True riches and true poverty

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Proverbs 13

7     There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;

And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

Here is a truism that goes against human logic. At the beginning of the show “Shark Tank” the “sharks” of financial success are introduced. As they are introduced the camera shows cars, houses, yachts, and other great possessions of these super wealthy people who are supposed to help the people who come on to their show. According to this proverb, these great financial investors who have made themselves rich really have nothing. Like I said, this goes against human logic.

In my years doing services at Sunrise Assisted Living, I remember two people who were super rich. The man was successful in oil in Texas. His net worth at his death was $15 million. He was bitter at life and his family wanted nothing to do with him. His wealth was taken out of his hands. Thankfully, we, my father-in-law and I, were able to lead this poor rich man to Christ before he died. Another was a woman who was the heiress of the Scot’s lawn fertilizer family. She had an opulent corner room, everything money could buy, but was lonely and bitter at life.

On the other hand, I was blessed to know some godly men and ladies who had very little of this world’s money but had Christian families who loved them and led them to Christ. One lady was bent over with Polio from very young. She was a blessing to everyone she met. When she went home to be with the Lord many people missed her love and care. She was rich beyond riches.

All to often our emphasis of life is on how much we can make and how much we can save. Solomon makes it clear that we need to turn around our definition of wealth. He who has nothing but has given what he has for the care of others and the furthering of God’s kingdom has great wealth both here and hereafter. But he who makes himself rich while ignoring the needs of others will end up in relational poverty here and eternal poverty hereafter.

Let us be sure we are following the right wisdom with our money and our goals for it.


Ramadan in Indonesia has begun. It is the month of time when Muslims to cleanse their souls, fast from 6AM to 6PM every day. During these hours they cannot either eat nor drink anything. Pray for us to find opportunities to care for these dear people in this time of their spiritual sensitivities.

Tomorrow I will be preaching at a Word of Life day camp. A private school in Jakarta, non-Christian, is working with the Word of Life missionaries here to set up this time of biblical instruction in the school. Pray with us for young hearts to turn to Christ and to surrender to Him. It was in a school chapel that the Lord broke my heart and I gave my life to follow Him. May some this week hear that wonderful voice calling them.

 Have a great day in the Lord,


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