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 Two cents rich

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JoeT
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PostSubject: Two cents rich   Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:48 pm

Three verses from Luke.
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said,” this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.

From the Sermon on the mount Jesus said,” Blessed are you who are poor for yours in the kingdom of God.”

And to the rich man Jesus said. “Sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven, and then come follow me.”

From these three verses and there are more in the bible do you get a sense that Jesus has a special place in his heart for the poor? Just a brief explanation why.
In Jesus time many people believed being wealthy was about the same as saying, “ see, God loves me.” The richer a person was the more God must love them was the explanation. So then of course if God loved them they had a free pass into the kingdom of God. This left the poor of Jesus time with a daily reminder that they were not fit for the kingdom of God.

So when Jesus says his famous line, “Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of heaven,” he stuns the poor and rich alike. Jesus turned the tables of their religious believes upside down, scattering their prized theories. The teeter-totter of their lives flipped over and now the poor, according to Jesus, are closer to God. We could say Jesus has made poverty the entrance to the kingdom of God.

Well that is all fine for those people 2012 years ago, but what about us here who still have to finish life and would like to finish well. Things are different today. For us wealth is a fact of life. On average we are all part of the 20% of the wealthiest in the world. We have enough, with lots to spare; we have spare change, spare tires and even some spare time. You may have come to realize that the saying ‘Material blessings’ is close to an oxymoron. Our great wealth is a daily reminder of our struggle to worship God with an undivided heart.

But Jesus words still apply to us, especially in our spiritual lives. Let’s go back to the poor widow. Does your spiritual life sometimes feel like the widow’s two pennies? You put in all you have to live on but it isn't much. You are barely able to put your two cents worth into your prayer life with God. Does this bother you a little bit, sometimes, like when you are at a funeral realizing that could be you. I wish we could do a bit better, but to be honest I don’t even know how to start.

Listen then to Jesus famous line, this time from Matt 5. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is Jesus talking to us. It is a promise that stuns the spiritually poor and rich alike. Again Jesus states that poverty, spiritually poverty, is the entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus turns our view of how God operates upside down. Jesus is our hope that tips the teeter-totter and brings us into God’s kingdom. He is the one expressing God’s great love to us.

How do we respond to this special treatment of the poor in spirit that Jesus has shown us? Let’s read the third verse again
“Sell all that you have and give to the poor.” Live a life sold out to Jesus in all that you do. Honestly, he already owns you. You were bought with his blood. But now you let him have all of your life, the rich parts and the poor. And then he challenges all of us with these words, “come and follow me.” Allow him to use you to show others the special place he has in his heart for the poor.

From 1 John 3 (The Message, expanded) we get a picture of God’s great love for us.
What marvelous love the Father has offered to us through Jesus! Just think about it for a moment or for a lifetime. —Like Jesus we’re called “child of God!” That is not just a label or a nickname that we have to put up with. No, it is who we really are. It defines our purpose in this world. But that’s also why the world doesn't recognize us nor takes us seriously, because it doesn't recognize God or take Jesus seriously. The world has no idea who God is or what he’s up to.
But friends, don’t forget who you are: “children of God.” And that’s only the beginning. Only God knows how we’ll end up! What we do know is that when Jesus comes again, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, we will finally become fully like him. For now all of us who look forward to his coming stay ready, lives life with the radiant purity of Jesus’ life as a model for your own.

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Lora
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PostSubject: Re: Two cents rich   Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:43 am

What an exciting, uplifting message. You hit the nail on the head for me. I often get down on myself because I don't feel like I devote enough time to Him. Thank you!

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