“You are not supposed to live on toys because you cannot take them to heaven,” says Adrienne, 8.
Adults try to live on toys, too. The difference is that adults make payments on their toys. Television commercials look so slick, but no manufacturer’s toy has ever filled the void in a customer’s soul. That vacuum in our souls is reserved for an infinite, loving God.
“You can’t take all your stuff to heaven. Your children would have to get it — plus, they will fight over it,” says Jacob, 9.
When it comes to dividing estates of deceased parents among surviving children, it’s a real-life drama.
“The rich will not take their pet dog or their basketball, but they will take their soul and their heart,” says Hannah, 10.
We derive such comfort from things, abilities and achievements, but what if everything were stripped away in a moment?
“Rich people fade away because they concentrate on money and not God and Jesus. They should keep their eye on God and Jesus,” says Landen, 7.
The Bible is not against wealth. Abraham, the father of all believers, was rich. The Bible does, however, warn against placing our hope in riches because they will fade.
“People should concentrate on heavenly things,” says Grant, 11. “If God has blessed you financially, you should use it to glorify Him. If you do have a lot of money, you should give it to the needy or to places where you can help people.”
Wealth brings responsibility. The Christian attitude is that we are stewards of all property under our control. Everything belongs to God. We are accountable to him for how it is used.
Jesus told a story of a man who entrusted his three servants with different amounts of money. Two of the three invested wisely and secured a profit for their master, but one hid his money because he was afraid. Jesus rewarded the productive servants, but punished the fearful, unprofitable servant (Matthew 25:14-30).
“We should set for ourselves treasures in heaven, not treasures on Earth because they will fade away,” says Ransom, 8. The Bible says the wealthy in their pursuits are like flowers in the field that fade away under the sun’s scorching heat (James 1:10-11).
Christians with divided loyalties live unstable lives. They flip-flop between love of God and love of riches. The double-minded Christian is a bundle of mixed messages and contradictions.
“Some people think only about money and do not accept Christ. When they die, they do not go to heaven,” says Allen, 11.
This is the ultimate loss. In God’s economy, if you own the entire world but lose your soul, you’re busted — bankrupt forever.
So great is our tendency to depend on wealth to the exclusion of God that Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into his kingdom. It’s practically a miracle whenever wealthy people humble themselves to trust in the one who gave up the riches of heaven to die on a shameful cross to pay for our sins.
Think about this: Truly wealthy people think of themselves in relation to God, not their property.
Memorize this truth: “For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits” (James 1:11).
Questions to ask: Are you truly wealthy? Do you know the riches of fellowship with God? Do you know the peace that comes from being content in all circumstances? If you’re a Christian whom God has prospered, are you looking for opportunities to invest in the advancement of God’s kingdom?