Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"I Have No Silver or Gold" - The Coming Economic Collapse and the Abundant Riches of God's Grace

Dr. Ron Paul is warning Americans of an impending economic disaster. This former U.S. Senator and others like him believe that everyone should purchase "silver and gold" in preparation for the dollar's imminent collapse. His advice may be sound, but contrary to those who believe financial catastrophe is a bad thing, I take the position it is ultimately good.

I believe many people will only seek the riches of God's grace when they've lost their material riches. Comedian Joan Rivers used to joke "My friends are all dropping like flies," says Joan. "I go to the funerals of my girlfriends and I hear the minister say, 'She’s in a better place.' What? Are you kidding me? No, she’s not. She had a house in the Hamptons!"

As long as you have a house in the Hamptons, you'll never look forward to a home in heaven. As long as you are fixated on material things, you will never focus on spiritual things. When a lame beggar sat at the entrance to the Temple asking people for money, Peter and John passed by, and Peter said, "Look at us!" When the lame beggar fixed his eyes on the two men and noticed they weren't well dressed or rich in attire, Peter said,  "We don't have any silver and gold in our possession, but what we do have we give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6). 

Every miracle in Scripture is a parable for your life. Like this lame beggar, you and I will will never be able to live well until we understand what real wealth is and from where real wealth comes.

Paul wrote a letter to followers of Christ who lived in the city of Ephesus and reminded them that they were at peace with God and forgiven of all their mistakes and screw-ups in life "according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7). He later writes that this gift of redemption and the "forgiveness of sins" is freely given to them "so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7). This verse (Ephesians 2:7) is my favorite verse in the Bible. Heaven is not a perpetual church service; it is Christmas morning every day for eons to come. God unwraps for us each new day "the riches of His grace in His kindness toward us." Heaven is nothing more, nothing less, than the Creator's kindness toward those in Christ. Paul says his entire ministry is to share with people "the riches of God's grace" in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:7). 

The Greek word translated "riches" is ploútos. The root of this Greek word comes from sailing, where the sail is "full" (Gr. pleo) or "abundant" with wind. When a person is full of material things they are considered "full" or  "rich" or "wealthy" in this life. But the Bible cautions us against finding our fullness  (e.g. fulfillment) in material riches. Jesus said, "the deceitfulness of riches (ploútos) choke desire for the Word of God out of you" (Matthew 13:22).  Paul told Timothy to "command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" ( I Timothy 6:17).

Joy and fulfillment come from discovering the wealth and riches that are found in God's grace toward us in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul was so convinced that real joy is to be found in the riches of God's grace in Christ Jesus, he prayed that:
"The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: That the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints..." (Ephesians 1:17-18).
Do you understand the "riches of God's grace" for you in Christ? Do you know the specifics of those riches? Have your "eyes of understanding been enlightened?"

Recently I completed an online book entitled Radically New: The New Covenant Will Change the Way You Think and Live. I am in hopes of getting it published in soft cover soon. This book is my attempt to describe "the riches of God's grace for you in Christ Jesus."

My desire is that we all might discover, as did the lame beggar in Peter's day, that real fulfillment in life comes from not accumulating silver or gold in preparation for an economic collapse, but from discovering the riches of God's grace for you in Christ Jesus in anticipation of eternity.


Bob Cleveland said...

Here's one area where it's really helpful to be old. Like ... really old.

78. (my age is not a hindrance, however, unless I want to do something, or remember something.

Anyway, I have done and had most of the stuff people want to do or have. At last count, I've been in 35 countries and 136 airports. Enough that travel is much more of a pain than a blessing, and we hardly have room for the stuff we already have.

Said all that to say this: having and doing a bunch of stuff will convince (and convict) one that those things are not what it's about. And the age means you're close to eternity, which shifts the emphasis from the temporal to the eternal.

Wish I had learned that long before I actually did.

As Mario Murillo once said: I always KNEW it but I never REALIZED it.

A. Payne said...

Thank you, Wade! Our daughter, Tina, has had to learn this very quickly while in jail. Even though she was innocent, the system failed her and it seemed that justice was perverted. Yet, the whole time she prayed and wept over it all, the Lord continually said to her, "Love not the world", and then she had to surrender everything - her possessions, her family and her freedom - to go where He directed.It has been very difficult in an earthly manner - but her fellowship with the Lord Jesus has been her stonghold. Fortunate is she, as she had to trust ONLY her Lord instead of the arm of flesh! One day, she may be helping us to do the same.

