WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 3, 2022
TOPIC: BEWARE OF THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 New King James Version).
In Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the sower, He talked about the deceitfulness of riches as one of the things that choke the Word of God in the heart.
Matthew 13:22 says, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (New King James Version). Two things are mentioned that choke the Word: the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.
However, Mark’s account mentions three things that choke the Word. “And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19 New King James Version). The three things that choke the Word are the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things. But our focus here is the deceitfulness of riches.
New Living Translation refers to the deceitfulness of riches as the lure of wealth. The deceitfulness of riches is the deceits of wealth (Bible in Basic English) or the temptation of wealth (New Century Version). It is also the glamour of wealth (Twentieth Century New Testament). Many people have been deceived by riches or lured by wealth away from God. Because they allowed it in their heart, it choked or stifled the Word of God and it became unfruitful.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, “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” (New King James Version).
Today, the deceitfulness of riches or temptation of wealth is in the heart of many people with all manners of schemes to get wealth. The deceitfulness of riches takes them away from God. It chokes the Word of God in them and their actions become opposed to God.
Many people today have stopped going to church or forsaken God because they’ve found some new friends that they thought would make them rich or some new businesses that would fetch them millions! Instead of the living God, they’ve embraced idols – not necessarily graven images but modern idols of wealth, power, fame, etc. How easily the devil deceives people! But years down the line, most of them would come back empty-handed; they would not have anything to show for forsaking God. “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed” (Jeremiah 17:13a New King James Version).
God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9; 6:15; Joshua 24:19; Nahum 1:2). People can’t walk out on Him and hope to prosper in the long run. They may have what they call a breakthrough but this doesn’t endure. “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 New King James Version).
Even when people’s riches last long, they can never satisfy them. “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 New King James Version). And whatever riches they have gotten without God, they’ll leave everything behind one day. God said to the rich fool, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:20 New King James Version). Nobody takes his riches along when he dies. Beware of the deceitfulness of riches.
Ecclesiastes 5:13-16 says, “There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt. But those riches perish through misfortune; when he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil-Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?” (New King James Version). Don’t be deceived by the glamour of wealth. What will it profit anyone if the person gains the whole world, and loses his or her soul? (Mark 8:36).
As a child of God, you must be careful and not allow the deceitfulness of riches to stop the Word of God from growing in your heart; don’t let it make the Word unfruitful. You can’t love money and love God at the same time. It’s not possible to serve God and money; you must love one and hate the other or be devoted to one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). Worship God; not riches. That doesn’t mean you will be poor. The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
Don’t be deceived by riches. Don’t let riches replace God in your life. Don’t make riches your god. Proverbs 11:4 says riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Don’t trust in riches. As Proverbs 11:28 says, he who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Beware of the deceitfulness of riches. Jesus says it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23). He also says 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 (verse 24). Similarly in Mark 10:25, Jesus says that it is hard for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus is not against riches but warns against the danger it poses to entering the kingdom of God. Make God number one in your life. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Don’t be possessed by the love of money. Don’t succumb to the temptation of seeking riches in sinful ways.
Paul writes to Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17 New King James Version). Those who are rich should not lay up treasure for themselves on earth but be rich toward God (Luke 12:21). “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 New King James Version).
Don’t let the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word of God in your heart and make it unfruitful. Don’t let it make you forsake God thereby denying you eternity with Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be deceived by riches in Jesus’ name. I shall not trust in riches but the Lord. Riches will not replace God in my life. I shall not be possessed by the love of money. The deceitfulness of riches will not choke the Word of God in my heart in Jesus’ name. The Word of God in my heart shall grow and be fruitful in Jesus’ name. I pray that all children of God will prosper in all things and be in health, just as their souls prosper. Gold will not replace God in their lives in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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