Lesson 287: “Spiritually Rich"
If you have ever been behind the stage with a speaker before they step out into the lime-light then you might have heard them ask; “How do I look? How many people are here? How does my speech sound? How important am I?” This is all very important in a successful life of some, however, the Scriptures teach that to be “important” in this life we must first seek the Kingdom of and God’s righteousness and all these things will be given to us as well (Matt. 6:33). The world is filled with observations based on appearance, achievement and acceptance. I am convinced the Word of God has the answer to the basic needs of our personal lives and practical principles for Christian maturity and spiritual treasures. In the Beatitudes we learn how to enjoy inner happiness and the Sermon on the Mount does not present the way of salvation but the way of righteous living after salvation. Both these wonderful passages in the bible apply only to Christians and relate to the Kingdom of God and are not an “entrance into the Kingdom”. Jesus did not give a code of conduct or a law in order to enter into Heaven. The only means of entering is by simple faith and accepting Jesus as our Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). If one is to live spiritually rich then one must live above the changes in life and live for Jesus. “I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus Christ satisfied all our needs for security, significance and sufficiency when He promised; “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). We find everything we need in the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to live spiritually rich lives that is pleasing to God. We have a need for security and God alone can give this through His love that is freely given and cannot be earned and cannot be lost (John 10:27-30). We have a need for significance but we are urged to exhibit self-control when striving to be significant and not become self-serving. Get involved with something that will last long after life here on earth is finished just like Jesus: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (Matt. 18:11). “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Rom. 12:3). “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give” (Pro. 25:14). We also have a need for sufficiency with a feeling of competency and strength to carry out the tasks of daily life situations. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).
The amazing thing is that God in His grace meets all of these needs personally and through this you and I will be spiritually rich. Satan leads us to believe that beauty, intelligence, wealth and position in life will bring us comfort and peace and most times all the “worldly riches” including the respect of man kind. Jesus spoke to this issue in Luke 16:15 when He said, “you are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God”. The devil is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44) and you will always feel empty until you let Jesus Christ meet these needs. Jesus offers us the solution for the cravings for abundant spiritual riches through the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12). He used the word “blessed” nine times in verses 3-11 so I think He was trying to tell us something very important. What does the word “blessed” actually mean? The original word for blessed is “makarios” and is essentially a state of mind and is identified with pure character that is founded in God’s righteousness. To be blessed is to be conscious of perfect joy, peace and rest through the belief in Jesus Christ. Do not translate the word blessed to “happy” because this root is “chance”; I am happy that everything is going my way. There are no chances in life if we trust our lives to Jesus but rather we are moving toward an eternal goal. If we take Romans 8:26-30 at face value, we find a life free from daily cares and worries because God is in control. This person may sometimes or most times be happy but is always blessed.
The Holy Spirit is enabled to minister these blessings to the believer when he is yielded to the Spirit and cooperates with Him. A blessed person is promised the Kingdom of Heaven, comfort, mercy and shall inherit the earth. When we believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior we found joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8). Here is a life filled with joy that will take us through our pain, sorrow, loss, grief, tears and fears. Through “chance” we find a collapse in health, failure of plans, disappointments of our ambitions or dreams with no hope to cling to which takes away our joy. The Beatitudes give us life and hope for today which the world does not have a match for. A spiritually rich person is Spirit controlled and he hungers and thirsts for a right relationship with God. Jesus Christ is our best example of the spiritually prosperous person. The night of His crucifixion He spent the evening comforting and preparing His disciples for His death. The went to the Mount of Olives to pray; grieved deeply in His soul; ask for the cup to pass from Him; suffered agony in His Spirit and fought the battle alone while His disciples slept. Jesus lived above the chances! “But all of this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).
How do we get this supernatural blessing? Do not fall into the trap of thinking the solution to your personal happiness depends on a change in circumstances; “Lord if you would only change_____, I will be happy”! A mature believer assumes his own responsibility for personal growth and “chooses” to be all that God wants him to be in all circumstances. A Christian life is not automatic and does not come easy. God will not pry a hole in your head and fill it with knowledge of Him but He did leave the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit to explain the Words to us and if we love Jesus we will obey Him (John 14:15). Everything written here and everything written in the Bible is foolishness if one has not turned everything over to Jesus. The focus of this lesson is on the Christian’s attitude toward God’s kind of life. This study is for those who consider themselves the worst kind of sinner and who will cry out; “what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24-25). Then you will become “poor in spirit”, totally blessed and spiritually rich beyond compare!
prayers from Texas