February 27, 2024

Rich but, Oh, So Poor

Hebrews 13:5-6; Revelation 3:16-18

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

—  Hebrews 13:5

Stock market values can make people wealthy or poor. Money is not a good god; it cannot love you, nor can it give you eternal life. The one true God, however, has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” The church in Laodicea had a big problem. Because their lukewarm attitude caused a less than effective ministry, Jesus warned them that he was about to spit them out of his mouth. They had bank accounts filled with money, tempting their eyes to turn from Jesus toward only themselves. But that made them “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” in Jesus’ eyes.

Jesus did not shut the door on them, but he offered wise financial advice. He advised them to find true wealth in him, and to obtain the pure, white garments of his righteousness rather than the black-wool garments that Laodicea was famous for. And they should invest in the eye medicine of his insight, rather than the medicinal balm their region was known for. Money itself is not the problem, but trusting in money instead of Jesus will bring ruin (see 1 Timothy 6:10). Following the way of Laodicea puts the church at great spiritual risk. Let us thank God that he never leaves us but is always ready to discipline us in love.

Lord and God, rich in grace and mercy, shield us from trusting in money and wealth. Turn our eyes to Jesus, and fill us with your glory and grace. Amen.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

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