REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 5, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Wealth Management 101”
Psalm 49:16-20 (ESV)
Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
Wealth is temporary. We can’t take it with us, so we must use it for the glory of God while we have it. 1 Timothy 6:17 says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” We are stewards of wealth, not owners. A person may think he owns house and all of the possessions he has attained; yet, when he dies, he is separated from them forever.
The psalmist gives us two warnings regarding material possessions. First, beware of having a false security in temporary, secondary things. Second, beware of wasted opportunity. We can invest what God has entrusted to us in His work. We can bless other people. The wealth that God gives to us—if we are faithful stewards—can be transformed into ministry that brings everlasting glory to Him. Don’t waste your opportunity to serve Him in this way. This, then, is the wealth management 101 that rises from the perspective of eternity.
Prayer: Father, help me to use my wealth and resources wisely. I want to invest in eternal things. I give you all of myself, including the things You have blessed me with. Help me to use it for your glory. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 36
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 2:4-6 (ESV): But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Questions to Consider
- According to this passage, what are three ways that we are to identify “with Christ”?
- What is the importance of the word “together” when saying that God made us alive together with Christ?
- What is the significance of using the past tense when talking about the blessings that we’ve received?
- In what ways have we discovered that “his life” is “our life?”
- Paul goes from talking about being dead in trespasses and sin (v. 1) to being made alive together with Christ (v. 5). Three times he says, “with Christ”. We are made alive with Christ, raised with Christ, and seated with Christ on His throne. He has come to live in us, He has joined himself to us, and we are one person with Him. That is the most important fact upon which to build all the rest of Christian faith and experience–this tremendous statement that we are made alive with Jesus Christ. Notice those three upward steps of identification with Jesus: we are made alive with Him, resurrected with Him, and enthroned with Him. The way up is down; from the lowest, we go to the highest. God exalts the lowest to the highest, and this principle runs all throughout Scripture. It is not just a matter of history but the outworking of a universal law: Whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled. (Matthew 23:12).
- Later in this letter Paul likens the church to a body, of which Christ is the head. Have you examined your body lately? Have you noticed that your fingers don’t come off if you twist them a half-turn and pull? They are tied to the body, and they share the life of the body. They are not attached by any mechanical process, but rather they are an organic part. These figures are all given to us to show us the intimate way we are united to Jesus Christ, to tell us that He is our life. So never think of yourself in any other way, because the whole work of the enemy is to get you to disbelieve that and to go back to thinking that you are just an ordinary individual struggling on through life trying to make it the best way you can, needing to mobilize all your human resources to try to get ahead of the other fellow and to achieve as much of the fulfillment of life as you can. Any time you believe that, you go right back to acting as you once did–back to the misery, back to the heartaches. You can escape that only when you come back again to this central truth–we are alive in Jesus Christ!
- There is one final thing to notice here. These verbs are all in the past tense. This is something that has happened, not something that is going to happen. It has already occurred when you believed in Jesus Christ. You don’t have to work toward it. It is not something that great saints achieve after years of effort. It is something that is already true, and every Christian has this experience. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We cannot be the same again.
We often feel like a failure at times. I know I do. Yet our failures are swallowed up in the victory of Jesus Christ. And He will be victorious in and through us too. It is inevitable. “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37). The two words “But God,” make all the difference. How can we view our failures and hardships from the vantage point of “But God”? Journal the ways that we can currently look at our lives from God’s eyes.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for Your work on the cross. I proclaim that I humble myself before God, identifying myself to be made alive with Him, resurrected with Him and enthroned with Him—because Jesus died my death that I may receive His life. Amen.