Matthew 6:33—But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
I would imagine if you quoted Jesus’ advice above to a secular financial advisor he might laugh you out of his office after you explained that “all these things” referred to food, drink and clothing (6:25,31). “Are you crazy! Don’t put your trust in some ancient religious leader. After all, God helps those who help themselves. If you want to live the good life and be secure, you better make lots of money.”
Of course you could open up and read to him Psalm 119:36,37, “Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to material gain. Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in your ways.” But he would likely tell you that what’s worthless is being poor.
The need for security and the desire to live well are just some of the reasons people use to justify making obedience to God’s decrees less important than material gain. But the study of a few different passages in Scripture makes clear why such a pursuit is foolish. Psalms 34:9 says, “You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh, for those who fear Him lack nothing.” The reason for this promise is further illustrated in Psa. 103:17-19. “But from eternity to eternity the LORD’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His precepts.”
We are able to set our hearts on obeying God’s laws when we revere Him. Respect-laced obedience brings God’s faithful love and not just to us but to our grandchildren. Doing what God asks of us because we fear Him is the definition of righteousness. Proverbs 10:3 says, “The LORD will not let the righteous go hungry. . .” Therefore, to go after material gain first is to sacrifice God’s promise to take care of us when we make Him first! We may get what we want in the short run but at the expense of His eternal reward.
The worst economic advice is to tell someone to give their best effort to making money and amassing possessions. That is idolatry and in the end those things will burn. In contrast, if we will focus on pleasing God and living according to His will He will bless us with all that we need! (Note I did not write all that we want because there is a difference!)
Jesus did not preach against work or say that making money was not important. He applauded those who were industrious. The key is not allowing money, possessions or basic staples to become our primarypursuit. Put God first and experience joy and blessing that lasts forever!
Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety. If our hearts are set on them, our reward is an anxiety whose burden is intolerable.—Dietrich Bonhoeffer inThe Cost of Discipleship
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)