“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.’clxvii
I want to point out that God is not against you attaining wealth. If you make sacrifices and give, he will provide you with a hundred-fold return. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven for that hundred-fold return either. The hundred-fold return is “in this present age.” You must realize that a hundred-fold return on this earth is a very small reward compared to what you get when you arrive in heaven. That is, eternal life.
Within this scripture, right along with your blessing, Jesus mentions that persecution comes along with your reward. There are many people who become jealous when their friends, family and neighbors attain success. They see others becoming successful as their failure. They may even criticize you for obtaining the very things that they themselves want.
Are you responsible enough to be blessed? Blessed people always stir up controversy. They tend to offend those who choose to live in mediocrity. Remember, to him whom much is given, much is required. There is a huge responsibility for those people God chooses to become leaders and builders of faith. Hard work and faith will always lead to success. Success will always lead to controversy and criticism.
Remember this on your journey: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”clxviii
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”clxix
As I have established, the pursuit of money at all costs is evil. I have seen the scenario played out so many times. A young family just starting out discovers that they want so many more things than what their current income can support. The husband starts working harder and the wife starts working harder. They see less and less of each other and the kids. This is where the family begins to disintegrate.
The truth is, all that they must do is stop chasing the money and ask God for their needs and wants. Of course, they need to ask in a spirit of total faith. They also need to pursue the things of God, rather than the things of the world. These things that are worth pursuing are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Jesus said that if you seek God, “all these things shall be added unto you.”clxx
I spent my early 20’s fresh out of college working 15 hours a day, “chasing the money.” I always believed in God, but I had the belief that only by working so much would I ever achieve financial success; nothing could be further from the truth. God will take care of you. God will give you all things. He does this when he knows that you are truly seeking Him; not seeking Him just to gain wealth. You must seek the giver, not the gift. Would you want a friend or family member who is more interested in what you can give him or her more than they are in loving you? God feels the same way.
If you know all of this, why is money such a touchy subject and why do you worry so much about it? I believe it is because you trade your time for some amount of money per hour or week or year.
Michael at R2W
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