Dear Precious Friends,
On this Magnificent Monday I pray you are waking up to a new day filled with the joy of the Lord. Our reading for the challenge of read a chapter of Luke each day in December is on Luke 6. It is impossible for me to find main points and share them in the message because this chapter is filled with rich wisdom that could be written about for the rest of the year so I am sharing from Luke's account of the Sermon on the mount or Sermon on the plateau as it is sometimes referred to.
Poor vs. Rich (Luke 6:20, 24)
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." (6:20)
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort." (6:24)
The first shocker is Jesus' word of the blessedness of the poor, and a hopeless future for the rich. I'm not sure the poor would agree, and the rich would probably laugh.
But Jesus is talking about a different kind of wealth than monetary wealth. Jesus told a parable about the farmer who was so wealthy that he planned to tear down all his barns and build new ones so he had enough room to store all his grain. He measured his wealth in possessions, but Jesus' commentary on his life was that he was "not rich toward God" (Luke 12:16-21). We in America are part of a culture that tends to worship money, and we Christians, too, can value life in monetary terms. If we make a low wage, we feel bad about ourselves; if we make a lot of money, we are proud. But money is a very poor indicator of spiritual riches.
What would we do in this life if we really believed that money had no lasting value and that serving God with all our heart accrues spiritual riches? So often we value money higher than Jesus! In these Blessings and Woes, Jesus is challenging our money-based value system and calling it worthless. True riches are spiritual.
Why does Jesus bless the poor? Aren't there any rich believers? Of course, but Jesus is using a sharp contrast to make a vital point to his disciples. Those who are wealthy feel insulated by their wealth. Their needs don't seem to be as acute as those of the poor, and they are less often desperate enough to change. The rich tend to be self-satisfied. The poor, on the other hand, are forced to trust in God, since they have no wealth to trust in to tide them over. It really is a case that you can't have two masters -- God and Money (Matthew 6:24). Each master has a diametrically opposed value system.
Jesus' commission was "to preach good news to the poor" (4:18), and the poor heard Jesus' words gladly. It was the rich religious establishment that felt threatened and resisted his teachings.
Why are the poor so blessed? Because through their faith and trust in God, they are the heirs of God's kingdom. They are fabulously wealthy "King's kids." The true wealth is theirs.
Now does this mean if you have been blessed with money you are to be pitied... Of course not.. You as a believer know all you have is the Lord's and you are to be a good steward of what He has given. This is the rich who depend on their money instead of our Lord for their needs... This is the rich who don't know Jesus and have turned away from Him.
Why are these rich to be pitied? Because they have nothing to look forward to. They have already received their comfort. The Greek word translated "comfort" (NIV) or "consolation" (KJV) is Greek word translated means "encouragement ... comfort, consolation," "to call to one's side ... summon to one's aid, call upon for help." The rich have already received whatever comfort they can expect. Their comfort comes from their wealth. When they die there will be no comfort. When they face eternity there will be no comfort. When they face everlasting punishment there will be no comfort. God will not welcome them into his home. Their future is bleak at best.
But what a blessing the poor have, for the whole Kingdom of which God is Master opens up to them. They are God's beneficiaries!
May we all remember to who all our blessings are from and the incredible responsibility we have to share His blessings however we can to those in need.
Everything is the Lords... He owns everything... We are stewards of His blessings.
Have an amazing day remembering those in need and what it really means to be rich according to the word of God.
Source: God's word, Holy Spirit, Jesus Walk devo.