Jesus spoke of people who actually received the word of God like you and me. They knew the word, but the deceitfulness of riches literally choked the spiritual life out of them. Their lives became worthless, unproductive. Riches promise things they cannot deliver. Riches promise happiness. Riches promise security. Riches promise satisfaction. Riches promise peace and joy, but riches cannot give those things. Only God can give those things. There’s a deceitfulness of riches
How to BE RICH
Deceitfulness of Riches
by Delbert Young
Deceitfulness of Riches
Scriptures: Timothy 6:17-19; Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10; Ecclesiastes 5:10; Proverbs 18:11;
Proverbs 15:16; 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
Every year on vacation, Bonnie, our daughter, and her two sons, Jack and Max come to Florida to see us. One day while they are there, we give them money and take them to an arcade. It’s one where you play all these different arcade games and win tickets. There are all these wonderful things displayed all over a wall you can acquire if you have enough tickets. Acquiring tickets becomes the goal of life. Tickets become the answer to everything and it is all about acquiring tickets because you get what you want if you have enough tickets. The boys go nuts, but they are not the only ones. (Watch)
It was amazing to watch their Mother, Grandmother, and an Aunt, who went with us, caught up in getting tickets. They shoved money into the token machine and tickets pumped out everywhere. About $200 later, we trade in our tickets to get those wonderful things that would change our lives and satisfy us all forever.
When you grow up, you still think, “If I can get enough tickets, I will be happy and secure for the rest of my life.” The tickets change from little red coupons to green money. I am convinced, if I acquire enough tickets, I will be happy. The problem with that is riches – tickets/money – are deceitful.
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Jesus spoke of people who actually received the word of God like you and me. They knew the word, but the deceitfulness of riches literally choked the spiritual life out of them. Their lives became worthless, unproductive. Riches promise things they cannot deliver. Riches promise happiness. Riches promise security. Riches promise satisfaction. Riches promise peace and joy, but riches cannot give those things. Only God can give those things. There’s a deceitfulness of riches.
Let’s look again at a scripture concerning rich people.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are RICH IN THIS PRESENT WORLD not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to BE RICH in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so thatTHEY MAY TAKE HOLD OF THE LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE.
The Lord is speaking to those rich in this present world, not only people in America. When I used to read scriptures like this, I thought they were addressing other people, not me and not most of you. However, when we look at this properly, we must acknowledge we are rich. If you earn wages around $35,000, which is the average household income in this area, you are in the top 4% of wage earners in the world. If you make $45,000 a year, you are in the top 1% of wage earners in the world. That means you are rich like it or not and that scripture is talking to you. If you own a car, you are in an elite group of 3% of the world’s population. You don’t feel rich because you spend it all, but you are rich. That’s good news. God has given us so much FOR OUR ENJOYMENT. However, it is BAD NEWS. Jesus said it was easier to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle than to get a rich person into the kingdom of God.
Matthew 19:24-25 Again I tell you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Rich people need God’s help to BE SAVED. The way we get God’s help is to learn how to BE RICH, not get rich. Once we realize we are rich, and we are, we had better take a close look at our salvation. Why do I say that? RICHES ARE DECEITFUL. Riches can choke the spiritual life out of you. Riches make it extremely difficult to enter the kingdom of God and the context here is not an abundant life. It’s salvation.
RICHES ARE DECEITFUL. If you don’t think so, ask Satan. (watch)
The devil will use money on us as a carrot used on a mule. It will totally occupy and entice you. The devil wants you to be a slave to money. He wants money to be your God, for through money Satan becomes our God. Money has the potential to totally take over a heart leaving no place for God..
Matthew 6:24 NO ONE can serve two masters. EITHER he will hate the one and love the other, OR he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY.
Jesus didn’t say you cannot serve both God and the devil. He said you cannot serve both God and money. Money is a much larger competitor for your heart than the “devil.” Money will cause people to hate God. If you are devoted to obtaining money, you despise God. It can’t be both ways. People would never say they love the devil, but by loving money, you hate and even despise God. Why does a person despise God because of money? God challenges you concerning your priorities and devotion. When you love and serve money, you work all the time, so your priority is not God. You despise God challenging you to volunteer or serve. You hate it when the preacher talks about money.
The devil loves your loving and serving money because it rips families apart. You can’t spend time with your family or children if you are acquiring money. In fact, you will need two jobs. You will max out credit cards then pay off one credit card with another. The deceitfulness of riches cause all sort of problems.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, haveWANDERED FROM THE FAITH and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Notice again, the verse does not say the devil is the root of all kinds of evil, or because of the devil, people wandered from the faith, or because of the devil, someone pierced themselves with many griefs. The problem is money. People WANDER FROM THE FAITH because of their love for money. What does that mean? Think. Does it mean they wandered away from their salvation? You have free will. You can do that. How piercing of a sorrow is that?
Most of us would say, “I know people who love money, but I don’t. I differ with you. I believe that most of us love money and this is a huge problem in the church today. How do you know if you love money? Let’s look at three thoughts. If you love money, you…
- NEVER HAVE ENOUGH.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money NEVER HAS MONEY ENOUGH; whoever loves wealth is NEVER SATISFIED with his income.
I see myself all over that. I think if I had more money (tickets), I would be happier. If I had more money (tickets), I would be more secure. If I had more money (tickets), I could acquire more things that would make me happy. If you are never satisfied with your income, you love money. Ask you a question. How many people do you know who are satisfied with their income? What does that mean? It means nearly everyone you know loves money and that is a dangerous place to be.
