By Tim Sullivan


In the second book of Chronicles, we read of King Uzziah, the sixteen-year-old ruler of Judah.

2 Chronicles 26:5:
And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

What God did for his servant Uzziah, he will do for all who call on his holy name. God is no respecter of persons. To all who seek him, God promises riches and honour.

Proverbs 8:17-18:
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

The riches of God are not to be confused with the temporal riches of this world, those riches that provide fleeting pleasure but offer no lasting satisfaction.

Proverbs 27:20:
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-13:
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?
12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

There could be nothing sadder then to reach the end of your days on earth only to realize that you wasted the gift of life on frivolous endeavors. Therefore, God instructs his children not to waste their time in the futile pursuit of first acquiring and then holding on to temporal riches.

Proverbs 23:4-5:
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

This is the siren’s song of temporal riches. “Give yourself to me, and I will take care of you,” she whispers seductively in your ear. Then she flies away “as an eagle toward heaven.” This is the deceitfulness of riches, certain to choke the Word out of your life.

Matthew 13:22:
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Our heavenly Father warns us repeatedly of the temptations and snares that await “he that hasteth to be rich.”

Proverbs 28:20, 22:
A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

Proverbs 15:27:
He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

1 Timothy 6:9:
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

It all comes down to the one great question: Who do you trust? We are not to put our trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God.

Proverbs 11:28:
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

1 Timothy 6:17:
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy ...

Who you trust, you will love. And who you love, you will ultimately serve.

1 Timothy 6:10:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Matthew 6:24:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We who desire to serve God do not labor to be rich in this world, but to be rich in good works.

1 Timothy 6:18-19:
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

The richest man is the man who can freely give. He knows God’s river never runs dry.

Proverbs 13:7:
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

The poorest man is the man with the white-knuckled grip on the little he has.

Proverbs 11:24:
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

He that is rich in God is ready to distribute as the Lord commands. He gives to the poor and to the necessity of the saints. He distributes to the work of the ministry, a sacrifice wellpleasing to God.

Proverbs 19:17:
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Romans 12:13:
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Philippians 4:17-18:
Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

The riches we seek are not the temporal riches of this world. We know that gain is not godliness, but godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim.6:6). Therefore, we must take heed and beware of covetousness.

Luke 12:15:
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.

You do not want to be like the man Jesus spoke of in parable who had to face God knowing that he’d laid up nothing for eternity, but only for himself.

Luke 12:20-21:
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.

If you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams, labor now to be rich in the things of eternity, rich with the treasures that endure.

Proverbs 8:21:
That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.



From the June 2001 issue of The Vine & Branches