Devotions

The Richest Person in the World

By Mary Loudermilk
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“The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22, English Standard Version)

Have you ever wondered about the richest person who ever lived? I assumed it would be some present-day entrepreneur such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon) or Bill Gates (Microsoft), but I was wrong. The richest person ever—with a fortune of $400 billion—was Mansa Musa, emperor of the Mali empire, who lived 1280-1337. No one in our time has come close to controlling a fortune that size. My mind will not wrap around that much money. And if I had it, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

A number of years ago my job brought me in contact with some very well-to-do people. I quickly learned that money does not buy a peaceful home or fill the emptiness of a soul. Some of the most content people I know have little money but enjoy a strong trust in God and a peace that transcends understanding. I am not wealthy as the world counts wealth, but I am rich beyond measure. Proverbs 10:22 says it is the blessings of the Lord that makes us rich. If you know the Lord, you are very wealthy indeed.

Durable Riches

Philippians 4:19 tells us that God will supply our every need “according to his riches in glory.” When we read this verse, we often think of physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter. Yes, God blesses us with these things, but He supplies so much more. Each morning He extends a fresh supply of mercy (Lamentations 3:22-23). He makes grace abound (II Corinthians 9:8). He offers us the riches of His kindness, forbearance, and patience, which leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). He lets His Word dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:26) and gives the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God (Romans 11:33).

As a prince in Egypt, Moses had access to the riches of Pharaoh’s kingdom, but the time came when he faced a decision. Which was more important: the treasures of Egypt or the call of God? Hebrews 11:26 tells us, “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Moses realized the wealth of Egypt was temporary at best. He looked to the future and chose enduring riches.

Deceitful Riches

It is so easy to become caught up in achieving wealth and the things money can buy. It’s deceptive, and money becomes our master. It is not a sin to possess money, but it becomes a sin when money possesses us. Money creates a desire for more and more, and that becomes a danger to our soul. Mark 4:19 warns, “But the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

Rejoice if you are a very rich person—but only if those riches are the enduring riches provided by the Lord. With Him, you are the richest person in the world.

Thank You, Lord for the many blessings You place in my life. You have given me abundant grace and mercy. You forgave my sins, filled me with Your Spirit, and walk with me each day. The riches of this world will never compare to the riches I find in a life shared with You.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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