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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Poor And Yet Not Poor

In most churches I have preached in, few understand the Kingdom principle of being poor in spirit and yet possessing all. When I start talking about being poor yet rich, and being rich yet poor, they start looking doubtful whether what I'm saying is correct. Poor and yet not poor?

Jesus taught that there is only one way to being truly blessed in God's eyes--being poor in spirit. Blessed are those poor in spirit--theirs is God's kingdom! It's his first Beatitude teaching. And he didn't just teach it--he lived it. He was poor in the eyes of the world. Unlike some minsters with mega churches today who flaunt their material blessings around and yet emphasize simple living. James said God chose the poor in the world's eyes to be rich in faith. Thus, they are poor and yet not poor--they are rich; yet they are poor.

Most Christians think the challenge to give up everything is only for rich people, as was given to the rich, young ruler. Well, Luke 12.33 demolished that. The challenge is for every true disciple. We should be poor in spirit. As we lose everything we possess all things. Soaking in poverty is NOT God's will for anyone. But it's his will that we become poor. Jesus was poor yet he fed 5000 and 4000 men in separate events. He was poor yet he possessed all things. You check him out if he had any church or denominational property or church building or kept huge ministry bank accounts. He had none. Yet he was not poor--and yet he was poor.
 
Poor and yet not poor does not mean you beg because you're out of livelihood. Most churches today have this mindset--they beg and solicit money because they are without any livelihood. It's a poverty mindset. Paul said we must be able to provide well for our relatives and immediate families (1 Tim.5.8). That is far from being a poverty mindset. Christians and churches should have a livelihood to be able to provide for those in need, like the Acts church. 

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