04 Nov Mark 10:17-31; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 12:21; 2 Corinthians 8:9

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”

Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Luke 12:21
21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

“The Prosperity Gospel” is the false teaching boldly presented by many TV evangelists today. This heresy basically says  by speaking the right words, invoking a universal law of success with words, and having faith in oneself, you will never get sick and are guaranteed financial success. The “Word of Faith Movement”, established in 1962 and adopted by many preachers who saw it as a vehicle to amass great wealth for themselves, was responsible for spreading prosperity teaching across America. Why has this false teaching caught on and found success in the states? First, this tainted doctrine appeals to the human desire to be rich which fits right in with the American dream. It appeals to certain aspects of American culture and sadly, many in the church are more influenced by culture than by Scripture. Yet, to place faith in anything or anyone other than Jesus is idolatry. Personal fulfillment and worldly success is exactly what the prosperity gospel promises, but the Bible says anything we achieve is as filthy rags when compared to knowing Christ Jesus who, “though rich, for our sakes became poor, so that through His poverty we might become rich”. Being rich in Christ is far more than attaining material wealth. The American Dream is not God’s plan for blessing your life; only Christ can do that. Because you have been eternally blessed through His sacrifice for you, your response will be to become a Kingdom Manager. Everything that is God’s is to be used for His glory. Think about this; while He lived on this earth, Jesus did not have a place to lay His head, yet, “all things have been created through Him and for Him”. His desire is not that we store up things on earth for ourselves, but we, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all of our needs will be given to us as well.” It may be time for a question, a prayer, and a confession. Ask yourself, “Am I seeking first the kingdom of God?” Pray something like, “Reveal to me, O Lord, if I think I am rich toward you, but do not realize that I am, ‘wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked’”. Then you may need to confess your sin to Him. “Forgive me, Lord. I earnestly repent for placing too much faith in the things of this world. I call upon your name. Give me a generous, compassionate heart. Through Christ who gave His all for me, Amen.” Now let’s start storing up some riches in heaven.