By Mark Andrew Beach
Building God’s kingdom here on earth really revolves around taking care of those less fortunate than ourselves. So let’s talk about helping the poor and the needy. Let’s come up with ways to feed the hungry & clothe the naked. This implies direct financial support from those who have the means to do so. You know, we have so many missionaries and ministries dedicated to converting others to Christ, and there is so much wealth generated and expended for this cause. This is indeed a good thing. However, few are ever converted to Christ on an empty stomach, metaphorically speaking.
Remember when Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? Do you remember the circumstances that led to his seemingly biting comment? He had just met the rich young man who asked him what else he, the young man, needed to do to enter the kingdom of God. After Christ questioned him about how well he kept the commandments, and the young man answered in the affirmative, Jesus then instructed him to give all he had to the poor and needy and then to follow Him. The bible goes on to say that the young man departed sorrowfully because he had much riches. Hence, the comment by Jesus.
Note that Jesus did not condemn the young man, he simply observed that he had his priorities with regard to how the kingdom of God worked all mixed up. For some, like this righteous, but rich young man, it was sacrifice first, then follow, that is the order of things. For others the order of things might be, fill your stomach first, clothe your children and then follow.
So feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing adequate shelter from the elements to those who have not the means to do so is one really big reason for becoming wealthy. I am not, I emphasize not, suggesting another government program. It is not government’s responsibility to care for the poor among us. It is the responsibility of all of us to find opportunities to be good Samaritans and take care of those in need. That is the Lord’s way.
Let’s visit the sick and afflicted. This implies a time commitment, as well as a financial commitment. Let’s become wealthy so we can alleviate pain and suffering of all kinds throughout the world. Imagine what kinds of success we would have finding cures to major diseases, if no one donated the time or money to do so.
Liberate the captive. What do I mean by liberate the captive? How about liberating people’s mind through enlightenment, education, missionary work, supporting the cause of millions of political prisoners in the world? There are thousands of people persecuted even today just for believing in a certain religion. Can we not contribute to these causes?
All of this is a part of God’s work and kingdom here on planet earth. All of this takes wealth to accomplish. We believers are a part of God’s work and kingdom here on earth. We are here to strengthen weary knees and hold up the arms that hang down. So if we are to live up to our commitments to God when we entered His kingdom and work, we must also learn His laws of abundance and prosperity so we can become even more effective in bringing His work about successfully.
So, why does God want ME to be rich? Ultimately to build God’s Kingdom. However, we must remember to build and contribute even now, while we are just building our wealth. In other words it is not ‘OK’ to say to ourselves, I will build my wealth now and donate my time and money later when I am rich. Actively contributing as we grow, financially and personally, is indeed part of the on-going process; starting now. We must come to understand what God’s will really is for us and His will is for us is to obey all His commandments and laws, including those that govern wealth creation. This is what I have learned as I have humbly and prayerfully sought to know His will for me.
The question to take to God in prayer is not, “Lord, what is thy will for me?”
The question to take before the Lord should be, “Father, are these laws yours, and should I learn them for the purpose of helping your children here on earth?” Go ahead, try both questions. I am pretty sure which one will provide you an answer.