20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. — Luke 12:20, 21 NIV
Riches are neutral, being neither good nor evil. It is our attitude about those riches that causes us problems. In the parable of the “certain rich man”, Jesus shows us the real issue with riches. When we have the wrong attitude about money and possessions, we spend too much time and money in trying to obtain more of each. The rich man decided to build more barns which would require more of his money and time, so more possessions and money causes us to spend more time and money protecting what we have bought. It becomes a vicious circle that destroys relationships and eventually destroys us. God blesses us so that we can bless others. If we hold onto those blessings too tightly and don’t use them for His work, they can become our god. We become dependent on them for our self-worth and happiness. When we have the right attitude about riches, we use those things to advance God’s Kingdom here on earth and to lay up rewards for ourselves in heaven. Jesus did not instruct the disciples to pray for riches, but rather to ask just for what they needed today.
11 Give us today our daily bread. — Matt 6:11 NIV
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! — James 5:7-9 NIV
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:
26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV
For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time. We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth. We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do. We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others. We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus. This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested. This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory. The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven. Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments — Col. 2:1-4 NIV
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out. He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel. We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives. We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV