As I said last week, there are many people in the world that believe gaining the riches of this world to be the end all be all to everything in life – that is the principle they live by.  Along those lines, many people also do their best to build up enough wealth to pass down for generations to come.  Now, with that in mind, what if I told you that there’s another kind of wealth – spiritual wealth – that should be in your focus, and that you should strive to gain?  Would you try to gain that wealth?

The Enigma of Wealth

I was speaking with one of my barbershop brothers a few weeks ago and he said to me, “Rev, I am grateful that I learned to be happy and content with what I have.”  This was said as we were talking about the nature of grinding and hustling to be rich and happy.  I mentioned to him how our history of not having anything materially has had an unfortunate effect to where we become more focused on material riches than spiritual riches.

Many of us live with a great desire to one day possess enough to be able to pass on after we leave this world. Now, is there anything wrong with this train of thought? Well, Proverbs 13:22 states that it is good for one to leave an inheritance for their children to have. However, in Ecclesiastes, Solomon cried out vanity of vanities, all is vanity (Eccl. 1:2).”

Solomon pondered on the thought of how one generation passes away, and another generation comes (Eccl. 1:4). Along that line of thinking, he would go on to say, “I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity (Eccl. 2:18-19).”

These thoughts from Solomon are very interesting because they can seem contradictory – like an enigma – at first glance.  His thoughts may make you wonder whether it is a bad thing to build up generational wealth?  So, with this in mind, I feel like we need to come to understand what true wealth actually is.

True Wealth According to God  

Now, when Jesus spoke of wealth, He always spoke of wealth from a spiritual perspective; He never spoke of adding to yourself the riches of the world. You have probably heard before how Jesus spoke about how the riches of the world will eventually rust – be tarnished – and be destroyed. Whereas, spiritual wealth, Jesus said, is the treasure not stored in worldly things but in that which is heavenly (Matt 6:19-21).

In later scripture, Jesus spoke of Himself being the true vine, and sincere believers being branches growing from Him (John 15:5). From those branches, Jesus said that holy and righteous fruit can grow as He has appointed the believer to bear long lasting fruit (John 15:16). Let me ask you this: Do you understand what that statement about the believer bearing long lasting fruit means?

The treasure, or the wealth of the believer, is the fruit that we bear!  From Jesus’ statement, I want you to understand that He also speaks about imparting our wealth to others!  Since the fruit we can bear is long lasting, that means it can exist for generation after generation – generational wealth!  

So, to go back to that Proverb, the inheritance of a good man – one that is holy and righteous – does not speak to one leaving behind material wealth.  No, the proverb speaks to one leaving behind spiritual wealth that remains in the hearts of all of those around them!  I want you to know today that money cannot buy what lies in the hearts of the sincere believer; what we have is greater than the riches of this world!

Gaining True Wealth

Again, I tell you, there is a different kind of wealth that one is able to gain while on this journey and it has absolutely nothing to do with worldly riches.  Have you gained that wealth?

For those that may be wondering how to gain true wealth, John the Baptist gave us the starting place. John the Baptist preached repentance if one truly desired to inherit the kingdom of God (Matt. 3:1-2, 11). Repentance – turning away from trusting in the way of sin – is the starting place for gaining spiritual wealth. Through repentance, in order to gain true wealth, one must put their trust in the Lord and the wealth that He will give.

When you start out in your walk of faith, you will find that your spiritual wealth will increase through the testing of your faith. As James said in his letter, when you go through trials and tribulations, you will learn to be patient and even more faithful as the trying of your faith increases your faith in God (Jas. 1:3-4). Through all of those trials and tribulations, you will gain and add to yourself wisdom and knowledge which increases your spiritual wealth.

So, when we talk about gaining spiritual wealth, we are speaking of faith, wisdom, and knowledge in the Lord. Through our faith, wisdom, and knowledge, we trust in the Lord and He blesses us and we persevere (overcome) throughout life; we live a prosperous (blessed) life. As the writer of the book of Hebrews wrote, when we are free from covetousness – free from the world – we gain contentment (Heb. 13:5) — true wealth.

A Present Problem and Danger

Sadly, many are struggling to gain the wealth that we, the true and sincere believers have gained; they can’t find contentment.  As you have heard me say before, many are searching for contentment in the wrong place and it’s driving them to a place of misery in their soul because they are unable to find it.  

So, when you have gained wisdom, learned how to persevere, and have learned to be content, should you sit on the great amount of spiritual wealth that you have gained? To do that would be against God’s assignment for us, right? To do that would stand against the values and principles that we, God’s children, should live by!

Forgetting the Lord

So, with that in mind, I want to share some background scripture from the books of Deuteronomy and Judges to a present and growing danger in our world.

In the book of Deuteronomy, we come across scripture where Moses cautioned the children of Israel about forgetting the Lord. Moses said to the children of Israel, “Beware, lest you forget the Lord … You shall not go after other gods, lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth (Deut. 6:12-15).” Listen to those words!

Sadly, the children of Israel did not heed Moses’ word nor did they heed Joshua’s word. What was Joshua’s word? Well, when he was nearing the end of his life, Joshua encouraged the children of Israel to serve the Lord and not idol gods (Josh. 24:14-15). Both Moses’ and Joshua’s words came from the well of spiritual wealth they had gathered throughout their life and those words should have been heeded by Israel.

