“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” Socrates

Have you ever felt like the work that you are doing, the service you are providing, is doing God a favor? If not for you, where would that ministry be? If not for you, how could that church, organization or person have the success they do? Beloved, if we are honest, we all have. With the success that we have enjoyed, what little we have amassed has made us become like these,

“…they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’” Matthew 23:3-7

A team of UC Berkeley researchers found out that the generous income brackets of society today ironically come from the lower income scale. Individuals with lower incomes tended to give more of their resources away while individuals with higher incomes tended to preserve and hold onto their wealth. Now this news, while surprising to many, will not surprise two groups of people; the cynics who always feel that others are out to get them, and those who remember this incident.

“Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”” Mark 12:41-44 [MSG]

The more we have, the more secure we expect our wealth to make us. But ironically, the more we have, the less we are sure that our wealth will stay. But why is that the case? Well, humans are tangible creatures. We find it easier to believe in what we can see and touch. That is why Thomas responded this way.

“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”” John 20:24-25

So whatever is here, present and apparent, will be that which we put our trust in. How many times have we heard people say, ‘Don’t tell me about the love of God or how good He is. Let Him drop __________ in front of me right now, then I’ll believe.’ You can fill in that blank with whatever it is that is our want or need at that moment. But beloved, when we have that mindset, we do no one a disservice but ourselves. For we forget the true source of all that we have, erroneously thinking that we were the ones who made for ourselves, the fortune and success that we are now experiencing and therefore, by implication, we have to sustain the success, instead of leaving it in the hands of our Father, the One who really supplied all our wants and needs.

When David was nearing the end of His reign, he built THE temple to God. And this was what was committed to the project.

“Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen.” 1 Chronicles 29:2-5

But he was not the only one who gave.

“Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.” 1 Chronicles 29:6-8

Why were they able to give so freely? It’s obvious, isn’t it? They had been blessed with a lot. Our Father, their God, had been faithful to them and blessed them with much. How else would they have that much to give?

But one thing more is needed, besides wealth, for them to be able to give, and that is this realization.

“O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.” 1 Chronicles 29:16

Indeed, David said,

“But who am I, and who are my people,
That we should be able to offer so willingly as this?
For all things come from You,
And of Your own we have given You.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

Now, think about it. If they had thought that their wealth was amassed through their own efforts, their response would be more like this, wouldn’t it?

“Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:21-22

Because if we think that what we have is the result of our own efforts, we will never be sure that we can replicate it again, because we are sure that we are weak and have our failings.

But you see, that’s just it; when we realize that all that we have comes from our Father, we can be confident that there’s lots more where that came from, for amongst many other things, Jesus said,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Because “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:8

Beloved, if we depend on our own strength to supply our needs, it is a very laborious task. And when, not ‘if’, our strength fails us, we will find ourselves like the prodigal, in the fields of a foreign land, feeding swine.

Make no mistake beloved, for us who believe, who are our Father’s beloved children, for us, our Father stands waiting for us to come home to His love, His protection and His supply. And when we do, though we be still a far way off,

“…his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

And He will say,

“Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;” Luke 15:22-23

But if instead, you feel like the boy’s older brother, who has been slaving away for God our Father, but have never received even a young goat to celebrate with your friends, our Father has this to say to you.

“Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” Luke 15:31

Let us never forget that we are our Father’s children and our Father loves us. So let us not make things difficult for ourselves by relying on our own strength. Let us, heed the advice of Paul and,

“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest” Hebrews 4:11 [KJV]

And if by chance you have never known Jesus and our Father, never experienced their love; and instead you have been carrying your own burdens and are now worn out and weary, my friend, come home. Jesus is calling out to you and wants to meet you where you are, in your hour of need, right here, right now. For He said,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

If you would open your heart to Him right now and let Him come and lift your burdens from your shoulders, then say this to Him right now.

“Jesus, thank You, for loving me so much that You would go to the cross for me. That on that cross, You would carry my sins, bear my pain, suffer my shame and guilt so that now, I can be faultless, blameless, sinless and pleasing before our Father. Thank You for Your blood shed to give me full remission of all my sins; past, present and future. Thank You that because I am now right with You and our Father, I can come boldly before the throne of Grace and accept all the good that You have for me. I know that I am now eligible for all the blessings, provision and protection that You have willed for my life and I receive them all now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved, remember. You do not need to carry your own burdens or make your own bread anymore. You really never had to in the first place. For you who believe, you have Jesus with you and in you, and

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

And because, through Christ, you have overcome all that is in the world,

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21

You are on your Father’s throne, beloved. So never forget who you are in Christ and lean wholly on Him, His goodness and His love.

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