The Scriptorium

Right Riches

Do you know where your true treasure lies? Matthew 19.23-26

Matthew 19: Kingdom Counsel (5)


Pray Psalm 27.4-6.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

Sing Psalm 27.4-6.
(Joanna: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
One thing we request but to dwell with You, Lord,
Your beauty to test and to think on Your Word.
In trouble You hide us secure in Your grace;
no foe may o’erride us: We sing of Your praise!

Read Matthew 19.1-26; Meditate on verses 23-26.

Prepare.
1. What did Jesus say about people who love material riches?

2. How did the disciples respond to this?

Meditate.

The rich young man turned away because he loved his riches more than the idea of following Jesus. Through the years, many who profess faith in Jesus have believed they could have both – the riches of material wealth and the riches of heaven. But Jesus offers an important caveat concerning this matter.

Material riches are not evil. Trusting in them and organizing your life around them, rather than in and around Jesus, is evil. Material wealth can become an idol. We labor for it, indulge in it, store it up, covet more of it, look to it for all our wants and needs, and never seem to have enough of it. A person who thus clings to material riches – to any degree – or to anything other than Jesus, is trusting the wrong god for eternal life. Jesus refuses to be an add-on to your life’s security, enjoyment, or convenience. He insists on being all these and more. A camel can’t squirm through the eye of a sewing needle, and a person who trusts in anything but Jesus and the riches that come with knowing Him is not going to make it into the Kingdom of God.

The disciples were astonished to hear this (v. 25). Why? Because, like many people, they assumed that material prosperity was an indication of the favor of God. Those who were wealthy and happy must surely be favored by God. If they can’t be saved, then who can?

Those whom God chooses to save, that’s who. All who truly believe in Jesus recognize that the treasures of heaven – which are all to be enjoyed in Christ (Col. 2.3) – are more valuable than all earthly wealth or treasure. God saves on the basis of merit – the merit of Christ, and not our own.

Reflect.
1. How can we keep wealth, material possessions, and prosperity in a proper Kingdom framework?

2. What did Jesus mean by “treasure in heaven” (v. 21)?

3. Since all things are possible with God, how should this lead us to think about our daily needs?

When the disciples were upset, he said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” But why were the disciples upset since they were poor, in fact very poor? They were upset for others’ salvation and because they possessed great love toward them all. Already they were taking on the tenderness of teachers. At least they were in such trembling and fear for the whole world from Jesus’ declaration as to need much comfort.
John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 63.2

Thank You, Lord, for riches I have in Jesus Christ. Help me to use them wisely today as It…

Pray Psalm 27.1-3, 7-14.
Meditate on the beauty of the Lord and the glory in His face (2 Cor. 4.6). Give thanks and praise for the riches that are stored up for you in Him.

Sing Psalm 27.1-3, 7-14.
Psalm 27.1-3, 7-14 (Joanna: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
Lord, You are our Light and our Savior most dear!
You guard us with might; therefore, whom shall we fear?
Though evil surround us, our enemies fall;
no harm shall confound us when on You we call.

Hear, Lord, when we cry and be gracious, we pray!
Lord, do not deny us Your favor this day!
Our help, our salvation, though others may fall,
preserve our good station when on You we call.

Lord, teach us; Lord, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, Lord, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our heart sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.

Wait, wait on the Lord; persevere in His grace.
Hold fast to His Word; seek His radiant face.
Be strong, set your heart to abide in His Word;
His grace He imparts; therefore, wait on the Lord.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore