Having wealth is no guarantee of a better life. Just ask lottery winners who've won and lost millions, finding themselves overwhelmed by their new-found wealth.
Being rich has its challenged and these challenges lead to greater responsibilities.
This illustrates a spiritual reality. Jesus had something to say about the pitfalls of wealth and their spiritual connection to the heart.
The weight of wealth
Consider the impact instant wealth would have on your life. How would it effect your relationship with others? Be certain that it would! How would your family and friends react? How many "new" friends would you attract?
It would radically change your life. What would you do with it all? How do you keep it safe? How do you handle the legal liabilities like taxes?
But not everyone reacts and responds the same way to riches and wealth.
Some wealthy people lead quite unassuming lives. They don't drive expensive cars or live in lavish homes. They handle their life and wealth with grace and wisdom.
Where is your treasure?
Jesus said your heart will be where your treasure is (Matt 6:21; Luke 12:34). What did He mean?
What do you treasure most in your heart of hearts? Physical wealth can be lost easily and quickly, as many lottery winners could testify.
But what if there's a wealth that can't be stolen or lost? There is. But this wealth is not physical, and isn't gained by luck or business.
An extraordinary life
Last week, I looked at the Art of Dying to Self. All true followers of Jesus gain an indestructible life when we give this fragile life of ours to Him (Mark 8:34-37).
The life we gain is a supercharged life, empowered with the same power that raised Jesus from death (Rom 8:11). So, our view of life on earth needs to change. It's no ordinary life, so we are to live in an extraordinary way!
But how? This is expressed by the apostle Paul this way—
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Col 3:1-2 NIV)
An incorruptible treasure
As Christian believers, we've inherited a wealth that can't be measured. It is an incorruptible life, and it should change how we look at our life and how we live it.
What do people do when they inherit or win great riches? They have to find a place to keep it. Wise people invest it, others might keep it in a vault or buried somewhere. Years ago, some might stuff their mattresses with cash.
But none of these are fool-proof. Investments can fail. Currency, even precious metals, can lose much of their value.
Our treasure—this indestructible life gained by trusting in Jesus (1 Cor 15:52-53 NIV)—is secure in the hands of God. This is how Paul explained it—
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col 3:3-4 NIV)
Safe and sound, but not secret
This indestructible life is hidden from natural eyesight now because it is spiritual and eternal. But it is not to be a secret life. It is hidden, not buried.
The exchange of our fragile life for an indestructible one becomes evident to us and others because our focus of life changes. This treasure (Christ's incorruptible life in us) is to impact how we view life and how we live it.
As Paul said above, we need to set our hearts and minds on things above (Col 3:1-2).
How do we live this extraordinary life day-to-day? How do we adjust our vision so to speak? We need to be changed from the inside out, and we'll look at how that begins in a later post.
Until then— What do you think?
What are ways we can set our hearts and minds on things above?