Here is the danger. As our money accumulates, our trust, our happiness, our security, everything transfer from God to our money. We put more emphasis on the having money than on having God and one day discover, often too late, that our money deceived us.
How much money do you imagine you need to be totally secure? The answer is more than you have now. That is always the answer no matter how much money you accumulate. We imagine wrong.
Proverbs 18:11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; THEY IMAGINE it an unscalable wall.
Walls in scripture represent safety and security from oncoming attacks. The rich think their wealth gives them safety and security. If it is big enough, it will take care of me. You are deceived again. Your wall will never be big enough. If you love money, you may…
- HAVE MONEY IN THE BANK BUT TURMOIL IN YOUR LIFE.
Proverbs 15:16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth WITH TURMOIL.
With wealth comes “rich problems” – turmoil. I have to fix the boat, the air conditioning, the diesel Dodge Ram, etc. If the stock market goes down, I fret with turmoil because I dropped a bundle. The truth is the more money I have, the more turmoil I have, not security.
Think about this. Most likely, you have a larger income than did your parents, yet you are often miserable. Most of us crossed the “rich line” we talked about last time where we said, “If I ever make this much income, I will be rich.” The line moved, so we chased the carrot to the next line, but when we got to that line, the carrot moved again. MY WALL HAS ACTUALLY GOTTEN BIGGER, BUT MY PEACE AND JOY HAVE NOT.
Many of us have more than we ever dreamed we would have, yet we have all this turmoil with financial pressure. Let’s say it as simply and truthfully as we can, “WE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED BY MONEY.” Say, along with me, MONEY HAS DECEIVED ME. Say, “GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH MORE THAN I NEED. I AM RICH, BUT MONEY HAS DECEIVED ME.” It’s theDECEITFULNESS OF RICHES. It totally consumes some of you.
People think if they just had more money, they would be happy. Money will not keep our children off drugs. Money will not heal our best friend from cancer. Money will not make your marriage better. You cannot serve both God and money. You are piercing yourself with many griefs. If you are not cautious, money will cause you to wander away from the faith. If you love money, you…
- FIND IT INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO GIVE BIG.
It’s amazing. People acquire money so they will have money, but then they never have money because they consumed it on their own selves. When it comes time to give in a way that pleases God, they can’t because they don’t have it although they had it.
When it comes time to give big, we can’t because we have fallen for the DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES. We have either consumed it all on our own selves, or we want to hold on to it thinking it will make life better. There’s a a deceitfulness of riches.
Most of you have been taught about the tithe. The first 10% of our income belongs to God. We are to return that portion to God through our local church, the storehouse. God blesses those who do. Most people say they agree with that. They say they should do it and would love to honor and love God that way. However, when they crunch the numbers, they say, “No way!” Or, maybe you see someone in need and would love to help them financially, but again, you crunch the numbers and say, “No way!” There’s a a deceitfulness of riches.
It’s amazing how studies show that percentage wise, those who have less give more and those who have more give less. There are exceptions, but studies show this to be true. Those with a little money give a bigger percentage than those with more money. Why? It’s because people with money put their trust in their money, not in God. Those with little money can’t trust in their money so they put their trust in God. There’s a a deceitfulness of riches.
The apostle Paul spoke about some poor people. This was not America poor where we think we are poor, but have cell phones, dish networks, and two automobiles. This was speaking to extremely “dirt poor” people.
2 Corinthians 8:2-3 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in RICH GENEROSITY. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
I went on a mission trip several years ago. At one of the houses I stayed, we sat to eat and there was meat on the plate. I didn’t know what kind of meat it was and was afraid to ask. It wasn’t very tasty, but I got it down. Later, the pastor who set up my visit told me the family had saved their money since they heard I was coming to their home so they could buy me meat to eat. Had you seen the house, you would understand what a sacrifice they made. I would preach and minister. They would receive an offering. Initially I did not care about the offerings. That is not why I went. However, when it was explained to me how much those people gave percentage wise out of their extreme poverty, I was deeply touched as was Paul, with their rich generosity. There’s a a deceitfulness of riches.
The devil tells you, “Give WHEN…” Give WHEN you get your bills paid. Give WHEN you pay off your car. Give WHEN you get that raise. Give WHEN you get the house you want. “Give WHEN…” God says, “Give NOW!” Give NOW and I will bless you. Give NOW and I will get you that car. Give NOW and I will get you that house. Give NOW!
I want to ask you a really, dramatic question. Don’t answer yet, just listen. Here is the question. DO YOU LOVE MONEY? I realize it is a difficult question to respond. If you asked me, I would have said, “No, I do not.” However, when I look at my life, I would like to have more money. So obviously, I don’t feel I have enough. According to the Bible that means I love money. I have fallen for the deceit that money gives security and peace. If I had more, I would feel more secure. According to the Bible, that means I love money. I don’t give big sometimes not because I can’t, but because I want my riches, my wall, built up. So, when I look at my life measured by the Bible, I have to admit I love money. If you look, maybe you too have to admit you do love money.
Now I ask you a second question. DO YOU WANT TO OVERCOME THE LOVE OF MONEY? Do you want to be free from serving money? If that is you, will you say one more time with me, GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH MORE THAN I NEED. I AM RICH. I WILL NO LONGER BE DECEIVED BY RICHES.
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