Friday, March 2, 2012

Gospel for the Poor - 2nd Wednesday Of Lent

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:3

It's amazing how the 2000 year old words of Jesus stay current. Back in Jesus' day a lot of wealthy folks and religious folks had gotten together and these guys ended up deciding that their high position and easy lives were God's reward. They believed and taught that if good things happened to them it was because they deserved it. If bad things happened to anyone it was because God was giving them what they deserved. The Bible does not endorse this view but in every generation the wealthy still explain their wealth as a mark of God's approval. In medieval Europe this idea was called theDivine Right of Kingsand in early America it was theGospel of Wealth.

Jesus never preached that the downtrodden deserved their trials. He promised relief for all who came to him no matter where they came from. While the rich and powerful told the poor and mourning that they deserved what they'd gotten, Jesus preached a different message. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the rich man is left to suffer, and told,In your lifetime you received your good thingsbut Lazarus, who suffered through life found comfort with God.


Are you one of the wealthy or one of the poor? If you live in the US, have enough to eat, and can read these words, then you're one of the most blessed people on earth. Do you act like you deserve it? If you do then it's time to repent. God loves you too much to let you live like you don't need Him.

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