Like Solomon this rich man asked to know and to have the most important thing ever. Many of us are asking for the things God says He will add and want Him to add the thing (the Kingdom of God) and things (all it’s or the Kingdom’s righteousness) that He says we should seek. So, let’s not forget the hugely positive side of this man. But one thing he lacked! One thing! It is this ‘one thing’ that denied him eternity with God: the purpose of creation and reason for existence. May we not trust in riches! Before they develop wings or become cankered let our bosoms come alive.
It is when the rich distributes, and we are all rich relatively, that the Peters would have the hundred folds that Jesus speaks of. Can you see the connection between the rich man’s story and Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question? Can you see the context? Can you get the lesson? Though this rich man backed out Jesus knew that is not the end to the hundredfold. Many are out there making the hundredfold thing possible. There are many Barnabas out there. There are many out there only minding to meet their needs and giving out the excesses or making them available for the Kingdom of God’s work. You and I can choose to belong to the side of Barnabas or this young rich man.
Abraham, Righteousness, Heaven and Wealth
Many who claim to be Abraham’s children, who claim his blessings as theirs, and who have turned the gospel of our Lord unto lasciviousness would hardly remember that Abraham also has a City that has foundation as his main focus and drive. Righteousness was the chief asset of Abraham therefore because that is what keeps the heavenly focus on. And because of this too God added riches to him because he has the righteousness to manage them. Abraham was seeking that City with all earnestness and God added to him riches, not for himself but for his household, nay household of faith, for that was what Abraham’s household represented – Multitudes. God gave him riches for his generation that is.
Abraham sort for a City that has foundation, Whose builder is God. There is no gainsaying the fact that Abraham’s heart was in Heaven; and this cannot be possible except he was laying his treasures there, for where our treasures is there will our hearts be also the Savior tells us. Abraham knew the reason for prosperity and riches: That is, being rich unto God (His work and household).
Righteousness does not hoard. It knows the reason the unrighteous mammon comes around. And its bosom is open and pours itself out to the household of God and God’s work for this is the way of the spirit; but the way of the flesh is full of self-excuses and self-justification. The flesh seeks prosperity and gets it to its ruin. Righteousness attracts prosperity and gets it for God’s purpose.
Except you have a righteousness that can coordinates, drive and use God’s riches through you, you end up making shipwreck of your faith. You render them cankered! And there awaits a fearful and terrible account rendering: a judgment! Seek you great things for yourself? Seek them not. Leaving in ceiled houses and letting the House of God lay waste? Think again!
The Savior Himself said that we should seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto us. Righteousness is what makes us to be good custodian of these provisions, good caretaker of them, and that good steward who shall give a faithful account on that day. Abraham had the righteousness that enabled him to be trusted to handle God’s provision and he never made them cankered, never consumed them on his own lust but channeled them just as God himself would have done. That is righteousness! And this is what we must crave for, and God will keep His Word true in us i.e. will give the additives, without us making shipwreck of our faith.
What will Abraham not give to God or because of God?
We may need to go back to how Abraham even started with God. Abraham gave himself to God when he walked out from his people to a land God would show him:
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came” – Genesis 12:1-5.
From now on Abraham has no life of his own. Think about it. He first gave and yielded all to God. In that obedience Sarah shared. Both man and wife completely sold themselves to God. What can Abraham not give to God! Let our wives share in our obedience to God and vice versa. Most of the shared loyalties we have today for Christ in the Church are a factor of the kind of spouse we have. Most of this covetousness, flamboyant living, and acquisitive tendencies in our midst today, link there. They weren’t there when we started out with Jesus Christ. Let all the brethren look unto Abraham and Sarah. Like we said before, we say again: Let’s be chips off the old block. ‘Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you’.
You must not forget the case of Isaac that we have refer in passing already who this man of God was ready to offer as a Sacrifice unto God. Abraham did not spare his only child, even the child of eternal promise. Do you know what that mean! That obedience actually crowned Abraham the father of faith. It was that obedience that gave Abraham the lamb in the thicket; and subsequently gave to all of us God’s Only Begotten Son: Emmanuel, Who came to die for the sins of humanity. The Great Sacrifice!
God has a Bosom this Abraham took after!
Abraham has a bosom like the God He served. “No man has seen God at anytime; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” – John 1:18. Do you know that God has a Bosom too, and that His Son came to us from His Bosom; and has since returned to His Bosom? “For God so love the world that He gave…” Bosom gives!
We have noted that Abraham bosom or Paradise which is the other divide of Hades, the other divide being hellfire, has been evacuated to Heaven, God’s Bosom or Paradise. That took place when Jesus went there and resurrected with them. In Matthew 27:50-53 we read that “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many”.
Verse 52 speaks of ‘many bodies of the saints which slept arose’. Much can be said here but the summarized take of Finis Jennings Dake on it will suffice here: “These bodies made part of the multitude of captives Christ captured from Satan in the underworld of departed spirits and which He took captive with Him when He ascended on high (Ephesians 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). Now when Christians die they no longer go into the lower parts of the earth held captive by the devil against their will, but go to heaven to await the resurrection of the body (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-24; Revelation 6:9
-11; Hebrews 12:22). The wicked continue to go to hell to await their resurrection (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15)”. Today, the righteous now go to God’s bosom.
And there very many of us now have the hope that we shall see Him. Of course, Jesus says where He is we shall also be when we die now or when He comes to take us during the rapture, that is. Where is He now? He has returned to the Bosom of His Father. Are we ready to go there with Him when He comes? Hope is good, but are we making ourselves ready! Do we have bosom: This being one way of making ourselves ready. If every Christian is to be like you and I can the missionaries who are in the real battle fields say Christians have breasts; can the multitudes roaming in the darkness of false religions and held in the grip of same come to the knowledge of the True and Only God?
Abraham had flourishing breast, sharing heart! This is the Christianity of the New Testament Church too. What was important to them is the furtherance of the gospel and meeting the needs of the brethren. They gave in want and penury as well as in plenty. The driving principle and the target goal of their giving was that: There was none that lacked and there was none that had too much; because they that had always emptied themselves of excesses that those that lack would have enough to meet with their needs (see 2 Corinthians 8:13-15, which we visited elsewhere).
Let’s get bosoms that the brethren can embrace, so that they can stay strong and victorious in the various battlefields. This was very important in Old Testament times in entering into Abraham’s bosom; and now very important for us in entering into God’s bosom on High.
Frances R. Harvegal represented the faith of our fathers which faith she also subscribed to and lived by and which we must also subscribe to and live by this way:
1. Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
2. Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
3. Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.