It's hard to escape the horrific images of human suffering in many parts of the world that bombard our minds through television,internet and photos. Images of naked starving children, poorly built shelters, and people looking helpless and hopeless, may move our hearts, and quietly we might say to ourselves, “I am so fortunate. I have a home, a job and a family.” But do you have Jesus?
“What does Jesus have to do with poverty?” you maybe thinking. “Why doesn’t he do something about it?” or possibly, “Jesus doesn’t care, we’re on our own here.” The scriptures are very clear that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present, nothing escapes his sight. What we see in our world today is the evidence of the broken relationship of man with God.
Genesis tells how with a word God created an ecosystem bursting with plant and animal life, but he fashioned humans by hand. The power of his voice keeps all of creation producing and sustaining life. The fact that God is still in control is why all life continues to exist.
“If this is true” you might say, “Then why hasn’t God ended all this poverty?” The answer is a simple one, He has! Now that might sound like a contradiction, but the truth is the Cross ended poverty.
The significance of the cross is far more than most people can comprehend. We have heard that Jesus loves us and died on a cross to save us. All people who have accepted this fact know that he rose again to life, as he said he would. This is the foundation of our faith. So, why does all this tragedy continue? It is a prospective of the eternal value system.
Our human economy is based on a temporal system that began with the original sin. Because of our inheritance of sin, we can not think the way God desires. In our depraved minds, we think, “That it’s all about me and my happiness,” In God’s economy it is all about loving, healthy relationships! We tend to think that those who have power, money and position are those who are rich, but in God’s economy, they are the most poverty stricken.
All the wealth and power of the earth belongs to Jesus; those who possess it now only have a small window of opportunity to use it to honor him. As God's masterpiece,we are given cetain abilities that bring him glory. Those who choose to use their position for their own pleasure will suffer eternal consequences for misappropriation of these resources. This is the judgment that weighs heavy on those who refuse the gift of salvation.
The salvation that Jesus brings is complete forgiveness of sin. We are restored to a pure and innocent relationship with God, like the time in the garden. As we grow in his love we begin living for his glory, developing loving, caring relationship with others, which was our original purpose.Jesus said “You will always have the poor among you,” we know this is a true statement, because not everyone has heard or believes that Jesus is the sustaining power of all life. (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Behind the scenes, the Lord continues to rise up his people to be his hands and feet to all the world, in meeting the needs of those who have suffered under greed, injustice, persecution and disaster. He uses every opportunity to touch people with his love and truth, so that they may come to him and be reconciled. By his great love and passion for all humanity, he calls to his people and waits patiently for their response.
Jesus said, “You say, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing! And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy gold from me, gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so that you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see” (Revelation 3: 17-18 NLT)
True poverty is living life without the richness and fullness of life found only in our great God, Master and King –Jesus Christ! To him be all the honor, glory and praise! Amen!!
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