BBC world news revealed this week that Ethiopa are in the process of testing all the gold in their vaults to determine if they are really as wealthy as they have been imagining. In a recent transaction with South Africa it was uncovered that some of Ethiopia's gold was no more that gold plated steel.
What a marvellous illustration of many in the world today imagining that they are rich when the reality is that they are terribly poor, that all the time when they imagined that they had wealth they had nothing. So many imagine that their good works are some sort of bullion that they can barter with God with. But time will tell that all that they have is as worthless as plated steel.
The wonderful good news of the gospel is that we can become truly rich. Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus as the one who was rich and yet for our sakes became poor, that we through is poverty might become rich.
Here is how the deal works. When God made man he was really rich, he knew God and was in fellowship with God. Adam and Even decided that real wealth was in doing their own thing. In an instant they were bankrupt before God. God in His love and mercy had a wonderful plan. His Eternal Son came to earth, leaving behind the wealth of heaven. He took upon himself our form, yet without sin, lived in this sinful world as the only perfect man, keeping God's law perfectly. His life was one of utter poverty - rejected by all but a few of the lowest of society. Things hit rock bottom for Him when He was nailed to a cross. In those hours hanging between heaven and earth He was forsaken of His Father as He bore the ultimate price for the sin of many. When He had finished paying the price for the salvation of many He was raise from the dead and declared with power to be the Son of God. His resurrection was God's stamp - PAID IN FULL. Now in heaven as the God Man He rules the nations making men and women really rich as they receive Him in repentance and faith.
To be really rich the currency of heaven - declare your total poverty before God, that you are a sinner deserving of His holy wrath, and cry out to Him to save you on the basis of Christ's finished work. In an instant you will have wealth that will never perish, spoil or fade - forgiveness of sin, a new standing with God, a place in the family of God and the sure and certain hope of heaven.
It is time to stop imagining that you have wealth in and of yourself and receive the riches of Christ. Remember only hands that are empty can receive the gift.