Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Am Rich

Revelation 3:17-19 - Because you say, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing"—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

This is a very hard word from Jesus. From Jesus! If we claim to know Him, love Him, obey Him, but believe what He first says above, we are not of God. 

When the things we have, the money we have accumulated, the things we endlessly want more than need, become prominent in our lives, we do not know what being truly rich is. If we are self-sufficient, I need of nothing else, we lie to ourselves.

Jesus doesn't talk about material wealth. His whole point is spiritual wealth, health and blessings (happiness that only comes from Him). We might be blessed with material things but are they as important to us than He is? He is the pure gold, He offers us the opportunity to be clothed in white robes...of righteousness!

Jesus says those who do not fully know HIM are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked...because they do not have Him. He is not First and Last in those lives. He gives so much more than what the world offers. What He gives does not rust or crumble or get burned in fire. What He gives is like refined gold. And He offers it for free just by knowing most intimately Himself. We do not have to work for it, like we do through a livelihood. It's a gift! All we have to do is receive that gift into our hearts and lives. Jesus opens blind eyes, causes deaf to hear and He heals us spiritually. We are able to taste and see that He is good. He is our all in all. And when we recognize this we become thankful for what He has given us. We also, through this recognition, become obedient to Him because our faith has become stronger that He will supply all our needs.

We can have more of the world's riches than we know what to do with but have absolutely nothing in God's kingdom. We may think we've succeeded, we have it all in our lives, have climbed that ladder, but without God we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We can give till we're blue in the face but without God first in our lives it means nothing eternally. 

It's true what they say about not being able to "take anything with you" when we die. We do come naked into this world and we will leave the same way. From cradle to grave, God is in control. If we meet Jesus along our life's journey and take Him as our Savior, we will feel rich even with nothing. If we recognize Him and go with His flow we are in good hands. If we choose our own direction we will have lost everything upon death. 

There's a hymn most people know, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. The refrain goes like this:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Jesus loves us. As a parent loves and disciplines a child, so does He. It may hurt, like sometimes the truth of His Word hurts, but the discipline is for our good. There was a time I paid no attention to the things of God. They weren't even the slightest thought. But when He began piercing my heart, soul and conscience, I couldn't just push Him aside. I fought Him 
at first. Sometimes that's what we do. But He is persistent. And one day He totally caught my attention and I couldn't walk away. 

Then, we must die in order to live. Jesus did. He is our example. We die to our own beliefs about life, societal matters, right and wrong. Am I perfect? No. He continues to discipline and it's for our own good. But He has been showing me more and more that it is not about all the things we have but who He is. I'm not done. And He's still at work. How I will praise Him for that! 

Philippians‬ ‭3:7-9 - But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which
 is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith...

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