You’ve seen ‘em – a flower that appears to be alive, vibrant and thriving, beautiful out in a field in the springtime. They’re delicate and delightful! But then something happens, the weather changes, circumstances happen, something in the soil changes and what was a few days earlier bursting with hope, health and beauty, quickly fades, wilts, looks diseased and eventually decays!
In my Bible reading this morning I encountered a word of warning based upon that analogy!
It was directed toward those who make wealth their lifegoal… Those who suddenly experience prosperity and forget the things in life that really matter… Those who shift from eternal lasting values to what is material. They forget the transient, delicate, temporary, unpredictable nature of the pursuit of wealth!
Here it is from the letter from James in the Bible, “a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ”…
James reminds us, “Believers who are poor have something to boast in… God has honored them! …But those who are rich … will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.” (From James 1:9-11 NLT)
It’s tragic… I’ve seen it happen and so have you! Money suddenly comes… prosperity comes… wealth come… and things change for people. Their goals change, their values change, their pursuits change – even their attitude and actions change! If they are not careful, before long they have exchanged what is eternal for what is transient, and forget that the prosperity they are enjoying can and will pass away! Fine houses, expensive vacations, fine dining, expensive cars, large bank accounts and thriving investments get more and more attention and they slip into spiritually destitution! “The flower fades” James says!
Oh, It’s not just James to gives the warning… Apostle Paul did as well!
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17–19 NLT)
And if that wasn’t enough, Jesus Himself address this topic…
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be… No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (From Matthew 6:19–33 NLT)
Oh Lord, help me to remember and prioritize what really matters in life! That’s my prayer!!!