‘But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:9, 10).’
Here we have a forthright warning not to seek worldly riches, and Matthew 6:33 exhorts us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”’ Furthermore, Philippians 4:19 assures us, ‘And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ This brings us to the crux of the matter. True and lasting riches are found in none other than Jesus Christ Himself! In Him there are, ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).’ He gives us His ‘riches in glory’.
From Colossians 1:27 we learn that, ‘To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ We are already rich when Christ dwells in us, and we look forward to the time of His coming again, when His full glory will be revealed (Matthew 16:27; 25:31).
Ephesians 3:14-19 sums it up: ‘For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with the fulness of God.’’
The heart of the matter is, ‘to know the love of Christ.’ Nothing can surpass the love of Christ (John 15:9). No experience can excel the riches of His love. The overflowing fulness of His love will be experienced in the ultimate kingdom, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2), where God and the Lamb are its temple (v 22) in which we [believers] shall dwell.
Our Lord explains, ‘“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).”’ You can see then, that if your heart is set on gaining riches in this world, you will not inherit riches in the world to come. Jesus tells us bluntly, ‘“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19, 20).”’
Jesus gives a further warning not to look for earthly riches, for those who amass treasure on earth will have great difficulty in attaining heavenly riches in Christ: ‘Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23).”’ Luke 18:25 reiterates this, ‘“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”’
If we are to have riches in Christ we must seek Him in His kingdom (Matthew 6:33), this is the kingdom of great worth, the pearl that outshines all pearls:“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45).”’
Finally, ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).’