On this Independence Day, American Christians have so much for which to thank the God of Nations. Given that we are so blessed, we also realize how poor most of the seven billion people living on our planet are. For them and billions more, their poverty extends beyond this life into eternity. We grace-grateful people will joyfully work to change that.
This devotion from WhatAboutJesus.com helps focus our attention on our wealth and the need to share it.
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Do you feel rich? An economist by the name of Robert Heilbroner once challenged people to imagine doing the following.
A physically impoverished world
- Move your family into a building the size of an old tool shed.
- Have no electricity, no running water, no bathroom.
- Get rid of all your clothes except for one set.
- Keep one pair of shoes.
- Destroy all written material.
- Toss out all food except for some flour, sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions and dried beans.
- Throw away all your investments, pensions and insurance policies.
- Reduce your savings to ten dollars.
- Live about a three-hour walk away from the nearest clinic.
- And support your entire family raising crops on a few acres of land.
- Give a third of your crops to your landlord and a tenth of your crops to your money lender.
If you do that, says Robert Heilbroner, then you’ll know how over a billion people are living in the world right now. And then, perhaps, you’ll realize how rich you really are.
A spiritually impoverished world
Now imagine something else. The world you live in is dark, cynical, senseless. If there is a God, you haven’t met him. If there is some grand reason for living, you don’t know it.
- So you go to work, come home,
- cash your check on payday,
- get groceries,
- watch TV,
- catch up with the laundry on weekends,
- take in a ballgame with friends,
- discuss current events,
- pursue a hobby,
- vacation during the summer,
- go to the dentist, go to the doctor,
- feel your body getting old,
- put in for retirement,
- mow your lawn and weed your garden,
- watch your life get slower and smaller.
- And then you wait to die—empty, puzzled and frightened.
If you can imagine that, then you can imagine life without Jesus, life without the forgiveness, peace, joy, security, purpose, and certainty of heaven that are yours in your Savior. And then, you, too, can realize how rich you really are. And how great the privilege you have to share the wealth Jesus has won for you with the world.
Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for all the times I have forgotten how rich I am in you. Empower me by your Spirit. Help me to see what I have with fresh insight. Prompt me to share my eternal wealth with everyone. Amen.
Source: Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.