The Problem of Money – Part II
Scripture Reading: Luke 18:18-30
Key Verse: Luke 18:24a
When Jesus saw this, He said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
Continuing from yesterday’s devotion, I want us to take note of Jesus’s summary of the rich man’s decision to walk away from Jesus and to keep money as his master. In Luke 18:24, Jesus said: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God… !”
After the incident with the rich man, those listening to Jesus didn’t have a hard time figuring out why Jesus made that observation; having lots of money can satisfy the cravings of the flesh. We may understand that eternal rewards will be great, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the instant gratification that money can provide.
The crowd that was listening to Jesus’s story seemed to be stunned and asked Jesus: “Then who in the world can be saved?” (Luke 18:26).
Jesus’s answer to that question should interest all of us who live in the United States; we certainly fall into the category of the rich. We may not always feel it, but from a global perspective, we are indeed rich. Certainly, that is what God sees. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, then you are richer than 75% of the people in this world.
The fact that you are reading this devotion makes you better off than over one billion people who cannot read at all.
If you make more than $50,000 a year, you are among the top 1 percent of earners on the entire planet.
The median household income for the global population is less than $10,000 a year. More than a third of people on earth live on less than $2.00 a day. More than 1.2 billion live on less than $1.25 a day.
The only reason I include all these stats is to help us to truly listen to the teachings of Jesus about money issues; especially today’s lesson on how hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
The good news in all this is found in Jesus’s answer to the crowd’s question about who can be saved. Jesus said: “What is impossible for people is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
If we Christ-followers who are rich are sensitive to this issue and are surrendering to God’s Spirit within us, we are better off. God asks all of us to give up some of our wealth to help others and to help build His Kingdom here on earth. God’s Spirit is able and will make clear to all of us how much to give to His causes. God will judge us according to our understanding of His Will and our obedience to it.
Father, I want to give away the portion of my wealth that you would be pleased with. May your Spirit direct my thoughts, and I will obey. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.