I understand that someone asked a question of John Davison Rockefeller Sr., an American business magnate and philanthropist whose net worth in the early 19th Century was $418 billion, “How much money does a person really need?” And he reportedly answered, “Just a little bit more!”
My friend Mike, who has not yet trusted Christ as his Savior, is fairly wealthy and quite generous. He has plenty of earthly treasures, but as of yet, isn’t storing up treasures in heaven as Jesus teaches (Matt. 6:19-20). I believe it could be said that for many of my unsaved friends —
25. THEY DON’T POSSESS A BALANCED PERSPECTIVE ON POSSESSIONS!
I’m not saying that my friends are greedy or materialistic, but many of them do lack a biblical perspective on what they own. This is also true of many of us Jesus followers. In a sense, our possessions often possess us.
God’s Word is clear that He is not anti-matter, that what we own isn’t really ours, that things are not to be more valued than people, and that He uses material blessings for His glory. We are stewards not only of His grace but of the gifts He gives to use for Him. Some preachers have said that Jesus taught more about money than He did about heaven. I’ve not checked that out, but He does warn of greed (Lk. 12:15) and Scripture warns of our temptation to esteem others based on their financial status (see James 2).
The Bible provides very specific principles about our possessions. Here are a few: (1) All that we have we have from the Lord (I Cor. 4:7); (2) Even your own life has been bought at the price of Christ’s blood (I Cor. 6:19-20); (3) One’s life and value are not dependent on what one owns (Lk. 12:15); (4) We are to learn to be content in either poverty or material abundance (Phil. 4:11-12); (5) We should be ready to share materially with those in need (Eph. 4:28); (6) Earthly wealth can keep people out of the kingdom of God (Mk. 10); and (7) God is not anti-possessions (Acts 4-5).
How are we to pray for our lost friends? We are not to be selfish or preoccupied with our material possessions, but be willing to share with others. So we pray for ourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace and God’s blessings. And we pray for our lost friends that they would seek the Lord “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (I Tim. 6:17).