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Rich Versus Poor

Most think being rich concerns possessing great sums of money, a big house, an expensive car and not having to worry where the next meal comes from. The bible points out that man may have money to burn on earth but be a pauper in Godís eyes. In other words, you can be rich in things of the earth but be poor in Godís kingdom.

Have you ever tasted the chocolate hours after you had eaten the cake? Have you ever flooded an automobile engine with too much gasoline? Have you smelled flowers, a horse barn, or a sewage plant from a distance? Each of these situations is due to an abundant quantity of richness that you can sense through your eyes, ears and nose.

Being rich has a value another person can use. Riches of heaven are known as holiness, a usable quality to Christians that lacks a wealth of sin. Sin has the value of a coffin maker in heaven since a coffin maker is only needed when someone dies. Since no one dies in heaven that skill and related products are utterly worthless.   

We think of being rich on earth as accumulation of material goods and the wealth of possessions. It is wonderful to have the things that make you comfortable, but what value is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? When your time comes to die wealth will not prevent you from dying and it wonít buy your way into heaven. God desires the richness of character that can be admired by all.

On earth being rich is the power to men who have wealth, but wealth is of an entirely different nature in Heaven. The streets of heaven may be paved with gold and the walls of heaven are embedded with precious stone and gems. These things could be considered a gaudy display of personal wealth on earth but to God these materials are durable and will outlasts wood, asphalt and concrete.

God offers some advice to those who want to be rich in Godís eyes.

God admires eternal values such as our trust in him and a desire to change to become more like him.  Those who place their trust in earthly wealth are millionaireís one day but can be broke the next day.  Having faith in God is placing your trust in person who is committed not to change his or her values. Nothing will change the value of truth in eternal matters nor can truth be altered. Everything about God reflects the truth and his promises are more valuable than gold.

The bible tells us that Godís gifts and his call are irrevocable (see Romans 11:29) and the gift of God is eternal life (see Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8). Those found worthy of eternal life have the kind of riches that God is looking for, faith in God, a love for one another, the love for truth, and a willingness to submit to Godís authority. All of these qualities nurture life.

Peter recommends that we add to our faith;

God wants a richness of character, the character that develops faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. These characteristics have enduring value to God which are greater that gold or silver.  When men seek richness of these characteristics they must also determine to use them in their dealings with men.  

The richness of character God wants his children to acquire is based on moral purity. Moral purity is Godís sense of right and wrong and the goal for an acceptable personal behavior in Godís eye. Godís child God will nurture the character our heavenly father desires and when we obey him we will develop a richness of moral character that sets us apart from the world.

Doing good may not be as productive as you hoped for in the short run, but on judgment day you will receive a rich welcome and the praise of well done. Just as wealth is built one day at a time the richness of character is built in the time you spend with God.  Becoming rich whether it is on earth or rich in Godís eye is never instantaneous; it requires an effort on your part. You canít say it enough, being rich in spiritual matters requires you to spend time with God.

  The poor of spirit are lacking a system of authority and the moral character obtained by knowing God. They are lacking the qualities that God requires to maintain peace and order in heaven.   The poor of spirit are self-oriented, loving themselves over other people and consider their own needs before those in need. They are proud and arrogant feeling worthy of going to heaven on their terms. In reality they have done little required by God to enter through the gates of heaven. Least of all they have not submitted to the authority of God who rules the kingdom of God known as heaven.

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