Everything here concerns repentance and living a holy life.
“The time has come,” Jesus said.
“The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)



Bragging Rights

When was the last time you heard a rich man or woman brag they were less spiritual than the poor church member?

When was the last time you saw the poor placed in positions of authority as elders or deacons in a church?

When was the last time you heard a member of a congregation pour contempt on the financial expert, author, or Christian money guru in the church?


Few Things

Few things demonstrate more clearly why the Christian church is ripe for judgment than an examination of those member’s esteem as spiritual.

It is so rare to find someone whose mind has been transformed, or sufficiently transformed, by the message of the cross that I can safely say this has never been seen or heard of in our churches.

When was the last time you ever heard a rich man in church boast, yes, boast of his “low position” in Jesus?

To the contrary the church esteems the rich, the influential, the successful, the entertaining placing them into positions of authority within the church. How backward and unspiritual is the thinking in the church.

What contemplable and sinful worship are the lifted hands raised to worship a Holy God! 

The rich and successful in the church should be boasting, taking pride in their low position.

The rich or successful person should be going around the church declaring: “I brag, boast and pridefully declare I have a low position in Jesus. Do not ask me a question – do not think my prayers are as quickly answered as the poor person over there in the Lord.”

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, (James 1:9-10)


Mark it down

The richer a man or woman is in Jesus the less God blesses him or her.

The more successful one is in the world, the more financial savvy the less God gives that person faith and spiritual wisdom.

The larger the church, the more esteemed the author, the greater the influence, the less faith and spiritual wisdom God does grant. [1]But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30)

Dear disciple of Jesus pick up your cross with both hands and become impressed as King Solomon was impressed.

I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it. Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. (Ecclesiastes 9:13-16)

Listen Up

Listen up it is not the rich that should be exalted or esteemed in a Christian Church but the poor …thus says The Lord.

It is the poor in the eyes of the world that God gives the fullness of faith.

It is the poor in the eyes of the world that God gives the full measures of wisdom.

It is the poor that God gives what He considers true riches. [2]So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?  (James 2:5)

Let us read that again and really let it sink into our soft hearts. Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?


Command

Let me venture into slander territory that somehow I am running a “cult” looking for handout. For you see, when it comes to the rich not only do I, by the grace of God, see the successful in the world for what they are in God’s sight, but God will work His selfless love and a “command” through me upon the rich. [3]Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. (Psalm 62:9)

Paul wrote Timothy that he should “command” the rich to be generous.

It is so laughable to suggest anyone in the church has seen a spiritual person go up to a successful person and offer the following commands:

“I command you in Jesus, successful person, to not be arrogant.”

“I command you in Jesus to not put your hope in wealth.”

“I command you in Jesus to put your hope in God.”

“I command you in Jesus to do good.”

“I command you in Jesus to be rich in good deeds.”

“I command you in Jesus to be willing to share.”

“I command you in Jesus to be generous.”

“I command you to take hold of what is truly life.”

U-huh – and we dare call ourselves a spiritual church?

Now, when was the last time you saw anyone, any preacher, any member, anyone “command” the rich to be generous that was not selfishly related to a ministry fund raising revival?

I am talking about a commanding that comes not from desiring a single nickel from the rich, but because that person is being taught how to hate and despise money in the Lord. [4]”No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You ...continue

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

How wise and loving is the Living God. To keep the rich and powerful from becoming prideful He has the poor in the eyes of the world command the rich. The rich and powerful must humble themselves to hear God speaking through the despised of this world. The rich and powerful must look upon the weak in the eyes of the world for spiritual enlightenment and help. What a blessing of equality, humility, and a further realization that it is only from God that spiritual wisdom and righteousness must be obtained.

As we venture into the next area take notice that Paul writes, “in this way” of a command the rich are to be instructed. God has ordained that the offense of the cross be the power to helping humble the rich and powerful. Trouble is the last people the rich and powerful will listen to is the humble in the Lord. Rare, exceedingly rare, are the likes of the rich and powerful in the church that are learning from the lowly saints of Jesus how to walk the spiritual walk on the narrow road.


Money Delusion

Money creates a delusion in a person’s life. Money is an active lie that makes one unspiritual as it is accumulated.

The rich or successful will come to believe they are the spiritual ones, highly blessed by God because of their success.

Indeed, they will believe themselves generous, when they are generous only as it profits them. They always know what their left and right hand is doing. But the poor man, the truly spiritual person, understands because God grants the faith and understanding that the rich should be generous as the Holy Spirit leads, empowers and directs, by way of the rich hating their own lives. [5] The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)

Wealth becomes the wall which is trusted in and the way God has directed that wall be torn down is by the poor, the spiritual, the lowly commanding the rich.

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall. (Proverbs 18:11)

Repent, therefore repent, because the rich need the help, prayers and care of the poor.

Unless, of course, Jesus was just joking.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23)

Detestable

Would you give something detestable to a good friend?

Would you show up at close family member’s birthday party and give a surprise gift of yesterday’s doggy dodo? Of course not. We do not bless or give detestable things to those whom we co,nsider close friends. Why then do we think God gives what He considers detestable to His favorite saints?

When God views money He holds His nose. Money is like doggy dodo to Him. True, doggy dodo serves a purpose and is a result of lovingly caring for one’s animal but, to say the least, it is not highly valued.

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:13-15)

Let us therefore surrender our minds to the Living God that they might be transformed to view things and persons in their proper perspective. [6]Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve ...continue


The Wise, The Influential

If you want to be prepared for the last days, then seek out the humble, the small church, the lowly congregation.

