All of us can be rich in God’s sight and it does not require any money
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
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.”
Excerpts from | Sacred Space.
Jesus now takes the opportunity to make some general remarks about material greed “in all its forms”. A man may be wealthy, he says, but his possessions do not guarantee him life. Life comes with freedom, peace and happiness. Money cannot buy these things.
There is no evidence that rich people enjoy more freedom, peace or happiness although many of us are inclined to think they do and we envy them. Their marriages do not last any longer. They do not bring up better children. They do not necessarily enjoy better health.
What is my attitude to money and wealth? If I were to die now what could I bring with me to present to God? And what will I leave behind, apart from cash and possessions? All of us can be rich in God’s sight and it does not require any money. Someone has said that the really rich are not those who have the most but those whose needs are the least. [If you have a New Testament handy, read the following passage, 12:22-34, where Jesus spells out a recipe for a life free from anxiety, the life which he himself lived.]
And what we need most is the ability to reach out in love, the love that builds and makes life better for others.