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  • Writer's pictureDavid Bent

Never Too Rich (17-02-23)

Psalm of Praise: Psalms 108:3-4

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;

I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, higher than the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Bible Reading: Luke 18:18-24, Acts 4:36-37

A man came to Jesus and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

Jesus answered. You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.'"

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him,

"You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor,

and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.

Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.

A Reflection:

John Wesley the great preacher, former Anglican priest and founder of the Methodist Church, famously said, ‘The last part of a man to be converted is his wallet’.

When a person finds true faith in Jesus their life will begin to change through the work of the Holy Spirit. Over time our lifestyles, our language and our relationships are all converted as we learn to love God and to love our neighbour. Wesley’s observation that our wallets are the last things to be converted is probably true. There is always something else that we could spend our money on, a rainy day that we could save for or a safety net that we could strengthen.

Money can be a demanding master. Given free reign, it can be as insatiable as an addictive drug, never quite satisfied, always looking for the next fix. Jesus recognised this when he said, ‘"No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24).

This was the problem that the man in our story faced. His lifestyle had been converted as he claimed to keep all the commandments, but his wallet was not converted. He had great wealth and his wealth was stopping him from following Jesus.

It may be difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God, but it is not impossible, as Barnabas shows us. He was wealthy enough to own land but was prepared to sell it to support the Early Church as it began to grow and then to support Paul on his missionary journeys. Elsewhere Luke tells us of wealthy women who effectively pay rolled Jesus’ ministry. (Luke 8:3)

I wonder how converted our wallets are. Do we serve our wallets or do they serve us? Or do our wallets serve God?


Father God, when I trust in my wealth rather than in you,

Remind me that all I have and all I am is yours.


I lift my hands to the coming King.

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