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Upside Down Economy - Forward with Back to the Bible - February 18

  • 2022 Feb 18

Upside Down Economy

February 18

Read James 2:5 (ESV)

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

Reflect

How is it that believers in Jesus Christ are rich, even if they are poor by the world’s standards?

God’s ways are not our ways, as He said in Isaiah 55:8-9. His kingdom operates completely differently from the rest of the world. In fact, when God came into the world to walk among us, He taught ideas that may seem upside down and inside out to us. In His most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that it wasn’t the successful, confident, powerful, arrogant, controlling, aggressive, or forceful who would be happy and blessed in His kingdom. Instead, it is the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers who are considered blessed in His Kingdom.

In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, Paul explained another element of the upside down kingdom of God: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God…” God’s wisdom may seem foolish to the world and we can’t be saved using our own intellect, social status, or strength.

Today, James shares yet another element of God’s upside down kingdom. In God’s economy, the poor in the world are rich in Christ! James assures us that those of us who love Jesus have been promised to share in Christ’s inheritance.

In Galatians 3:29, Paul said, “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” Again, this seems upside down. We have the opportunity to share in the inheritance promised to Abraham, not on the basis of our birth or family line, as inheritance is usually passed down. But on the basis of our faith made possible by His great grace and mercy.

That is the key in God’s upside down economy. The rich are poor, the strong are weak, the lowly are lifted high because they do not depend on themselves, they depend on God.

Peter had this to say about our rich inheritance: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

We can’t take worldly wealth with us when we go but the riches that we have in Christ will never be lost. We can’t lose our inheritance due to the uncertainties of a volatile market. It can’t be stolen. It can’t be taken from us in any way. But we also can’t earn it. We can’t buy it. We can’t achieve it. We don’t deserve it. We are not born into it.

Friends, we may be poor here on earth but we can be made rich through our faith in Jesus Christ. Everything He has will someday be ours as well. That’s how God’s upside down economy works. And if you love Jesus, it’s promise that been made to you.

Pray

Lord, I am so grateful that my salvation and my spiritual inheritance is not based on what I can do or what I can give to You. I fully depend on You for it all. Though I am weak and poor, I am strong and rich in You. Thank You is not enough. Amen.

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