2010-02-25 - The Riches of Christ
2 Corinthians 8:9, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor, that you through is poverty might become rich."
I would like to ask you to take a moment and read again, reflect and meditate for a moment on the above verse. It contains an amazing truth. Jesus became poor for our sake. He left the glories of Heaven and became man. A companion passage to this is found in Philippians 2:5-11. Jesus became poor, that we might be rich. What does this "richness" look like in our lives? Many of the TV and radio preachers have one idea of what this richness means, but I would like to give you another idea. It is found in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." The greatest riches we can find in this earthly life are those that have eternal blessings that accompany them. I suspect these are the true riches that Jesus has in store for His children. Spiritual blessings are those that transcend this life.
Jesus Christ is our example and teacher in all things. He first became poor for us, and then teaches us the blessings of being poor in Spirit. If you are like me, you don't hear much in preaching today, and you don't read much in writings today, about being poor in spirit. In fact, it might seem like we have pushed this first beatitude aside as needless. I will tell you why we must be poor in spirit: Christ is never more precious, than when we are poor in spirit. When we are great in our own eyes, and rich in our own abilities, then Christ (and His mercies) cannot be big to us. We have to know our own needs, our own wants, our own lack, before we can push off pride and humbly put on the riches of Christ. We are needy, but many of us do not even know our need. Until we do, the precious, life-giving worth of Christ's righteousness can be of little value to us.
I know that I have been prone to think, in the past, that I must do great things for the Lord, in order for Him to take notice of me. I have changed a lot in my thinking. I desire really only one thing: to be faithful. It is one of the paradoxes of the Christian life, that God takes notice of the lowly. He fills those who are needy, because their lack furnishes Him with an opportunity to display His glories in them. Grace is best seen in the one who needs grace most. It is not those things that you have, that allow God's glory to be manifested in you, but it is what you lack; it is what only He can supply that makes God glorious in you. Isn't that the reverse of the way we naturally think? The first point of contact between God and our soul is our lack, not our abilities. Christ brings His glories, and turns our foolishness into His wisdom. The least of His grace is greater than the best we can attain on our own.
This is why Jesus became poor. He became poor to fill us with His riches. This is why the poor in spirit are blessed. They are blessed, because they are filled with the riches of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,