How Spiritual Poverty Brings Spiritual Prosperity

Message Online Devotional, January 4, 2016

I would like to share an incredible irony with you. Even though the middle class has shrunken severely over the past several years; the economy has suffered a near fatal blow; and what prosperity we see is unbelievable, poverty is still unwelcome. Yet, spiritual poverty is actually desirable and leads to spiritual prosperity.

Even though many who used to have high credit scores and could once get premium loans with low interest rates have since suffered foreclosures and may now find it difficult to be approved for apartment rental agreements in the decent areas, they would be insulted if you called them poor or needy. Even though food prices have skyrocketed, many well-educated people have lost their high paying positions in well-established careers and are now compelled to accept whatever is available in order to make ends meet, nobody wants to openly identify with poverty.

Here’s the irony: although families feel the the difficult squeeze of poverty, Jesus opened His famed Sermon on the Mount with a blessing on those who are poor, underprivileged, and insignificant of spirit. He said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Further, He said they should be happy, envied, and full of joy and satisfaction in God’s favor regardless of their circumstances! What irony.

Unlike those of us who experience financial crises, become familiar with living below the poverty line, or have suffered incredible material loss, those who are aware of their need of God’s wealth of power are considered blessed. Knowing that without the miracle of grace we are nothing, is a precious mindset.

So many, especially religious people in the last days feel rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing. So many, especially religious people, do not even realize we are miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Worse, some of us ignore the Spirit’s pleading to humble ourselves and receive His wealth in exchange for our impoverished souls. This is why those who recognize spiritual poverty and submit to God are enviable. It is then that we are receptive to God’s help. Humility is the key to recognizing our great need, and joyfully accepting God’s provision. And Jesus has promised that those who occupy this enviable position have the kingdom of heaven as their possession.

Today’s Scripture Promise:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3).

Today’s Marching Orders:

Ask the Lord for a sense of your spiritual poverty and get ready to receive the wealth of His Spirit’s presence. Get ready to receive His eternal reward.

The Secret to Good Rest

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Based Upon Exodus 20:8

As time rapidly spirals into the future, our lives become cluttered with so much activity that many of us are completely burned out. We sometimes suffer from diseases related to overwork with far too many things competing for our attention. God knew that humans would be so bogged down with everyday life, that we would need a respite; a reprieve. Simply taking a vacation or several breaks throughout the day is just not enough for this machinery to be well-rested and prepared to meet the rigors of everyday life. With wars and rumors of wars, fear of the unknown, and incurable diseases pressing in on our psyche, we need supernatural rest.

The Lord in His great wisdom devised a plan to give us the rest that we need.

Jesus bought our salvation on Calvary and is now putting the finishing touches on the gift in the way of intercession in heaven in order for us to enter the salvific rest of God. We do not labor for our salvation. Rather, we rest in the perfect work of Jesus Christ.

In order to remind us of the great work of creation and re-creation, God has a commemorative time, week after week, for us to rest. The command to rest says that we are to labor for six days and on the seventh, which is Saturday, we rest. This rest is worshipful in nature. This rest recognizes God as the only Creator and Savior of the universe. This rest is for the people of God to consummate their growing love and relationship with God. No other time than the time the Lord has set aside will satisfy that need, because no other time was specifically blessed and sanctified by Him. We daily worship the Lord during the week leading up to the only day that God has sanctified as holy when we can focus on His goodness, uninterrupted by the mundane chores of life.

Isn’t it wonderful that God has the answer to our need for spiritual and physical rest? Please do not forget what God said to remember. Enter into God’s rest.