Luke 6:24-26 – "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
Rich… well fed… happy… and well liked, are interesting targets for woe, yet, that’s exactly what Jesus declares as the counterpoint to the blessing and reward He pronounced in the previous verses. These three verses are the antithesis of those. In the Gospels, Jesus had much to say about the wealthy who trust in their riches: The Rich Young Ruler, The Rich Man and his Barns, The Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Church of Laodicea.
After meeting with “The Rich Young Ruler,” Jesus told His disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” And, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." –Matthew 19:23,24. In the parable of the rich man whose fields produced such a good crop that he decided he would tear down his barns and build bigger ones, "God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' Then Jesus made this application – "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." – Luke 12:20,21. Each of these narratives speak to the woes of trusting in riches.
The woes continue in the Luke 16 story of the rich man and Lazarus. After they both had died, Lazarus was carried to Abraham’s side while the rich man was in hell where he was in torment. Looking for relief, he begged for a drop of water, "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
And in Revelation 3:17, addressing the woeful state of the Church of Laodicea, the Lord of the Church declared, “You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Jesus also warns that the kind of popularity that finds everyone’s complementary favor is really not the position you want to be in – unless you think that the false prophets are a great group to identify with! The false prophets were well-liked and given positions of high esteem in the public eye. They were known for speaking what the people wanted to hear, as opposed to speaking the truth from as messengers of God. The future is not pretty for those who choose popularity over God’s truth!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Thank God for riches that don’t need money, popularity or power to obtain and enjoy!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Bob & Alison St.James (Matt, Kelly), Steve & Allison Worrall, Alberto & Kasandra Aneses, Alberto Jr.
- Pray for those who are rich in money but poor toward the things of God!
- Give thanks to God for treasures that last forever and keep investing in them.
- Pray that those who trust in money will be awakened to the deception of such riches.
- Give thanks for the value God has placed on your life and the investment He has made in Christ Jesus on your behalf!
- Pray for those who spend their entire lives seeking wealth, fame, position, popularity and power, that they will come to see the vanity of such pursuits!
Prayer Challenge: Remember that those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Pray for those people who, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:9,10. Pray that God will fill our hearts with values, priorities, principles and attitudes that bring true and lasting riches that monetary wealth can never buy!