Proverbs 11:4-5, NIV
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.”
Wealth and riches can be used to bring enormous blessing to many people, if they are used wisely and generously in the Lord’s service. We may spend all our lives trying to accumulate large amounts of money – but the fact is, we can only use our physical resources while we are here on earth! Nothing of what we physically own on our earthly pilgrimage will carry any weight or give us any influence when we finally have to face God. We cannot take any of it with us. All our money and human resources will count for nothing on the day which Solomon described here as being ‘the day of wrath’.
The power and influence that wealth can exercise on earth is reduced to nothing when we stand before God. Earthly gold, silver and treasure is not the currency of heaven. The currency of heaven is the ‘righteousness of the blameless’. Jesus told a parable to help people understand how important it is to be ready, having a good supply of the sort of currency that does carry weight in eternity.
In the parable (see Matthew 25), there were ten girls waiting for the Bridegroom to come. Five had a good supply of oil for their lamps, the others had none. When it became clear that the Bridegroom was coming, panic set in among the five without oil with which to light their lamps, so they went off to try and find some – but it was too late. The Bridegroom came and they missed their opportunity. Only those who already had oil in their lamps could go with Him.
Jesus is, of course, the Bridegroom and the Body of Christ is the Bride. Only those who have truly humbled themselves at the foot of the cross and received Jesus as their Saviour and Lord are capable of being made righteous and are able to be part of the Bride. And when the fruit of our lives is assessed it is only that which has been done in obedient response to His love that will carry weight when the books are finally opened at the end of time (Revelation 20:11-12). This is the righteousness that “delivers from death” and which makes a straight way ahead of us in the journey of life. It is so vitally important that our trust for daily living is not in whatever resources we may, or may not, have, but in the God who loved us so much that He sent that which was most precious to Him, His Son, to express His love towards us.
When we trust in Him and follow Him in joyful obedience we are storing up for ourselves eternal wealth which can only be measured in the currency of Heaven. While God can use money to facilitate His Kingdom purposes here on Earth, let’s not fall into the trap of trusting in what we have on Earth, thinking that this will give us credibility in Heaven. It won’t!
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the blessings I can bestow on others, through using whatever resources You have given me, to play my share in building the Kingdom of God. I ask that you will forgive me, Lord, for ever thinking that any earthly wealth I may have accumulated on earth will give me status before You. Help me to be wise with the resources you have given me and to keep my eyes focused on accumulating the currency of Heaven – not the riches of Earth! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.