Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 2.13.18 – Dear Rich American Friends

Let me ramble a bit about riches, America, and Jesus…

  • First off, we all fit the category. Compared to the rest of the world, “rich” describes every American.
  • If you don’t understand that first point, do some reading and increase your gratefulness for what we have in this country.
  • The Bible warns about riches. Jesus spent time warning people about how riches can act as a barrier to heaven.
  • A rich young man came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Jesus challenged him to sell everything, give to the poor, then follow Him. See the story in Luke 18.
  • No, Jesus isn’t telling us to rid ourselves of possessions or earn our way to heaven. For this man, his riches took the place of God.
  • Now, we may not need to sell everything, but we may need to hear the warning. Our “things”, or better our desire for things and the prestige or attention that comes with them, can take the place of God.
  • The disciples ask: “Who then can be saved?” Great question. Jesus says God makes all things possible – even when man can’t see the possibility.
  • In the next chapter, we encounter the story of Zacchaeus. He had money and power issues, big time. As a chief tax collector he had people working under him. Tax collectors made their living by charging too much and living off the excess payments.
  • But Jesus sought Zacchaeus out, and Zacchaeus experienced true salvation. I don’t use that word lightly – Jesus used the word in the story. And what happened when Zacchaeus experienced true salvation?
  • He invited Jesus in to his home. We should invite Jesus into our lives.
  • He released riches as a sign of releasing the control they had on him.
  • He gave money to the poor. This should stand out to us – how much do we give to the poor as part of our relationship with God, flowing from our salvation?
  • And here, Jesus does what just a couple paragraphs earlier his disciples think impossible: he saves a rich man.
  • Possible, yes. Difficult, yes. God is good, but we should heed the warning.
  • Do your riches control you? How would you know? How do these stories help?

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