In Luke chapter 4, Jesus is in the desert being tempted by the devil. Jesus is shown all the kingdoms of the world and told by the devil, in verse six, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them, because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus responds, in verse eight, “The Scriptures say, you must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”
This is a very powerful passage in which Jesus makes clear to us the difference between human values and values of the spirit. He tells us in the Gospels that the values of the spirit world are vastly different from those of the human realm, and that what is valued in our carnal state is worthless in Heaven.
Thinking about the devil having authority over wealth and power on this earth is very chilling to me, but it is clearly evident in all that we see going on every day. It seems that many who come to great wealth use nefarious means to arrive there, everything from exploiting their fellow beings to outright theft, and with a hefty dose of violence thrown in whatever form when it will further their aims.
Jesus turned all of this away, and he chose a human life of austerity and self-denial. He has no use for anything that the devil tempts him with, and he knows that these things are temporal, belonging only to the human realm. They have no worth in heaven, and he makes it clear that it is only by serving God and doing his will that we will attain true wealth, which is of the spirit, by guarding our soul against the love of money and all it buys.
Jesus tells us here that we have to serve the will of God in this life, and that in doing this we will achieve wealth in heaven beyond anything that money can buy. All that we leave this life with is our soul, and to lose that in this world is the ultimate loss. By accepting the Salvation of Jesus Christ through repentance and forgiveness of sin, we attain the ability to have our soul purified by Christ, and to be guided by him on a path of increasing spiritual purity. We will never attain the holiness and perfection of Christ and God, but following their lead and cleaving to their teachings will enlist them as spiritual authorities in our lives and guide us on a path that leads us to wealth of the spirit in Heaven.
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