“Riches do not profit in the Day of Wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 11:4
Do you want riches? If we are honest, we all would not mind a little more in the bank account. But a better question may be; why do you want riches? Riches can be a blessing from God or they can lead to our own demise. The key is not the desire for riches, but the purpose of the desire. Do we desire riches so we can provide for our families? Do we desire riches so we will be secure in the future? Do we desire riches so we can have more luxuries? Do we desire riches so we can be a blessing to others?
Our question and answer topic this week covered idolatry. Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security. Riches become an idol when our desire for them replaces God as our hope and happiness, significance and security. We should be secure in Christ alone, not in our riches. We should derive our significance from Christ alone, not in our riches. We should find hope and happiness in Christ alone, not in our riches. Everyone needs money to survive in this world, but money is the only one of the ways God shows to demonstrate his grace and our dependence upon Him. Riches become an idol when we start to shift our trust from God to our bank account.
Beloved, riches do no profit in the Day of Wrath. All our actions will be judged by God and our bank account will not be able to save us. The only thing that delivers from death is righteousness, but not our righteousness. We must lose all things (including trust in our riches) so that we can gain Christ and be found in him, “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” (Phil. 3:8-9) The righteousness of Jesus Christ given to us in faith is our only hope in death.
Now we can use our wealth to demonstrate the righteousness of Jesus Christ in our life. When we demonstrate a generous and charitable heart with our riches, we are showing that our hope is in Jesus Christ and his righteousness. So we all may want riches, but the real question is why do we want them? Or should we be desiring different riches altogether (See Back Article).