We must make an important, logical distinction between earning God’s grace, which is impossible, and meeting God’s conditions, which is obligatory. We cannot earn God’s abundance, which comes only through grace; however, we are required to meet the conditions God has laid down for receiving His abundance through faith. If we do not meet these conditions, our faith has no scriptural foundation. In fact, it is merely presumption. To meet God’s conditions, our motives and attitudes must be right. We would all do well to examine our motives very carefully, especially concerning monetary gain. Impure motives concerning money include: (1) idolizing wealth (“Covetousness…is idolatry” [Colossians 3:5]; “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” [1 Timothy 6:10]); (2) pursuing wealth by sinful methods (“Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means” [Jeremiah 17:11 niv]; [see also Proverbs 28:8]); (3) trusting ultimately in wealth for security and well-being (“He who trusts in his riches will fall” [Proverbs 11:28]; “Let not…the rich man glory in his riches” [Jeremiah 9:23]); (4) using wealth for selfish gain and self-serving interests (“There is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty” [Proverbs 11:24].)
In Luke 12:16–21, Jesus related the parable of the rich man who built bigger barns and filled them with his produce. But the Lord said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you” (verse 20). Jesus then added, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (verse 21). The first direction in which we need to be rich is toward God.