Spotlight 1/2019 Who will make you rich?

“I want to make you rich like me,” the multi-millionaire said. Accept or decline the offer? District Apostle John L. Kriel from South Africa kicks off this year’s Spotlight series.

When I listened to the Chief Apostle’s New Year’s address and the motto for the year 2019, I was carried back in time to a defining point in my life. I worked for a man who was a multi-millionaire and had the luxurious lifestyle that money could buy. How he behaved in conducting his business and treating his fellow human beings, however, was in no way compatible with what Christ desires of us.

He asked to meet with me one Wednesday evening and I informed him that I was unable to do so as I would be attending a divine service. This displeased him greatly. The following morning I was summoned to his office where he reminded me of his great wealth. And then he told me: “I have plans for you. I want to make you rich like me.” I have never forgotten these words and the realisation it awakened in me.

To be rich like him I would have to be prepared to pay the price of being like him. And this I was not prepared to do. As a child of God I had a promise of a future that was far more valuable than earthly wealth. If my wealth and happiness were to be restricted to my earthly possessions, I had no future.

Looking back to this incident many years later I also recall what Abram had to say to the king of Sodom. This was after he had returned stolen goods to the king of Sodom who then wanted to give him the goods as a reward. Abraham refused this as he did not want his success to be accredited to the king and the wickedness of Sodom (Genesis 13: 13). Everything Abraham had, he had received from the Lord.

Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’.” (Genesis 14: 22–23).

While from a human point of view, we all desire to have more earthly possessions, being rich in Christ adds a new dimension to what real wealth is. May the Lord help us that we never become so poor that all we have is money. Abraham was not prepared to be made rich by anyone except by God. We would do well to take our watchword to heart and all strive to become rich in Christ.

Photo: Oliver Rütten

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John Leslie Kriel
District Apostle, motto