James 2:5: “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: 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?”
Here we see a juxtaposition of two worldviews: God’s and the worlds. When fallen humanity looks at the poor, they start to judge the person’s worth. We saw this in our time with verses 3-4. But God sees the poor differently. Yes, the poor are sinners, and that sin must be confessed, and trust must be placed in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. But the poor have a special place in God’s heart. God’s standard of wealth is entirely different. Earthly possessions do not equal importance in God’s eyes.
For example, the earthly parents of Jesus were poor. But they had commendable character. Additionally, the widow in Mark 12 put in two small coins (each one about 1/128th of a day’s wage), but it was everything she had (Mark 12:44). She sacrificed her next meal to demonstrate her singular trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God to provide her daily bread. Her belief in God led to action.
This is one of the dangers of the so-called “prosperity gospel,” which is the antithesis of the true Gospel. The prosperity gospel measures spirituality by the size of our bank account where bigger is better. It is in direct contradiction of the clear teaching of Scripture. Those who are poor according to the world’s standards (small or no bank account) are rich in God’s eyes. There is nothing some dread more than poverty, and folks will break every commandment to avoid being poor. Sin in the pursuit of the “American Dream” is still sin.
I often wonder if my pursuit of “more” has hindered our ability to know, love, and serve God. I know it has. But in what ways?
Some questions to consider:
-How are you rich in God’s eyes?
-Who do you trust as your provider?
-Are you trying to earn God’s favor (or favor with man) with your wealth, or are you humbly giving and trusting God?
-Have you bought into the lies of the health, wealth, and prosperity teaching? Repent!