Sadly, after the death of Joshua and all the generation that entered the Promised Land with him, a generation of Israel rose up that did not know the Lord nor the works that He had done (Judg. 2:10). This led that generation to suffering and having much tribulation because they did evil in the sight of God; they forsook the Lord and served idol gods (Judg. 2:11-12).

Now, Moses had said to the children of Israel that when their children would ask them about the meaning of the testimonies, statutes, and judgments, they were to tell them about all that God had done; they were to teach them to observe God’s commandments (Deut. 6:20-24). So, the intent was to teach a future generation the principles and values to live by in order to please the Lord and prosper.

So, how did this generation of Israel rise up and not know the Lord?  I can think of two possible reasons as to how this possibly happened:  

1. The wealth of wisdom and knowledge about God had not been shared with them.  (If this was the case, that would truly be tragic on behalf of the spiritual leaders.)
2. The wealth was passed down, but the spiritual wealth was being disregarded.
(If this was the case, that would truly be tragic on behalf of that generation.)

Failing a generation

This thought makes me wonder whether or not we, the collective Church – sincere believers – are failing future generations or are they failing themselves?  Either way, I would tell you the onus is on all of us who now stand as elders in the walk of faith to impart the wealth that we have gained  so that they can choose to either live by our fruit or not.  

Now, if we aren’t willing to impart our spiritual wealth, then we fail ourselves, our calling, and the Lord – we fail all of those around us, including the future generations to come. You see, there is a great danger of history repeating itself with a generation rising up and not knowing the Lord. This means that such a generation would leave itself open to great suffering — great tribulation.

Now, some, including myself, would say that history is, sadly, already starting to repeat itself with people not knowing God.  Yes, there are many people that know of God, but they aren’t dwelling in fellowship with Him!  Even within the church we can see where generations are completely going missing and this is very concerning!

Paul wrote to Timothy about a day coming when many would no longer endure sound doctrine; they will turn their ears away from the divine truth for fables (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Fables and nursery rhymes usually have happy endings, but the gathering of the riches of this world truly is a fable – it will lead to temporary happiness but not eternal happiness.

It truly is sad how so many are missing out on contentment – joy – because they’re searching for something that can’t be gained by worldly means.  However, as I said last week, we who have become elders in this walk of faith are to guide others to the truth – we are to help them gain true wealth.

Imparting Your Wealth

I ask you again today, what are you doing with all of that spiritual wealth that you have stored up?  Those that live by worldly values are often stingy and greedy with their wealth, but we live by different principles and values, don’t we?  You see, when you have found and gained true wealth, you’re not supposed to be stingy with it, you’re supposed to share it.

In Psalm 78, we will see a psalm of Asaph, where the psalmist speaks of the history of Israel from Jacob (Israel) up to David.  Within this psalm, we will see where the psalmist had a clear desire to let the word of God be made known.  If you go over this psalm in its entirety, you will see that the psalmist did not want the history of forgetting God to repeat itself.

Encourages others to believe

In the opening of this psalm, we will see where the psalmist called for Israel to be attentive to their words (Ps. 78:1). The psalmist had some wisdom to share and those who they were sharing it with needed to listen. Just to be clear, yes, we have a wealth of treasure that we must be willing to share, but at the same time, you who desire this wealth must be willing to receive it. If you’re not willing to receive it, then you will suffer a similar fate to a generation rising up and not knowing the Lord.

So, what was the wealth of wisdom that the psalmist had to share? The psalmist said that they would speak in a parable and utter dark (hidden) sayings of old (Ps. 78:2). These sayings of old were not to be hidden from anyone, not even the children, as these sayings would praise God’s strength and His wonderful works (Ps. 78:4). Why do you suppose the psalmist desired to share wisdom of God’s strength and wonderful works?

As we saw in last week’s Sunday School, wisdom of what God has done is truly great wealth to share as it can encourage one that doesn’t know God to know Him. Let us remember Rahab, as she never saw the parting of the Red Sea but heard of God’s works and believed. Rahab believed that success could be enjoyed by anyone who believed in the Lord and was favored by Him.

I want you to understand that you, as a sincere believer, have great wealth stored within you that when it’s shared, can help encourage others to trust in the Lord!  So, why should you ever be stingy and keep the wealth of your testimony to yourself?  What good would it do for you not to bear the fruit you have stored up within you?

In the first of my key verses (Ps. 78:6), we’ll see that the testimonies of old were to be taught to the future generation and then that generation would pass on their testimonies to the next. In the second of my key verses (Ps. 78:7), we’ll see that the wealth of those testimonies were to set the hopes of the future generations to trust in God and prosper.

6 That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God


One of the things that worries me today is that future generations are being trained up to know everything about “prospering” but they are being taught to prosper without the Lord.  Along those same lines, it worries me that not enough of us are imparting our wealth on how to truly prosper.  So, sadly, many souls are being left hollow – empty – on the inside and in much pain and suffering.

In order to prevent what happened to the generation of Israel that forgot God, we must impart our spiritual wealth as our elders did for us.  Though many may turn away from our testimony, we must continue to have the courage to be faithful to the assignment God has assigned to us.  I encourage you to keep adding to your spiritual wealth and imparting what you have gained.  

When you do this, those that eat of your fruit will grow and prosper all the days of their life and then pass on what they have gained.  All of us today, we are still making it off the wealth and wisdom that we inherited from those before.  I am so grateful that all of those that came before me share such great wealth that is stored within my heart that has helped me to endure and persevere.

You and I must be ready to do as those who came before us.  We must be ready to help uplift future generations to know and trust in the Lord, especially when the world is lost on how one truly prospers.


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