Most people think the best kind of riches are money, stocks, expensive cars and mansions.
When we see movie stars and sports celebrities, we think they have it all. We think wealth like theirs would solve all our problems. I thought that for years.
The truth, though, is that while money is necessary in life, it can't bring you joy, only fun. It can't buy you good health, because even rich people get sick. And it can't bring you the most important gift of all--immortality.
Everybody dies, no matter how rich they are. But those who follow God live forever with him. Those who don't and trust in their wealth instead, well…
The good news? Spiritual riches are available to everyone. God is eager to bless you in ways you can't even imagine.
Of course the greatest gift you can ever receive is salvation from your sins. You can't do anything to earn your way into heaven, but you can receive this prize through the grace of God.
Think about it. There really is a place where you will live forever. You and I don't deserve it, but Jesus died on the cross so we can have that treasure. All we have to do is believe in him as our Lord and Savior.
How does a mansion compare with that? When you get old and are about to die, will that mansion help you? Or tons of money? Nothing you can think of will be better than eternal life with God--nothing.
There is a God. There's life after this one, but where you spend it is up to you. If you think you can get there by being a "good Whatever," you're kidding yourself. Heaven is only for 100% perfect people, and none of us can meet that standard.
The way Christianity works is that Jesus meets that standard, and when you believe in him, his righteousness is credited to you. God looks at you and sees his Son. Jesus' righteousness and sacrifice on your behalf get you into heaven.
There's no other way. The good news is this gift is available to everyone.
When you take Jesus as your guide on how to live, you become a better person. You live life on a higher plane. You have a standard of goodness that's above what society expects of you.
How much better would our world be if everyone practiced Jesus' Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do unto you?
When you follow Jesus, you make kindness and compassion the guiding principles of your life. You move away from greed and selfishness. You treat other people better. You hold yourself to a high standard of integrity. To honor God, you are honest in everything you do.
How Christians stand out! We're criticized because we don't compromise with sin. We're not better than nonbelievers; we're self-righteous if we think we are. But we strive to do the right thing--by God's standards, not by a culture that thinks everything is permissible.
There has never been a higher ethical system than that preached by Jesus Christ. Follow it and you'll never have to worry whether you did the right thing. That's riches!
Single people can best appreciate this type of spiritual wealth. Who stands by you in every situation in life? Jesus does. He promised to never leave us or forsake us.
We feel alone, but we're not. Through his Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter, Jesus is there to reassure us we're always all right in his eyes. When we fail, he picks us up. When we're depressed or lonely, he reminds us he loves us no matter what.
When we feel hopeless, Jesus tells us through his Word that our story will have a happy ending because he will bring us home to be with him.
These kinds of riches are so deep, they make the difference between living a life of inner poverty and a life of overwhelming joy. Security. Wisdom. Love. These are the things every human being longs for, but they can't be found in the material fortunes of the world. They can only be found in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you don't possess such a relationship now, it's never too late to start. Everything I've talked about here can be yours. It's as simple as reaching out to God.