Tuesday, January 6, 2009

When Wealth Isn't!

BERLIN - German billionaire Adolf Merckle has committed suicide after his business empire, which included interests ranging from pharmaceuticals to cement, ran into trouble in the global financial crisis, his family said Tuesday. --- reported by Associated Press on Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Adolph Merckle had worked hard to build a business empire which over time made him a billionaire worth an estimated 9.2 billion dollars according to Forbes. He had a number of business interests which begin to experience trouble as the world economy went into a financial tail spin. He obviously came to a point where he no longer saw any purpose in living and threw himself in front of a train.

God has gone out of his way to warn us of the danger of wealth and allowing ourselves to become dominated by the desire to accumulate material goods. Money is a very prominent "god" in nations around the world. It is wise to remember also that God has specifically pointed out that there are times when He chooses to bring judgment on false "gods." One of the more dramatic displays of such action is seen when God chose to bring the Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. So it stands to reason that in time the money "god" may also be slated for judgment at the hands of God.

The Scriptures repeatedly provide information about the subject of money and human experiences related to the accumulation and use of it. Many experiences reported are quite negative, further reinforcing the basic truth as given in Scripture about the love for money:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. --- 2 Timothy 6:10

Problems with money are not confined to billionaires or millionaires. It can happen to just about anybody. Attention is diverted away from God and the issue of what it is that He wants from us to all those things in the world that we feel we just have to have -- so in order to get them, we have to get money, and preferably, tons of the stuff. And once we do that we can settle back and take it easy or will we?

It has happened more than just a few times that once people begin to get some big money in their possession the desire for more and more begins to kick in. Money has shown again and again that it is a merciless taskmaster!

Take a lesson from one man as revealed by Jesus:

And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' But God said to him, 'You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." --- Luke 12:15-21

It is possible to be in line to inherit wealth that far exceeds the empires which the wealthiest of billionaires have accumulated for themselves in this world. A Christian can say, "I've got it -- I just can't lay my hands on it right now or come up with a numbers value on paper, but it's real and it's promised to me!"

Before you leave try these on for size and then sleep on them tonight -- and then remember, in comparison to this Adolph Merckle was a pauper of the first magnitude!

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. --- John 14:1-3; Romans 8:16, 17; 1 Peter 1:3-5

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