I was recently doing a Bible study, and the fact that “God is storing up wealth for the righteous” came up. This got me to thinking … and thinking … that I should look into this fact, and to discover what God wanted me to learn about it. And then, to write about it. So … here goes …
Remember that, as a hearer of the Word, we have a responsibility. Yes, to respond to it, no doubt. But, we should, as diligent students of God’s Word, “find out for ourselves” if what we have heard is true … if the Bible does, in fact, “really say that.” Please note that I am not discounting in any way the God-inspired preaching of God’s Word … it’s just that you can’t “cover it all” in a sermon … the sermon or Bible study should do what it is meant to do: Make you want to go home … open the Bible for yourself … and, “see for yourself.” Oh … by the way … this only works when you take notes during the preaching or Bible study … which you should do … so that you can then go home and study further into the Word!!! If the preacher is being led by God, then God will give the preacher exactly what is needed for the congregation that particular day … and this also means a visiting preacher.
So … this idea that wealth is being stored up for the righteous …
First of all … where does it say that?
Proverbs 13:22: “… the wealth of the sinner is laid up (stored up) for the just (righteous).”
The Bible says it.
I believe it. Because it’s true.
The book of Proverbs … what a wonderful, profound, instructional book! By the way, just before this verse, it says, “Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be returned” (verse 21).
Let’s face it. We are all human, and, whether we want to or not … we act and feel human sometimes. What I am getting at here is something that came up during the Bible study, and I think we may all feel this way sometimes: Here we are, living Godly lives as best we can, yet struggling to make ends meet (I’ll have to find out where that phrase came from), really having a hard time. But, we are living Christian lives, centered on Christ and what He wants for us, doing all we can to follow Him. We see others, whether friends, associates, or family, not living Godly lives, yet they seem to “have everything,” no financial or other worries, everything they touch seems to turn to gold. If we are not careful, we can become discouraged. Which is exactly the reason I think God wants me to write about this. To encourage you, and us.
Be careful not to fall into this trap! It is a great weapon of the enemy to get us to look at others … and, not ourselves. The old statement is so true: If we spent half the time looking at ourselves, examining ourselves, worrying about ourselves, that we spend looking at, examining, worrying about others, our lives would be much better-and, happier. Ouch! It is so important to pray and study God’s Word. The most important relationship in your life-and the most “rewarding”-will always be your relationship with Jesus. We’ll say it again: How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t know? And, how can you know someone unless you spend time with them?
I know I am writing this on a “social network” platform … but … here goes … if we spent half the time in prayer and Bible study that we spend on “social networks” … Ouch!
If things aren’t going well … what a great opportunity … to “seek God!” I mentioned in the last paragraph that the most “rewarding” relationship you will ever have is with Jesus. Remember that God is a “Rewarder!” Hebrews 11: 6 says that God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Make no mistake: It does take effort to live a Christian life. Here in Hebrews, we see the key words “diligently” and “seek.” Both are action words! Let me say that again: It takes effort … diligent effort … If we look at the definition of “diligent,” it means, “characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort; painstaking effort.” If we look at the word “seek,” we find this to mean “to search for (someone or something); to try to find (someone or something); to ask for (help, advice, etc.).” Haven’t we all known people whom we can say about, or to, “I hope you find what you are looking for” or “You seem to be looking for something you haven’t found.” I think we just discovered what all are looking for … they just don’t know it: They are seeking to find what God placed inside of them … a genuine desire to know Him … someone just hasn’t led them to “what they are seeking.” Peace, success, happiness, it all resides, dwells within a close relationship to God. That’s what everyone, really deep-down inside, is looking for. And … let’s face it … until they find what God has placed inside of them to find … desires for them to find … they will never, ever be happy.
By the way, Hebrews 11:6 … the first part of that verse is “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believer that he is …” and then, the part about God being a rewarder comes in … So, to please God, we must, first, have faith in Him … I find that I want to please God, to be pleasing to Him … this is so important to me … yet, I find myself letting Him down so often … Yet, He never leaves me … because I always get back up, and seek Him again.
By the way … “faith” is an action word, too! Here’s another action word: “Walk.” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5: 7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” I like the definition of “sight,” which means “to move with; to go with (someone).” I like to say that “When I act on faith, I’m not acting.” It’s because I have seen, experienced God do so many wonderful things in my life, and in the lives of others.
We must be careful to not become discouraged, as this may actually underlie (that’s another interesting word) a lack of faith in God … thinking that God has forgotten or forsaken you … that He doesn’t care … Nothing could be farther from the truth! God loves you, and there is nothing He wants more than to have a close, personal relationship with you. Jesus said, simply, in Mark 11:22, “Have faith in God.” Think about this, from Romans 8:32: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” That’s right, it’s not over yet. We’ll talk about patience along the way. But, let’s not forget what we already have … what God has already given us.
There are just so many Scriptures which detail what we already have, what God has already blessed us with … As if He, Himself, actually living inside of us isn’t enough, coupled with eternal life … There are so many things God has given us, which He wants us to be thankful for … like this: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). That’s a lot!
It seems like, underneath (between the lines), I am really saying that it should be God we are trying to please … not our neighbors … it is Jesus we should be trying to copy … not that person in the newspapers or magazines at checkout … I’m serious when I say that I saw this first written on a shower curtain somewhere: “When a man is right, his world will be right.”
An amazing thought about having to write this today: As I searched my favorite online source for word definitions, which is merriam-webster.com, I see that here is the “Word of the Day.”
And, I’m not making this up:
The Word of the Day is
“having unlimited authority or influence”
That’s Who we have living inside of us!
I think God wants us to get to know Him more … and to be thankful for what we already have.