Episode 75 Show Notes
Striking the Balance Between Poverty and Wealth
From the Show
I have heard some Christians who believe in vows of poverty and other believe that Christians should pursue wealth for the kingdom of God. How should we strike a balance between poverty and wealth?
I think it's important to say that there's no correlation between wealth and blessing. Even in the Old Testament, you have that big conundrum [of] ‘why do the godly suffer?’ Job, of course, being the key example there. God's purposes are bigger than our best life now. In fact, across the scriptures, the poor are regarded as blessed and cared for, especially by God, who will always bring oppressors to account. In the New Testament, if anything, faithfulness is expected to bring suffering and even persecution. But there's also clear teaching in both testaments about how believers are to handle wealth. Sometimes poverty is seen as the result of foolishness and laziness, as in Proverbs 6:9-11 or Proverbs 20:13 or 23:21. But not all poverty is a result of personal irresponsibility. In fact, in his parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, Jesus casts his friend Lazarus as the poor man. Poor though he is, he’s enjoying God's banquet, while the rich man, probably a Pharisee, he is begging for relief in hell…
So here's the point. Where do you find your riches? "Where your treasure is, there your heart is as well," Jesus said ( Matthew 6:21). Put your money where your heart is. If you're rich, Jesus and his apostles teach that you have a greater responsibility to share it with those in need. Especially your fellow believers (1 John 3:17). Also, for the spread of the kingdom. God may give you wealth for that purpose as well. Wealth isn’t evil. On the contrary, it's a gift of God. But it's something he's given you because he's equipped you with the gifts to steward it for the good of others as well as yourself and your family. — Michael Horton
Questions in this Episode
1. How do we balance grace and law, especially when grace is abused?
2. I have heard some Christians who believe in vows of poverty and others believe that Christians should pursue wealth for the kingdom of God. How should we strike a balance between poverty and wealth?
3. How do you understand God’s goodness in a world where evil seems to so often be winning?
4. Is the royal priesthood in1 Peter 2:9 referring to the priests of Israel or all of Israel?
5. What do you think about Spiritual disciplines like the practice of silence, solitude, or self-sacrifice?
6. What encourages you about the church today? What do you see happening in this country or outside this country that gives you hope about the future of Christianity?
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