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|Christian Pioneer - eBook for Cell Phone - The Deceitfulness of Riches|
Chapter 18 Summary
When considering how riches are deceitful, we can observe the following;
1. We become short sighted.
2. We can think that only riches are necessary for survival.
3. We can think that riches define all of existence.
4. Our faith in God is ultimately transferred to ourselves.
5. We become vulnerable to various temptations.
6. We bring forth various additional lusts.
7. We are brought to ruin by debased character.
8. We become targets of thieves.
9. We become targets of false friends.
10. We become entangled with the world.
11. We become slaves of what we own.
12. We become disconnected from wisdom, discernment, and truth.
13. We see ourselves more highly than we ought.
14. Desire is let loose like drug addiction.
15. The elevation of self increases isolation.
16. Comforts drive out thoughts of God.
17. Stirring up contention and strife.
18. Poor family relations.
19. Acclimation to wealth reduces the ability to survive adversity.
20. Just wanting to be rich causes other destructive lusts to arise as well.
21. We can come to think that we should control others.
22. We can come to a perspective of entitlement to justify any action.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. - Matthew 13:15
In the parable of the sower (where the deceitfulness of riches is mentioned) Jesus describes why he taught the lesson first as a parable before explaining it to his disciples. He explains that it is because the people had allowed their heart, ears, and eyes (essentially their entire being) to become disconnected from any interest in God.
The idea is of an incremental process over time of a willful disinterest in God that is recognized by God and as a consequence, any explanation that might produce understanding is withheld. In a way, people are kept in a prison of ignorance until such time as they turn their hearts and minds back towards God.
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. - Isaiah 59:20
The idea of 'turning' from transgression is captured again later when John the Baptist calls those in the nation of Israel to 'repent' (change their minds and turn again to the legacy they have of the knowledge of God and the covenant of promise so that it would be manifest in their actions).
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. - Luke 3:7-8
As Christians we can take from this example an understanding that complacency that leads us to drift into a sort of sleep-walking worldliness results not only in our distance from our Savior, but in the accumulation ('waxed gross') of layers of insensitivity to any illumination of the deceptions that can entangle us.
We might say that we have been baptized or are members of a church only to discover that it sounds very much like those Jews who claimed favored status by being 'children of Abraham'.
Riches are deceitful, but so are pride, fame, prominence, greed, fear, envy, or anything that rises in our life to divert us from humble and faithful dependence on our Savior.
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