Absolutes are important. Is there such thing as “absolute truth?” Absolutely! There IS a bull’s-eye.
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
God’s perspective IS truth. Jesus said that He is TRUTH (John 14:6). We tend to base truth on our circumstances. For instance, if we are rich, we tend to think that we are deserving of special consideration. If we are poor, then we tend to think one of two ways:
- We deserve nothing, which leads to poorer and poorer self-esteem and circumstances,
- We deserve to be taken care of, which leads to theft or welfare (legal theft?).
The wise man, Agur, had this to say:
8…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 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
Jesus said to ask for our daily bread (Matt. 6:11), which is grace for today along with guidance (Heb. 4:16). Both are dependent on the Holy Spirit. In fact, ALL of Jesus’ teachings pointed to dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Paul puts it all into perspective when we look at it from a ministry perspective:
12 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. 13 I can do all things through Him [Jesus] who gives me strength [and guidance]. Philippians 4:12-13
The point is: Are you rich? Then be grateful, and ask the LORD to show you why you are rich. Who does He want you to bless with your riches? He will show you one person at a time. Keep in mind this verse: 9 “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves [evangelism and ministry], so that when it [life and subsequently worldly wealth] is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9. Don’t be afraid or too conceited to associate with people of low position (Romans 12:16). They may be the very people that He wants you to bless! Example: Be a big tipper along with being gracious to servers in restaurants. Show Christ to them.
Are you poor? Then consider yourself strategically placed by God for a specific purpose and to reach specific people. Your gratefulness for God’s special placement will shine brightly in the dark place of poverty. Keep in mind this verse: “…Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” Mark 10:21. You are ahead of the game! Continue to follow Him as He works through you to minister to those around you who are in spiritual poverty as well as physical poverty.
For those of us in the middle, remember that Jesus said that we are to consider ourselves spiritually bankrupt (Matt. 5:3) and that everything we have comes from His hand, both materially and spiritually. Let us “fix our eyes on Jesus” and allow Him to guide our steps and handle what we have and don’t have. Let’s keep in mind His perspective:
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-20
Let’s remember that our Father owns “the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10),” and makes us rich in His love and mercy and grace.
“Oh, how great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 1 John 3:1 and Hebrews 4:16
Does He love us? ABSOLUTELY, regardless of our material position. God’s perspective IS truth. Let’s run with that today.