RICH, YET POOR
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Mark 8:36-37
“And Jesus looked round about, and said unto His disciples, ‘How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the Kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, ‘Children, how hard is it for them who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ And Jesus Looking upon them said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible.’”- Mark 10:23-27
APPLICATION TO TODAY
This week in the news, it was reported that by the year 2016, the richest 1% of the world’s population would have control over 50% of the world’s wealth. In other words, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and there is fear of greater economic disparities between the haves and have not’s.
From the above video of Kevin O’Leary (saying it’s “fantastic” news) and Amanda Lang discussing the seriousness of the issue, my attention has to be turned to the callous response of Kevin O’Leary and the many rich who think it is fantastic news that they are the one’s that “rule the world”.
Looking at the two passages outlined in the gospel of Mark, I feel that if Kevin O’Leary and the rich were to encounter Jesus, they would have a hard time letting go of their wealth, power, and prestige because it has become their God and master. On the outside they may have it all together, but deep down there is a spiritual bankruptcy that leads to pure death and eternal destruction. The heart of man is so sinful and so bound for separation for God that no amount of money can buy your way into salvation and into God’s heaven unless righteousness and true justice is served.
Earlier, when the rich man came to Jesus, he told Jesus that hey obeyed the commandments as a little boy, thinking that he’s earned his way to everlasting life. But when Jesus prodded at the real God of his heart, his wealth, the real tragedy is that he wouldn’t let it go for true riches and true life in Christ. Grace, good favour, and true spiritual riches can only be maintained by realizing your spiritual bankruptcy before God and allowing Jesus and Jesus alone to fix the problem. When that is fixed, one is truly free from being bound by worldly possessions, pleasures, issues, and bondages and is free to enjoy the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, meekness, goodness, self control, temperance, longsuffering and faith) from this life and in the new life to come.
From personal experience, I’m not famous, I don’t make a lot of money, and I don’t live in the richest neighbourhood in the city or have a cushy career. What I have is my faith in God, my relationships in others, and my ministry of servitude to God and to others. For that, I can truly say that I am rich and in need of nothing from this world, and that I get all of my help and sustenance from God.
So, are you spiritually rich, or spiritually bankrupt? The choice is yours.