Since my copy of “God Calling” was stolen, my chronicle is on hold until I can get another copy. In the meantime, I’m finding wonderful nuggets of wisdom and encouragement in Proverbs. This morning I read Proverbs 3:9 & 10: “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” The word “wealth” jumped out at me.
I have an old coat that I got from a free clothing give-away recently. Since my sleeping bag was stolen, the coat became my cover. I was borrowing a sleeping bag from a camp-mate, but was put into a position of choosing between compromising myself or being cold. I chose to be cold if I had to. Last evening another camp-mate insisted I return to camp and let me use her sleeping bag-an extra. When I got to our camp-site, another friend was there already asleep. She was huddled in a little ball, with no cover against the cold other than her coat. I had been able to pick up some fleece pants and heavy sweaters to wear as insulators, so with these and a sleeping bag, I was okay. Thus, I was able to cover my friend with my coat. She refuses to accept anything from anyone but me for some reason. At any rate, when I read the line in Proverbs this morning, God gave me a revelation about true wealth. I realized that my old second or third-hand coat had become a representation of my wealth.
We perceive wealth to be having an abundance of things. True wealth is spiritual wealth. It is having an abundance of love. True wealth is not in how much we have; but in what we do with all that we are given. Wealth is not having things to give, but it is having the ability to part with the things we have; to let go of the notion of “mine” because it all belongs to God anyway. He uses all the “stuff” to enrich us by making us share it with each other. True wealth is having the ability to see and feel another’s need and having the desire to move in compassion to meet that need; to actually care.
1Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us that we can speak with the tongues of men and angels, have the gift of prophecy, have all knowledge and be able to understand all mysteries; we can have the faith to move mountains, give all we have to the poor, and even give our bodies to be burned; but if we don’t have love we have nothing. I wrote a song once titled “Runner”, and one of the lines says, “You can’t warm a heart of stone.” A heart of stone doesn’t have life and cannot contain life. A heart of flesh is alive with feeling and compassion and caring. In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ephesians 2:6 & 7 tells us that we are raised up with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms in order that in the coming ages God might show us the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in kindness to us in Christ Jesus. And 1 John 1:16 tells us that God is love.
The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others as we love ourselves. Spiritual wealth is the only wealth that will last. Matt 6:19 & 20 Jesus said that we should not store up treasures for ourselves here on earth, but in heaven where nothing can touch them. 1 Phillipians 2:3 &4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each one should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. I used to turn down extra sack lunches for awhile if I wasn’t hungry myself. Then, I started noticing people who couldn’t get up to go and get their own. I haven’t turned down a sack lunch sine. True wealth is having a loving and merciful Father to show you little things like the meaning of true wealth. I always say that I’m the wealthiest woman in the world. In this context, I have to pray, Lord, make it true, make it true, make it true.