The Poor, the Rich and the Wealthy

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Our society has three main groups – I wonder which one you belong to?

The first group is the poor, these are people who don’t have much money – so their focus is on getting more of it.

Now money, in itself is just a tool, it’s not inherently good or bad, but when your focus is on getting more of it, it can begin to control your thinking and your decisions – and you can become a slave to your desire for more.

Jesus said in two places – Matthew chapter 6 verse 24 and Luke chapter 16 verse 13 that “no-one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Now in the Luke 16 version, this upset the Pharisees – who dearly loved their money.

Jesus clearly says in verse 14 that what the world honors is detestable in the sight of God.

The second group is the rich – these are people who have enough money, so their focus has shifted onto things – and in particular, getting more of the things that they want.

Now things, in themselves are just objects, they’re not inherently good or bad, but when your focus is on having all the things, it can control you – and you can become a slave to your desire for more.

In Matthew chapter 19 and also in Mark chapter 10, Jesus speaks with a rich man – who asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.

Jesus reminds him of the commandments and the rich man says that he has kept all the commandments since he was young – but what Jesus says next makes him go away from the conversation sad – that he needs to go and sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor – and then come and follow Jesus.

The rich man not only had things, but his things had control of his eternity.

The third group is the wealthy – but not the people who are wealthy by worldly standards – we’ve already talked about them.

The truly wealthy are the people whose focus is on the Kingdom of God.

These people have realized that there is more to life than needing to get more money, and more to life than having all the things.

But why are they classed as wealthy?

Every day, we have to make choices about the value of things.

We ask ourselves ‘how much am I willing to pay?’ and ‘is it worth it?’.

Everyone has a different idea about what’s good value and what’s not good value.

In Matthew chapter 13 verse 44 Jesus tells a story: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field.

In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field”.

What do we learn about the value of the Kingdom of God from this parable?

Well, the Kingdom is like the ‘treasure’ the man found, it’s worth more than everything we could own, people get VERY excited when they find it, it’s the best thing we could ever find, and we can’t just take it – there’s an exchange needed and we need to give things up in order to get it.

Jesus tells another story in Matthew chapter 13 verses 45 and 46: “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the look out for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.”

What do we learn about the value of the Kingdom of God from this parable?

The kingdom is like the valuable pearl that the merchant found – it’s worth more than everything we could own and it’s worth exchanging everything we own to get it. People are very excited when they find it, and even an expert in judging value can see it’s incredible value.

Going back to Matthew chapter 6 again, and this time looking at verse 31 Jesus says “so don’t worry about these things saying ‘what will we eat, what will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Have you ever wondered why these things dominate the thoughts of the unbelievers?

The thoughts of the poor, and also of the rich?

It’s because they’re in charge of sourcing and providing their own money and their own things.

When you enter into the kingdom of God and you align yourself with the will of God, you quickly realize that God has unlimited resources at his disposal.

Religion keeps begging for your money – but the kingdom doesn’t rely on offerings or giving on the basis of compulsion.

It’s operating in a different dimension.

If you’re seeking the kingdom, God will supply you with what you need… but not just what you’ll need to scrape by, the needs Jesus is talking about are your needs for your kingdom assignment.

So they’re the three groups – the poor, with their focus on money – the rich, with their focus on things and the wealthy – with their focus on the kingdom of God.

The poor, the rich and the wealthy.

Notice that I could have just as easily listed the things those groups are focused on – money, possessions and the kingdom.

I wonder which group you feel like you’re a part of right now?

What I do know for sure, is that if you’re wanting to seek the kingdom of God, a great way to get started is to start seeking what Jesus had to say about it.

Until next time, blue skies!

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