If you are looking for a spirit-filled church then go see if the rich, the successful in that church, brag about their low position.

If you desire a spiritual church, a holy congregation or God to bless you with revival, look to the outcast, the rejected and the poor.

Behold a successful lawyer – know that such barely, if at all, understands justice by the grace of God.

Behold a successful Christian prosecutor – know that they are exceptionally low on the spiritual ladder in understanding and walking in the holiness of God.

Behold the influential man or woman, the wise scientist or the shaker and mover around the town – they are not whom God has chosen to bless with superior spiritualty.

Behold a preacher with a large congregation or successful author – though considered first among Christians, God knows them to be last or not at all of Him. [7] He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once ...continue

Behold the investment counsellor who wheels and deals financial planning successfully for the Christian who desires to be a “good steward” – Jesus knows they are fools. [8]They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:5) It is the poor God has chosen to bless with spiritual insight on how life in this world should be approached.

Indeed, the above are all too wise, too influential, and too holy in their eyes to humbly learn from those whom God gives true wisdom. Just look around the world at the church of Jesus. To whom has God chosen to pour out His grace?

Is it not the humble, the poor, the persecuted, the destitute, the lowly, the quiet in the land?

The evidence is overwhelming and conclusive. It is not the wise, the learned, the strong, the rich, the powerful, the big member preachers, the influential that God gives real, tangible living faith.

They say faith is blind. Not so. The evidence for having faith in God is everywhere and overwhelming on all levels for those that ears have to hear and eyes that see. After all the true Christian walk with the Living God is beyond the grasp of the religious, the pagan and the average worldly good-old-boy. Honest Christianity is a secret that God does not bless the unrepentant, the lukewarm and the religious with. As Jesus told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables” (Mark 4:11)

God in His lovely wisdom has chosen to actively nullify the influence of the influencers. God has chosen the weak person to shame the strong. It is not the best-selling Christian author that has the richest faith and wisdom.

Indeed, God’s Spirit moves throughout the church to give the poor, the weak, the despised, the non-accomplished a faith and wisdom that sets the example others should follow. Trouble is most in the church do not have ears that will listen nor eyes that can see.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)

If you want true spiritual walking in the light fellowship that is strong, powerful, and full of love inspired by the Holy Spirit; then look to the poor, the rejected, the slandered, the few and far between.

If you would have desired to fellowship with the most spiritual in Jesus in the time of the New Testament, namely the Apostle Paul, you would have had to associate yourself with “glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;” because God has chosen those who are poor, weak and despised according to the world to be blessed with true riches. [9](2 Corinthians 6:8) [10]So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)

T. Williams
If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him. Come, O Lord !
(1 Corinthians 16:22)



Other Versions: Ought To Take Pride (James 1:9)

New International Version
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.

New Living Translation
Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.

English Standard Version
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,

Berean Study Bible
The brother in humble circumstances should exult in his high position.

Berean Literal Bible
But let the brother of low degree boast in his exaltation,

King James Bible
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

New King James Version
Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,

New American Standard Bible
Now the brother or sister of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;

NASB 1995
But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;

NASB 1977
But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position;

Amplified Bible
Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position [as a born-again believer, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God];

Christian Standard Bible
Let the brother of humble circumstances boast in his exaltation,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation,

American Standard Version
But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate:

Contemporary English Version
Any of God’s people who are poor should be glad he thinks so highly of them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But let the brother of low condition glory in his exaltation:

English Revised Version
But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate:

Good News Translation
Those Christians who are poor must be glad when God lifts them up,

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Humble believers should be proud because being humble makes them important.

International Standard Version
A brother of humble means should rejoice in his having been exalted,

Literal Standard Version
And let the brother who is low rejoice in his exaltation,

NET Bible
Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position.

New Heart English Bible
But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position;

Weymouth New Testament
Let a brother in humble life rejoice when raised to a higher position;

World English Bible
But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position;

Young’s Literal Translation
And let the brother who is low rejoice in his exaltation,


Other Versions: Influential (1 Cor 1:26)

New International Version
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

New Living Translation
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.

English Standard Version
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

Berean Study Bible
Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth.

Berean Literal Bible
For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise according to the flesh, not many powerful, not many of noble birth.

King James Bible
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

New King James Version
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

New American Standard Bible
For consider your calling, brothers and sisters, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

NASB 1995
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

NASB 1977
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

Amplified Bible
Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth.

Christian Standard Bible
Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: Not many were wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth.

American Standard Version
For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :

Contemporary English Version
My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For see your vocation, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble:

English Revised Version
For behold your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

Good News Translation
Now remember what you were, my friends, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes.

International Standard Version
Brothers, think about your own calling. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

Literal Standard Version
for see your calling, brothers, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

NET Bible
Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position.

New Heart English Bible
For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise from a human perspective, not many mighty, not many of noble birth.

Weymouth New Testament
For consider, brethren, God’s call to you. Not many who are wise with merely human wisdom, not many of position and influence, not many of noble birth have been called.

World English Bible
For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble;

Young’s Literal Translation
for see your calling, brethren, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

 


Post #   4736



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References   [ + ]

1. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30)
2. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)
3. Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. (Psalm 62:9)
4. ”No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13)
5. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
6. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
7. He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed, there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” (Luke 13:24-30)
8. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:5)
9. (2 Corinthians 6:8)
10. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)