Sunday, September 17, 2023
True Riches and Eternal Life: The Blessings of Humility and the Fear of the Lord
In a world that often measures success by material wealth and possessions, it's essential to remember that true riches go far beyond the boundaries of our earthly possessions. As Proverbs 22:4 (NLT) wisely reminds us, "True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life."
So, what does it mean to have "true humility and fear of the Lord"?
True humility is not about thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. It's an attitude of the heart that recognizes our dependence on God, acknowledging that every talent, every blessing, and every opportunity comes from Him. It's the willingness to serve others, to put their needs before our own, just as Jesus humbly served humanity by giving His life on the cross.
The fear of the Lord is not about trembling in terror before a harsh judge but standing in awe and reverence before a loving and merciful God. It's recognizing His holiness and submitting ourselves to His divine wisdom and guidance. This fear is not born out of dread but out of a deep, loving relationship with our Heavenly Father.
When we embrace true humility and the fear of the Lord, we open our hearts to the transformational power of God's grace. This is where the journey towards spiritual riches truly begins. It's about seeking God's will in all aspects of our lives, trusting in His divine plan, and surrendering our desires to His greater purpose.
These spiritual riches are not measured in earthly terms but in the abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT). They are the honor of being called children of God and heirs of His promises (Romans 8:17, NLT). It's the assurance of eternal life in His presence (John 3:16, NLT).
While our lives may not be filled with physical riches, we can rest assured that we have riches stored up in Heaven. Matthew 6:19-20 (NLT) reminds us, "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."
What are these heavenly treasures? They are the love we show to others, the kindness we extend, the compassion we offer, and the lives we touch with the message of God's grace. These are the investments that have eternal value. When we stand firm in God's grace, we are cultivating these heavenly treasures.
Standing firm in God's grace means recognizing that our salvation and our spiritual riches are not earned through our efforts but are freely given to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) reminds us, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
As we understand the depth of God's grace and the riches it bestows upon us, it naturally leads to a heart that is willing to give. It prompts us to be generous in sharing our resources, time, and talents with others. When we donate, we are not merely giving away our possessions; we are sowing seeds of love and hope into the lives of those in need.
Let us remember that true riches are not found in the accumulation of material wealth, but in the depth of our relationship with God and the love we share with others. Let us stand firm in His grace, knowing that our true treasure lies in the riches of Heaven. As we donate and give generously, we are building treasures that will last for eternity.
May God's grace continue to guide us as we journey on this path of true humility, the fear of the Lord, faith, hope, and love.