Rich and Poor! In this the 21st century our culture is dominated by one's fortune, status, and fame.
Rich and Poor! In this the 21st century our culture is dominated by one's fortune, status, and fame. We spend our entire lives seeking to improve our status, but what does the Bible say?
In James 1, verses 9-11, James gives us three pieces of advice. 1st, let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation. 2nd, Let the rich glory in his humiliation. 3rd, look at the big picture.
Charles Simeon states, "The poor are for the most part regarded in so low and mean a light, that a rich man would be ashamed to acknowledge them as related to him." If this was true around the turn of the 19th century, how much more is this true today?
We exalt the rich in our culture. Riches are the key to success, happiness, and fame--or so we think.
Yet James tell us that the lowly (or poor) people should glory in their exaltation. What does that mean?
Happy God is not ashamed of the poor. His Gospel call reaches to them, just as it does to the rich! Christ exalts those who come to Him, whether rich or poor. This quote from Charles Simeon gives a wonderful example of the poor being exalted.
God himself is not ashamed to be called their God: he calls them his friends, his sons, his peculiar treasure: he gives them a name better than of sons and of daughters. They instantly become kings and priests unto God; and the very angels in heaven account it an honor to wait upon them, as their ministering servants.
James tells the rich to glory in their humiliation. The rich are prone, in our culture, to glory in themselves! It is their mental acuity and shrewdness that have put them in their current state. They expect others to look up to them and to envy them.
What happens, then, when the rich come to Christ? The rich no longer compare themselves to other people, but they compare themselves to God Himself. They understand that before God they are wretched, poor, and blind. It is Christ, alone, who lifts them up and it is in and through Him that they are exalted.
As the flower of the field we will all pass away, no matter what our status is here on this earth. Our life is but a vapor. Who will remember us when we are gone? Our grandchildren scarcely get a chance to really know us, and by one or two more generations, we will only be a name on an ancestry tree.
What then? What happens to us after this life? Those in Christ, both the rich and poor, will be in heaven with Christ. In heaven, there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more evil. How long will we be there--for eternity!
What of those who are not in Christ? Yes, there is a hell. It is not a comfortable subject, is it? We all want to believe that after this short life, we will be in heaven. We shudder at the thought of living our worst nightmare forever.
What does it mean to be in Christ? To be in Christ, one humbles himself before God. God is perfectly righteous and we are sinful. Left to ourselves, we have no pathway to God. But the Lord Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven and came to this earth in human form.
He had one purpose. He was here to save a people for Himself. He would span the bridge between God and man and clear a pathway to come to God as though we are righteous. When Christ died on the cross, He took the punishment for all of our sins. What an amazing God we have who offers such love to us that He heals us from our very own sins.
Go to Christ today. Accept His loving payment for your sins. Make Him the Lord of your life. No longer will you care what society thinks. No longer will you be part of a culture that runs away from God as fast as it can. As you study the Bible and grow in Christ, you will find a peace and joy that you never knew could exist in this life.
My prayer today is that if you do not know Christ, you will bow before Him and come to Him today.
God Bless You,