1/7/20– Rich in God and Giving

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

The formula for getting rich is simple. Make sure that your income (which makes you richer) is more than your expenses (which make you poorer), and over time you will accumulate wealth.

I’ve been accumulating wealth in a home and a big fenced-in yard with lots of landscaping and towering oak trees appreciating in value. But it isn’t making me richer. It is making me poorer. It is screaming at me “Hey, Daron, I need more of your time, attention and money!” It isn’t giving but is taking.

What a blessing! Because I have realized this truth of God: Not all income makes you richer, some makes you poorer. And not all expenses make you poorer, some make you richer.

So after much prayer, my wife and I have decided to give up our current home, and downsize to a smaller yard and house closer to CrossLife Church.

Abraham was a believer blessed with wealth and possessions that he used to serve God. Genesis 14 tells about Abraham and his army chasing down foreign enemies and rescuing his nephew Lot, whose family had been taken as prisoners of war. Abraham returns to town with all the people and their possessions that had been taken captive. He is met by two local kings.

The King of Sodom, who aligns with a worldly approach to riches, proposes a deal with Abraham that would mean they both get something, but he refuses. “I will accept nothing belonging to you .. so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich’” (Genesis 14:23). 

Pay attention here! Beware of income, career, possessions or hobbies that can make you rich, but only by owning you.

Melchizedek the King of Salem aligns with God, generously providing Abraham and his men with bread, wine and blessing. Then Abraham “gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:20). This isn’t a deal, it is two men—rich in goods but also rich in God—giving joyfully and generously, extending goodwill and blessing to each other because they worship God not riches, they focus more on God than themselves, more on giving than getting.

Blessed with worldly income and possessions like Abraham, and blessed by Jesus—your own Melchizedek—with righteousness and peace, you are rich in God.

Here’s how to become even richer. Be rich in giving. Make room in your heart for rich generosity, like Abraham gave a tenth of everything. Not all expenses make you poorer. Godly giving will make you richer.

PRAYER: Dear generous God, you have made me rich! I have more than I need, and I need to become more joyful and generous in giving to you. Deliver me from being owned by what this world values, and lead me by your Spirit to be richer in you. Amen.

BONUS: I preached about this on Sunday. There’s more to the story and you can watch it here https://youtu.be/2T7nyKRYiq8.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Melchizedek is one of the more mysterious characters of the Bible. His name means “my king of righteousness” and he rules the city of Salem, which means “peace.”

Remember at Christmas time hearing the prophecy from Isaiah 9 about Jesus as the “Prince of Peace?

So, the Bible compares Melchizedek to Jesus Christ. Read Psalm 110 and also Hebrews chapter 7. Here are a few highlights.

Priests offer sacrifices and extend blessings to people. Instead of taking from you, Jesus gave to you, he offered himself as the sacrifice for your sins.

Jesus forgives you, making you righteous before God. Rich in God.

Jesus blesses you with his promises that give you peace from every bad decision or mistake, all shame, all worry. Rich in God.

The bread and wine in Holy Communion are Jesus’ own body and blood present for you—in you. Rich in God.

Jesus is your King of Righteousness. Jesus is your Prince of Peace. He gives you life today and promises you eternal life forever. He’s not seeking a deal or sending you an invoice to pay your bill to him. It’s all free.