Luke 12:15 And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.” (GNT).
The Bible is quite clear about the fact that God not only takes pleasure in the prosperity of his children, he also teaches them to profit and to make wealth. The Scripture is also unequivocal about the fact that riches and prosperity are God’s rewards for faithful service. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him! These truths are found all through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
Inasmuch as God blesses his children who serve him diligently (with riches and wealth, among other things), people can also decide to pursue wealth and riches on their own, independent of God. People can also seek to enrich themselves through ungodly ways. The temptation to be wealthy at all costs and by all means can lead even God’s people into doing things that dishonour God and bring the gospel into disrepute, as well as jeopardise their salvation. Yes, riches and wealth are good gifts from God, but not all riches come through godly means! Yes, being rich and wealthy is good, but we must be careful how we go about making and using money. Wealth can bring a blessing or a curse, depending on how it’s acquired and used.
1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal (CEB).
Money is good and useful, but we’re not to love it. The love of money, the Bible tells us, is the root of all kinds of evil. What does the Scripture mean by “the love of money”? The Greek word translated as “love of money” in the passage above is “philarguria“, which means avarice. The dictionary definitions of avarice include the following: an excessive or inordinate desire of gain; greediness after wealth; covetousness; lust. Thus, it becomes immediately clear that what the Bible warns against is not having money or being rich, but seeking after money through unwholesome ways. The love of money entails seeking riches through dishonest means, being greedy for wealth and profit, being covetous and lusting after money. A greedy and covetous man will follow all kinds of evil and devious ways to make money. Such a person has no scruples and will do anything to make wealth, including selling his soul to the devil!
God wants his children to prosper, but he wants them to do so through just, honest and righteous means. God prospers his children, but not all prosperity are from God! There is a prosperity of the righteous (through godly means) and there is also a prosperity of the wicked (through unjust means). The end of both types of prosperity are as different as their means- one ends in God’s favour and blessings, while the other ends with judgement and destruction. As children of God, let us then beware as we seek to prosper, for unless we follow God’s ways in seeking prosperity, we will end up making a shipwreck of our faith and piercing our souls with many sorrows!
Psalms 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
Psalms 73:2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
Psalms 73:3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psalms 73:4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
Psalms 73:5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
Psalms 73:6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
Psalms 73:7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; their evil imaginations have no limits.
Psalms 73:8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Psalms 73:9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Psalms 73:10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
Psalms 73:11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
Psalms 73:12 This is what the wicked are like — always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Psalms 73:13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
Psalms 73:14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
Psalms 73:15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
Psalms 73:16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
Psalms 73:17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
Psalms 73:18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
Psalms 73:19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
Psalms 73:20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies (NIV).
Fraudulent, dishonest and deceitful ways of seeking after riches may make one rich and wealthy. They may make one to prosper. However, such prosperity occurs at the expense of one’s soul and one’s salvation. One can actually sell off one’s soul to the devil in order to be wealthy. Satan offered Jesus that option, but the Lord rebuked him. The devil is still offering that option of prosperity through ungodly and devilish means, and many are taking up Satan’s offer, with no thought for the eternal consequences! Yes, even among Christians and ministers of the gospel, many are coveting after riches and pursuing after wealth unscrupulously! Many are using fraudulent, dishonest and ungodly schemes to make wealth even from the pulpit! Such merchants in the house of God will pervert the word of God and corrupt the gospel just to extort money from people. That is making merchandise of the word of God, and it will bring nothing but destruction to those who practise it!
St. Luke 4:5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
St. Luke 4:6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
St. Luke 4:7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
St. Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” (NIV).
St. Matthew 16:26 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul? (NLT).
Proverbs 20:17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel (NASB).
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly put forward wrong teachings for your destruction, even turning away from the Lord who gave himself for them; whose destruction will come quickly, and they themselves will be the cause of it.
2 Peter 2:2 And a great number will go with them in their evil ways, through whom the true way will have a bad name.
2 Peter 2:3 And in their desire for profit they will come to you with words of deceit, like traders doing business in souls: whose punishment has been ready for a long time and their destruction is watching for them (BBE).
1 Timothy 6:9 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing (AMP).
Colossians 3:5 So put to death the parts of your life that belong to the earth, such as sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry) (CEB).
The only way to make wealth that pleases God is to flee from the love of money and embrace godliness and contentment. Only by seeking God and his righteousness first can we prosper in a way that will attract God’s blessings. Greed and covetousness and avarice will only destroy one’s soul in the end, while godliness with contentment will bring great gain, both here and hereafter. When you love God and serve him faithfully, he will bless and prosper you. When you love and serve wealth at the expense of godliness, you will lose your soul to the devil. One thing is sure: you cannot serve both God and riches. You must love one and hate the other; you cannot love and serve both God and mammon at the same time! It’s impossible! Money is meant to be our servant and not our master! Stop bowing down at the temple of mammon! Stop worshipping wealth!
1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.
1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, man of God, run away from all these things. Instead, pursue righteousness, holy living, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness (CEB).
1 Timothy 6:6 Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have (CEB).
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out](AMP).
Matthew 6:31 Then do not be full of care, saying, What are we to have for food or drink? or, With what may we be clothed?
Matthew 6:32 Because the Gentiles go in search of all these things: for your Father in heaven has knowledge that you have need of all these things:
Matthew 6:33 But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition (BBE).
Matthew 6:24 No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth (BBE).
In conclusion, inasmuch as riches and wealth are blessings from God, Scripture enjoins us to flee from the avaricious love of money, for that is the root of all kinds of evil. God wants to bless his children with prosperity, but we must seek him diligently and follow after godliness even as we seek to prosper. True and lasting prosperity comes from seeking God’s kingdom first. Any prosperity obtained outside of God is satanic, and will destroy the soul in the end. We cannot love money and love God at the same time, for both are mutually exclusive, as the love of money entails greediness, covetousness and unscrupulousness in pursuing wealth. Only godliness with contentment will bring true and blessed prosperity to the soul.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile (HCSB).