Tuesday, September 25, 2012

RICHES AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD



By:  D. Cerullo

“When Jesus saw this, he said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!’” – Luke 18:24-25 NLT

The riches of this world provide a constant temptation. So powerful is their pull that they can shape our thoughts and capture our hearts. History, in fact, is filled with tragic examples of this pattern.

In his book, Den of Thieves, James Stewart reveals how, in the scandal that rocked Wall Street in the 1980s, people became caught up in lifestyles that distorted their values. One of the most famous was Michael Milken, who headed the bond-trading department for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Milken saw great potential in “junk bonds.” By 1986, his department generated profits so huge that they were entitled to more than $700 million in bonuses. Milken kept $550 million of this for himself. But he did not think this was enough, and he became angry with Drexel’s chairman.

Eventually, he had to pay more than $1 billion in fines, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Milken paid a high price for his greed and learned that these temporary rewards don’t last.

Jesus tried to teach these principles to a rich young man, asking him to “come follow me.” He encouraged him to “sell all he had.” But the man sadly just walked away. Why? “Because he was very rich.” He made his choice, and turned his back on God (vs. 22-23).

Today, you have choices to make. You can choose to seek wealth and fame and pursue pleasure and greatness in this world. But you, too, will discover that all of these things are temporary. In contrast, the riches that last come from serving God.

Right now, make sure your priorities are clear. Lay everything aside to seek first the Kingdom of God.

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