31 Bible Verses About Material Things (with Explanations)

The Bible provides a balanced perspective on material possessions, acknowledging their potential usefulness while cautioning against a love of wealth or placing our security in earthly things.  Bible verses about material things offer guidance on how to navigate the complexities of wealth, possessions, and our relationship with the material world.

These verses emphasize the importance of stewardship, contentment, and generosity. They warn against the dangers of greed, materialism, and the deceptive allure of riches that can distract us from our true purpose.  ]

The Bible contrasts earthly treasures with the eternal treasures found in a relationship with God, emphasizing that our ultimate worth and security are not found in what we own, but in who we are in Christ.

As we explore these verses about material things, may we gain a healthier perspective on our possessions and finances. 

Also Read: Bible Verses Against Snakes in Dreams (with Explanations)

Bible Verses About Material Things

Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus challenges believers to reconsider their priorities concerning material wealth. This passage highlights the transient nature of earthly possessions, susceptible to decay and theft.

The call is not to forsake all material possessions but to ensure that the pursuit of God’s kingdom takes precedence, recognizing that the heart follows where true treasure is stored.

Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Proverbs 11:24-25 conveys the principle of generous living and its reciprocal blessings. This passage encourages believers to adopt a mindset of abundance, recognizing that generosity not only benefits others but brings prosperity to the giver.

It challenges the notion that hoarding leads to abundance and instead promotes a lifestyle of refreshing others, affirming the biblical principle that a generous heart reaps abundant rewards.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul addresses the attitude of the wealthy towards their possessions. The commentary underscores the temporal and uncertain nature of wealth while emphasizing the eternal value of doing good and being generous.

Believers are encouraged to view their resources as a means to positively impact others, laying up treasures in heaven. The passage challenges the misconception that material wealth guarantees security, redirecting focus towards a life that is truly fulfilling and aligned with God’s eternal purposes.

Luke 12:15 (NIV)

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'”

Luke 12:15 records Jesus’ warning about the dangers of greed and the misconception that life’s value is measured by material abundance. The commentary emphasizes the counter-cultural call to guard against the pervasive influence of greed in a materialistic society.

It challenges believers to redefine the essence of life, emphasizing spiritual and relational fulfillment over the accumulation of possessions. This verse encourages a mindful and cautious approach to the pursuit of material things, recognizing that true life transcends the tangible and temporal.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul shares his perspective on contentment regardless of material circumstances. The commentary highlights the transformative power of contentment and the dependence on Christ for strength.

This passage challenges believers to cultivate contentment in all situations, breaking free from the constant pursuit of material possessions. It encourages a mindset that finds fulfillment in Christ, emphasizing the liberating truth that contentment is achievable through a reliance on His strength.

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”

Hebrews 13:5 urges believers to maintain contentment and resist the allure of the love of money. The commentary emphasizes the profound assurance of God’s constant presence, countering the notion that material wealth provides ultimate security.

This verse challenges the misplaced trust in financial stability, redirecting believers to find enduring contentment in the unwavering faithfulness of God. It encourages a shift from a love of money to a love and trust in the eternal promises of a faithful God.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes 5:10 explores the futility of an insatiable love for money. The commentary underscores the perpetual dissatisfaction that accompanies the pursuit of wealth, challenging believers to recognize the inherent emptiness in placing ultimate value on material possessions.

This passage encourages a reevaluation of priorities, emphasizing the pursuit of meaning and purpose beyond the accumulation of wealth. It challenges believers to find contentment in God rather than in the transient and elusive pursuit of material things.

James 5:1-3 (NIV)

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.”

In James 5:1-3, a strong rebuke is directed towards the misuse of wealth and the hoarding of resources. The commentary emphasizes the consequences of ill-gotten gains and the detrimental impact of selfishly accumulating wealth.

It highlights the accountability that accompanies material prosperity, urging a responsible and just approach to financial matters.

Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

Proverbs 23:4-5 provides practical wisdom against the relentless pursuit of wealth. The commentary underscores the transient nature of riches and the potential futility in trusting one’s abilities for financial success.

This passage challenges believers to prioritize a balanced and sustainable approach to work and wealth, cautioning against a single-minded focus that neglects spiritual and relational well-being. It encourages a healthy perspective on material things, recognizing their impermanence.

Luke 16:13 (NIV)

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Luke 16:13 addresses the inherent conflict between serving God and pursuing wealth. This verse underscores the incompatibility of serving both God and material gain, highlighting the need for intentional choices that align with spiritual values.

It encourages believers to recognize the potential idolatry of wealth and to wholeheartedly devote themselves to God.

Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'”

In Matthew 19:21, Jesus issues a radical call to a rich young man. The commentary emphasizes the challenging nature of this directive, highlighting the contrast between earthly possessions and eternal treasures.

