Daily Devotional: Psalms 73:1-7
1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
These verses introduce the story of Jesus about the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was interested in making money, having nice things and enjoying the power that comes with wealth. Like another man Jesus told about, he was self-centered and would just build bigger barns to store his grain so he could take life easy – he could live the “American Dream” as we call it today. His wealth ruled his life.
Instead of being like this, we are to lay up treasures in heaven. The market can (and does) crash and wealth disappears. A drought comes (or too much rain) and the crops fail and all is lost. Mansions burn, cars wreck and things rot. All that is in this world will be burned up with fervent heat, it will be destroyed. But what we put in our account in heaven is safe from harm or destruction. It cannot be stolen and it will not decay. Our heavenly treasure is secure in the Bank of Jesus.
Next to sexual immorality, greed and the love of money are talked about more by Jesus as sin than any other things. Paul usually puts sexual immorality and greed together when he gives lists of sins. He even says that greed is idolatry. This is because we allow material things to control us and our lives. We cannot serve God and mammon because we can only have one master. It is not wrong to be wealthy but we must use what God has given us to his glory, putting him first.
Heavenly Father you have blessed me with material things far beyond anything I dreamed possible. I thank you for all you have entrusted to me and ask you for wisdom to use all I have to your glory. Keep me from being selfish or self-centered in my thinking and my life and use what I have to serve others. Forgive me when I fail to put you first in all things. Increase my faith. Fill me with your love so I will be kind, compassionate and forgiving. Give me strength and self-control so I can be what you want me to become. I pray in the name of Jesus my Savior.