B. Smethers DD
Senior Pastor / Administrator - UCMI