This passage challenges believers to examine their attachment to material things, encouraging a sacrificial lifestyle that prioritizes generosity and service to others.

Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV)

“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:8-9 presents a prayer for contentment and moderation in material blessings. The commentary emphasizes the wisdom in seeking neither poverty nor excessive riches, recognizing the potential spiritual risks associated with extremes in financial circumstances.

This passage challenges believers to prioritize a humble and contented heart, acknowledging God’s provision in daily sustenance and guarding against attitudes that may lead to unfaithfulness or dishonor to God.

Luke 12:33-34 (NIV)

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:33-34 echoes Jesus’ call to generosity and prioritizing heavenly treasures. This passage challenges believers to actively engage in acts of charity, recognizing that their investments in the well-being of others result in lasting treasures in heaven.

It encourages a deliberate alignment of one’s treasure with eternal values, guarding against the perishable nature of earthly possessions.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 (NIV)

“Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.”

Ecclesiastes 5:15 provides a sobering reflection on the transient nature of material wealth. The commentary emphasizes the inevitability of departing from this world without the ability to carry accumulated possessions.

This passage challenges believers to adopt a perspective that transcends the temporal and material, recognizing the ultimate futility of excessive attachment to worldly goods.

1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

In 1 John 2:15-17, believers are cautioned against an excessive love for worldly things. The commentary emphasizes the distinction between Godly and worldly values, highlighting the transient nature of earthly desires.

This passage challenges believers to prioritize aligning with God’s will, recognizing the impermanence of worldly pursuits. It encourages a love that is directed towards eternal principles rather than fleeting pleasures.

Proverbs 30:24-25 (NIV)

“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.”

Proverbs 30:24-25 draws wisdom from small and seemingly insignificant creatures. The commentary emphasizes the prudent nature of ants, storing food for the future. This passage challenges believers to glean lessons from creation, encouraging a responsible and forward-thinking approach to material resources.

It underscores the value of diligence and foresight in managing material blessings wisely.

Luke 12:15-21 (NIV)

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’ … But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'”

Luke 12:15-21 recounts Jesus’ parable about a rich fool. The commentary emphasizes the caution against greed and the folly of prioritizing wealth over spiritual matters.

This passage challenges believers to evaluate the true significance of their lives and warns against the dangers of accumulating possessions without consideration for eternity. It encourages a mindset that recognizes life’s brevity and invests in what truly matters in God’s sight.

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 6:24 underscores the exclusive loyalty required in the spiritual journey. The commentary emphasizes the impossibility of serving both God and wealth simultaneously.

This verse challenges believers to examine their allegiances, urging a singular devotion to God rather than dividing one’s loyalty between spiritual values and material pursuits. It encourages intentional choices that prioritize God above all else.

Ecclesiastes 4:8 (NIV)

“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless—a miserable business!”

Ecclesiastes 4:8 reflects on the futility of relentless toil without contentment. The commentary emphasizes the emptiness of labor without enjoying the fruits of one’s labor.

This passage challenges believers to seek contentment in their endeavors, cautioning against a ceaseless pursuit of wealth without finding satisfaction in life’s simple joys. It encourages a balanced approach to work and wealth that prioritizes both diligent effort and appreciating the present.

Mark 8:36 (NIV)

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

Mark 8:36 poses a profound question about the true value of worldly gain in comparison to one’s soul. The commentary emphasizes the eternal significance of the soul, challenging believers to consider the spiritual cost of pursuing earthly success at the expense of spiritual well-being.

This passage encourages a perspective that prioritizes the eternal over the temporal and prompts believers to evaluate the true worth of their pursuits in light of their souls’ eternal destiny.

Luke 16:11 (NIV)

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

In Luke 16:11, Jesus emphasizes the importance of trustworthiness in handling material wealth. The commentary underscores the correlation between faithfulness in earthly matters and receiving true spiritual riches.

This passage challenges believers to steward their resources responsibly, recognizing that earthly wealth is a test of character and trust.

Psalm 37:16-17 (NIV)

“Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.”

In Psalm 37:16-17, the emphasis is on the value of righteousness over the wealth of the wicked. The commentary underscores the enduring strength of the righteous, contrasting it with the temporary and ultimately futile power of the wicked.

This passage encourages believers to prioritize righteousness, recognizing its lasting impact and divine support even in the face of worldly prosperity.

Proverbs 13:7 (NIV)

“One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.”

Proverbs 13:7 highlights the contrast between appearances and true wealth. The commentary emphasizes the deceptive nature of outward displays of prosperity and the genuine wealth that can be hidden behind modest circumstances.

This passage challenges believers to discern the true source of riches and to value the spiritual and eternal wealth that may not always be visible to the world.

Matthew 19:23-24 (NIV)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.'”

