Thursday, July 25, 2019

How Low Can You Go?

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.  James 1: 9-11

Just how bad does it feel sometimes? How low can life bring you?  Maybe it’s family troubles, or job issues, but lots of times, it’s our financial situation that takes all the wind out of our sails.  The truth is, although money doesn’t really make the world go around, it makes life a lot easier.  James speaks directly to the down and out in verse 9 above.  He speaks to those of us in “humble circumstances” saying that we may have a low position on earth, but we have a high position in Heaven.  The greatest riches in life are not measured by what is in our bank account.  We can be poor on earth, but rich in the things that really matter.  We can be rich in a kingdom sense.  
We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to be kingdom rich.  Kingdom richness is not dependent on what we possess in material belongings. Kingdom richness is in the heart. The riches of this world all fade like withering flowers.  The richness that God provides is everlasting.
The other half of the passage above is about the “well off”, or “rich” becoming lowly.  It is much harder to go from low income to rich than from rich to low income.  But James says, just as the believers in humble circumstances should rejoice in their high position, the rich should rejoice in their humiliation.  What?  We should be happy when we lose our wealth or go bankrupt?  Not exactly.  What James is saying is that those who are poor should forget their earthly poverty because of their heavenly riches.  Likewise, the rich should forget their earthly riches because their heavenly riches are far greater and never fade.  The “well off” may be comfortable in this life - but it is only this life – this fading life.  There is nothing at all wrong with making money or having money as long as we remember where our true riches are.  
If we pour into what fades away, we will fade away with it.  If we put our identity and life into Jesus Christ, it lasts forever. Everything that we have on this earth we will leave behind, including all the riches.  No matter what your social class or income bracket or where you live or what you drive on this earth, we all have the same high position in glory.  There is no poverty level or upper class, we are all sons and daughters of the King of Kings and heirs to the throne.  Think about what material things you have, or don’t have.  Whatever they are, they will fade.  What seems so valuable now, will one day amount to nothing.  Then think about what you have in Christ and live on that. It never fades, it never grows old or loses relativity.  It will always be all that you need. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… Ephesians 1:3

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