Ramesh said...

Heaven appears to be a REAL place, which we will come to after our death and raised up by Christ.

Kingdom of heaven is within us as per Christ.

Wade writes: My desire is that you might discover, as did the lame beggar in Peter's day, that real fulfillment in life comes from not accumulating silver or gold in preparation for an economic collapse, but from discovering the riches of God's grace for you in Christ Jesus in anticipation of eternity.

and then we also have this:

Heaven on Earth: A Must Have Book


Wade Burleson said...


Good point, Ramesh!

It's an experience of His grace now as a "down payment" if you real of the "riches of His grace unfolded for us for eternity" (Ephesians 2:7).

Ramesh said...

I see my error. Kingdom of God is within us as per Christ. So then 'heaven' and 'kingdom of god' are two different things. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Couldn't have said it better.

The Kingdom of God is within - heaven is the "eternal city not built with human hands" (Hebrews).

Rex Ray said...


Compared to some, I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and I’ll tell you rich is a lot better.

In the third grade we went to movies for a nickel where my twin enjoyed chewing-gum from bottom of seats. I cut weeds for a nickel an hour, and didn’t covet my brother getting twice as much because he cleaned the septic tank.

Payne, your comment makes me sad. The post is about what real wealth is, but will money wealth help your daughter?

Wade, your book, “The New Covenant Will Change the Way You Think and Live”.

What about this? ‘The New Covenant Will Change Ways of Thinking and Living.’

“This book is my attempt to help you comprehend the riches of God’s grace for you in Christ Jesus.”

Change to: This book is my attempt in helping to comprehend the riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.

What I’m saying is when “you” is used it implies the writer is smarter than the reader or something like that. :)

Wade Burleson said...

A. Payne,

I pray for your daughter daily. Please let her know that the next time you see her. Thanks for your comment and let Steven and the kids know of our prayers as well.

Wade Burleson said...


Never intended to imply the writer is smarter than the reader, but sure understand how it might read that way. I changed the wording for the better (thanks).

I also know the Paynes personally, Rex, and money wealth would not help their daughter's predicament, but real wealth can - and is.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul may very well be right but he is also trying to sell a book on the subject.I am always suspicious when someone giving advice is also selling a book on the subject at the same time.Let the buyer beware.

Gordon said...

For Christians, it is good not to be driven by the economic values of Wall Street, the Fed or financial market players but rather to lay up treasures in heaven. While one does not wish financial disaster upon anyone, yet should great losses occur it could serve as an opportunity for a profound course correction and liberation from the idol of materialism. Jesus tells us to seek firstly those things which are above, and that life does not consist in the abundance of things that a person possesses.

For those entrusted with wealth in this world, it is wise to ensure that the value of this wealth is retained and increased for good purposes. This requires investment in solid value assets and not in paper money which could soon become worthless. Gold, silver, commodities and productive farmland are far safer investments in the medium to long term.

Sure, we can't take our money with us to Heaven but we can send it on ahead of us by generously giving now to the cause of the Gospel . This applies equally to those who have much or little of this world's goods.

Christiane said...

that wonderful verse can be used to justify a person's gifts to the Church of unselfish service rather than a financial 'tithe' offering ....

it's not often realized, but what we DO serving others in the Name of Christ can be more valuable to the Church than if we sat home and simply gave money

I know that verse speaks of the miracle that was worked. But in its essence, it allowed a person to be an avatar of God's grace to someone in need. Whether it's 'stand up, and walk', or a glass of cold water to a thirsty soul, an act of loving-kindness to one in need, done in Our Lord's Name, is an offering of self in witness to Him. That raises its value to a price above rubies.

Bob Cleveland said...

This brings to mind an old editorial comment, from perhaps 50 years ago:

Two priests walking through the Vatican; one says, looking around: "No longer can we say "Silver and gold have I none.....".

to which the other priest replies:

"Yes, and no longer do we say ".. In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk".

Walking through our church now .......

Christiane said...

I love that, BOB CLEVELAND

Anonymous said...

Not on topic, by to Bob Cleveland- small world! I am more than halfway through with reading Wade's book, "Hardball Religion..." and just came across your name! Wow, and that was 10 years ago when he met you. Sounds like you are a good friend.
- Hupomone