Matthew 19:23-24 explores the challenges associated with wealth and entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The commentary emphasizes the potential spiritual obstacles posed by earthly riches.

This passage challenges believers to evaluate their priorities and attachments, recognizing the difficulty of maintaining a wholehearted devotion to God in the presence of material abundance. It encourages a humble and dependent posture before God.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV)

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8 extols the value of godliness and contentment over material gain. The commentary emphasizes the wisdom of being content with life’s basic necessities, recognizing the transient nature of material possessions.

This passage challenges believers to cultivate contentment as a source of great spiritual gain, redirecting focus from the pursuit of excess to a grateful acceptance of God’s provision.

Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:32-34 reiterates Jesus’ call to prioritize heavenly treasures. The commentary emphasizes the intimate connection between one’s treasures and the orientation of their heart.

This passage challenges believers to participate in God’s kingdom priorities, investing in eternal treasures through acts of charity and selflessness. It encourages a perspective that recognizes the enduring value of heavenly investments over worldly possessions.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NIV)

“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:19 highlights the divine gift of wealth and the enjoyment it can bring when received from God. The commentary emphasizes the importance of contentment, recognizing that the ability to find joy in one’s work and possessions is a blessing from God.

This passage challenges believers to appreciate God’s gifts with gratitude, acknowledging the divine source of both material blessings and the capacity for happiness in them.

1 Corinthians 7:31 (NIV)

“those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.”

In 1 Corinthians 7:31, believers are encouraged to use worldly possessions without becoming overly attached to them.

The commentary emphasizes the transient nature of the world and its possessions, urging believers to maintain a perspective that acknowledges the passing nature of earthly things.

Proverbs 15:16 (NIV)

“Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.”

Proverbs 15:16 underscores the value of a modest life accompanied by the fear of the Lord. The commentary emphasizes the contrast between a life of contentment, rooted in reverence for God, and the potential chaos that may accompany great wealth.

This passage challenges believers to prioritize a relationship with God over the pursuit of excessive material gain, recognizing the profound richness found in a life aligned with His wisdom.

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Colossians 3:2 encourages believers to focus their minds on heavenly, eternal matters rather than being preoccupied with earthly concerns. The commentary emphasizes the deliberate choice to prioritize spiritual perspectives and values over the temporal and material.

This passage challenges believers to cultivate a mindset that aligns with God’s kingdom, directing attention and energy towards eternal treasures rather than being consumed by transient material pursuits.

Hebrews 10:34 (NIV)

“You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”

Hebrews 10:34 recounts the sacrificial choices made by early believers, willingly accepting the loss of material possessions for the sake of enduring spiritual wealth.

The commentary emphasizes the contrast between fleeting worldly possessions and the lasting treasures found in a relationship with God.

Also Read: Bible Verses Against Snakes in Dreams (with Explanations)

What Does the Bible Say About Material Things?

The Bible addresses the topic of material things with various teachings and perspectives, offering guidance on how believers should approach wealth, possessions, and the pursuit of worldly goods.

Here are key themes found in the Bible regarding material things:

Prioritizing God Over Wealth:

Many verses, such as Matthew 6:24, emphasize that believers cannot serve both God and money. The Bible warns against making wealth an idol and underscores the need to prioritize a relationship with God above material pursuits.

Contentment and Moderation:

Verses like 1 Timothy 6:6-8 advocate for godliness with contentment, stating that having the basics of life and being content is great gain. Proverbs 30:8-9 also encourages moderation in material blessings, praying for neither poverty nor excessive wealth.

Generosity and Compassion:

The Bible consistently promotes a spirit of generosity and care for others. Verses like Luke 12:33-34 and Matthew 19:21 encourage believers to sell possessions, give to the poor, and lay up treasures in heaven.

A Short Prayer for a Faithful Heart Amidst Material Blessings

Heavenly Father,

In the abundance of Your blessings, grant me a faithful heart that seeks You above all earthly treasures. Help me, Lord, to navigate the wealth You provide with gratitude and humility. May my heart remain anchored in Your love, resisting the allure of materialism and embracing contentment in Your presence.

Grant me wisdom, dear God, to use the resources entrusted to me with discernment and compassion. Let my actions be guided by Your will, and may I find joy in sharing generously with others, reflecting Your boundless love.

Protect me from the pitfalls of greed and self-centered desires. May my pursuit of Your kingdom be my foremost goal, knowing that treasures stored in heaven surpass any temporal wealth. Lord, help me cultivate a heart that treasures eternal values over fleeting possessions.

I surrender my material blessings to You, recognizing that they are Yours to begin with. Mold my heart into one that glorifies You in both abundance and scarcity. Thank You for Your constant provision, and may Your grace sustain me in stewarding these blessings faithfully.

In Jesus’ name, I pray.