February 19, 2022

Day 20: When the Poor Become Rich

Read Psalm 36-37

There once was a very rich man. This man had the finest clothes and would eat in luxury every day. He had all that money could buy. He experienced all the pleasures this world had to offer. He had no need of God. He had no time for God. There was another man who's life had fallen on hard times. He got sick, lost his job and became penniless. He begged on more than one occasion from the man who had it all. But the rich man paid no attention to him. Out of his desperation the poor man turned to Christ for salvation. Jesus was his hope. He was the man's only hope.

It just so happened that both men died on the same day. Many mourned the life of the rich successful man. The poor man on the other had didn't even have a funeral. Not that anyone would have cared enough to attend. In eternity though, the fortunes of each men flipped. The rich man lost all that he had and found himself in a Christ-less place called hell. He went from affluence to agony in a split second. The poor man on the other hand, in the twinkling of an eye, went from begging on the streets for food to his heavenly home filled with all the riches of glory.

It just so happens that heaven and hell, until Christ returns and establishes the "New Heavens and New Earth", is a temporary place of glory (paradise) and a place of torment (hades). The man in hades saw the man he recognized on earth. He was walking with the saints of old. He cried out to him. The fortunes had indeed changed. It was the former rich man now begging that the man would give him water to quench his thirst. But there was no passes from one eternal state to the other. He begged the man to go to earth and share the gospel with his family so that they might avoid the anguish of hell. But again, it wouldn't be allowed. For it destined for man to die once and after that to face judgment. The poor became rich and the rich became poor. This story is a reminder that you can gain the whole world and yet forfeit your soul.

Now, I'm sure some of you caught on that this wasn't a story I made up. It was a retelling of a story Jesus told in Luke 16 about a rich man and a man named Lazarus. I happen to believe that this story was a true story. And it serves as a reminder for all of us to live life in light of eternity. To make sure we're on the winning side. But what does all of this have to do with Psalm 36-37? As I read through these two psalms, it struck me how confident David was that "the good guys win" in the end. And he's right. Jesus will return on a white horse to right all wrongs. David believed God would honor the righteous and the unrighteous would be punished. And oftentimes that's the case on earth but it's no guarantee. But when all is said and done, God will right all wrongs and those of us who know Christ as Savior will be on the winning team and our reward is an eternity of experiencing Christ and all the riches of the inheritance reserved for God's people. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.

Did you need this reminder today? Take time to celebrate that you're on the winning team.

How are you preparing for eternity now, here on earth? How do you treat the poor? Do you view them in light of eternity?

Prayer for the day: "Precious Lord and Savior, I thank you that you have reserved a home in heaven for me. May I live with eternity in mind today. May I not be discouraged when it seems the unrighteous are being rewarded. May I remember that you will judge all things in it's proper time. Thank you for allowing me to know you now and for eternity. Amen."

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