In the parable of the sower, Jesus says some people do not bear fruit because, when they hear the Word of God, it never takes root because it is choked out by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things (Mark 4:1-20).
Marriages bear fruit, too. Some men and women love God, but their marriages are unfruitful for the same reasons Jesus gave.
One things that chokes out marital fruit is the second killer Jesus mentioned: money. “The deceitfulness of riches” is a marriage-killer.
A lot of people believe money can solve their problems. So they make sacrifices to get it. Couples end up running in opposite directions and never spending time together. Their relationship suffers as a result.
But they believe these sacrifices are justified, because they can earn more money. We are doing this for our children, they tell themselves. But in reality, they are wasting today buying time for the future.
Proverbs 10:22 says “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich and he adds no sorry to it.”
Prosperity comes not from a bank account but from God’s blessing, and there is no sorrow attached to it. It will not cost you your marriage, your reputation, your children, or your health. It is the blessing of the Lord.
When we had our kids, Karen and I made the decision that she would be a stay-at-home mom. Our total income that year was $7,000, but we made the decision give to the church. Both of those decisions were big sacrifices for us, but I believe that was when God really began to bless us. Today I thank God that we made those two decisions.
The deceitfulness of riches tells you money can solve all your problems. But money can’t buy back a child who hates you because you were never there. Nothing you give your children materially will make up for their loss of you. I can tell you that with absolute certainty.
Money can’t cure the diseases that have been created because of the way you abused your body. It’s ironic how we ruin our health trying to earn money…so we can have enough money to buy our health back.
And money can’t save your marriage when your marriage is going downhill. It doesn’t matter how big your house is or how nice your cars are.
Money is a blessing, but the blessing of God comes not from our frantic attempts to earn money, but from our commitment to doing the right thing. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
The deceitfulness of riches distracts people away from God. They believe they will get enough money at some point in the future, and then they will start serving God. Then they will spend time with their spouse.
But that time will never come. Even if they become wealthy by the world’s standards, it’s never enough. That’s the deceitfulness of wealth. Their lives never bear fruit because they are always believing that lie.
Do you want to be blessed beyond measure? Don’t seek riches. Seek God.