May 6, 2001
Volume 11, Number 18

Rich Toward God?

This past week, ‘Tina’ won a million dollars on the popular television show Survivor. Regis hosts another program called Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. From such programs we see there is a common desire among Americans, and even some among American Christians - the desire to get rich. The desire for more money and or things. People are looking for ways to get rich (i.e. in this world); but what about being rich toward God. How can we be rich towards God?

1. Realize that Wealth Does Not Equal Happiness.

How many times have you heard it said, "Wealth cannot buy happiness"? Despite the number of times we have heard that, or even quoted it ourselves, most of us still believe that if we only had a “little” more money, we would be happy. If we made just a few hundred dollars more per week - or inherited several thousand dollars - or “survived” and won a million dollars; it would solve all of our problems.

All of us can fall into the trap of thinking our money, or the things that money can buy, or the money we don’t have - is the key to our happiness and to our joy. Listen to what Solomon had to say about this:

He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage. Proverbs 11:28

Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. Proverbs 23:4-5

The devil has deceived many into thinking that fulfillment, contentment, peace all lie in the money we have saved, or the car that we drive, or the house we live in, or in our retirement. He wants each of us to think that what we have is not enough. And to be satisfied me must go out and get more, and more, and more …

It all starts with his devilish lie: that what you have - and what you are worth - and what you don’t have—is the key to your happiness and fulfillment. But it’s not! They are all temporal. For the Christian - happiness, fulfillment and peace are found not in wealth and worldly things; but in our God in heaven. Who giveth to all men liberally. The giver of every good and perfect gift. If you want to be rich towards God, then the first thing is to realize that wealth does not equal fulfillment.

2. Decide to Share What You Have.

Marquis de Lafayette was the French general and politician who helped George Washington in the American Revolution. After the war was over, he returned to France and resumed his life as a farmer of many estates. In 1783, the harvest was a terrible one, and there were many who suffered as a result. However, Lafayette’s farms were still able to fill their barns with wheat and were unaffected by the devastating harvest. One of his workers offered what seemed to be good advice to Lafayette, "The bad harvest has raised the price of wheat. This is the time to sell." After thinking about the hungry peasants in the surrounding villages, Lafayette disagreed by saying, "No, this is the time to give."

I think that Lafayette’s actions illustrate the wisdom of Solomon:

There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. Proverbs 11:24-26

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9

We need to realize that the wealth and possessions we have, are not to merely serve our needs, but are intended to serve the needs of others. We are to be channels of God’s blessings.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all…”

If you want to be rich toward God, then you need to know that possessions should be shared, not hoarded. Abundant harvests should encourage “gift-giving”, not barn building or profit taking. Lafayette had an opportunity to store up treasures for himself, but decided instead to offer his wealth to those in need. Such acts do not impoverish, but instead makes one truly rich --- rich towards God. Such generosity is good planning not only for this life, but for the end of your life.

3. Decide Today to Serve God Instead of Money.

Of the 38 parables Jesus taught, 16 of them dealt with how we handle our money or material possessions. He said more about money and material possessions than He did heaven and hell. Jesus was greatly concerned about how we handle our money, how we view our money and what we do with our money.

God knows that money can be the one thing that stands between Him and us. Like the rich young ruler, (Matthew 19:16-26) our money may be the one thing that we are unwilling to surrender to Him. God wants all of you. He wants your trust, your faith, and your life - which includes the way you use that which He has given to you. After all who do we think gave us what we have? It is the same one who can take it back.

God has promised to bless those who trust Him fully with their life - who trust and serve with their time, their words, their actions and with their money. These blessings may not always be material in nature - but for those who are rich towards God – His blessings will overflow the soul, the mind, and the heart with blessings that can be found in God alone.

In reality, God doesn’t need your money and neither does His church, they will survive with your money or without it. Because the real issue, is not your money, it is your heart and all God asks of us, all he desires of us, is for us to be able to simply, and honestly, say, "Lord, I really do trust you with my whole life, including my money." Can you say that today?" Are you rich toward God?


Annual Bible Reading Program

This week’s Bible readings are:

Sunday, 6th: ... Acts 17:1-15, Judges 6, Job 36
Monday, 7th: ... Acts 17:16-34, Judges 7-8, Job 37
Tuesday, 8th: ... Acts 18, Judges 9, Job 38
Wednesday, 9th: ... Acts 19:1-20, Judges 10:1-11:33, Job 39
Thursday, 10th: ... Acts 19:21-41, Judges 11:34-12:15, Job 40
Friday, 11th: ... Acts 20:1-16, Judges 13, Job 41
Saturday, 12th: ... Acts 20:17-38, Judges 14-15, Job 42

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose.

Ghana Newsletter:

The May-June newsletter which should be online later this week. To read the latest news, reports from Ghana and find out about the upcoming campaign ... go to

A Special Welcome to our Visitors

Please fill out a blue visitor card so that we might have a record of your visit. If needed, there is a nursery available at the rear of the auditorium. Bible classes for all ages are available Sundays at 10:00 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. We hope that you will join us for these studies. Please come and worship with us again soon.

Charles Furr - Miriam Small - Bill Sherman

Leslie Johnson - Viola Morinier - Virginia Law - Naomi Morton


Sympathy: We extend our deepest sympathy to the Riggenbach family at the passing of Maxine Riggenbach. Services were held this past Tuesday.

Fellowship Meal: Sunday, May 6th.

New Wednesday Bible Classes:

Sunday’s Lessons:

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place?" (Exodus 14:10-12)

"We Reap More Than We Sow" (Galatians 6:7-10)

Service Opportunities


Time of Services


 Wayne Vowell




 Walt Thompson


Bible Study:

10:00 am

Morning Services



11:00 am

Bible Reading:

 Kerry Keathly  

Evening Worship:

6:00 pm


 Dick Navarre




 Ted Wheeler


Ladies Bible Class:

11:00 am.

Closing Prayer:

 Carl Rigney



Evening Services


Bible Study:

6:30 pm

Opening Prayer:

 Mike Weber



 Delbert Leavens


Our Record - Last Week


 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Clarence Riggenbach



$ 5355.00
Delbert Leavens
  Weekly Budget:
$ 1500.00
Jim Treece
Jim Dougan
  Weekly Average (yr):

Mike Weber

Copyright © 2001 Church of Christ of Venice. All Rights Reserved.