James 1:9-11 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
Paradox Principles often focus on realities of the world that because we have been programmed by the world, we have come to accept as truth but when we consider it from God’s perspective, we now understand he sees things to the contrary.
Here we have two men, one is poor and one is rich. And God says to them that the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position, and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation. That doesn’t make any sense from a logical human perspective. Well … this is exactly what we are looking for: Holy scripture that is exactly the opposite of what we have been conditioned by the world to believe as truth in our minds.
Now the question is: If it is true, how can it be, and what can we learn?
First, for you to understand, you must pray for God’s wisdom, because without it, your human logic will block the wisdom that the Holy Spirit wants you to receive.
PRAY FOR WISDOM!
Now, having prayed for wisdom, let’s try to understand God’s wisdom. Assuming you are a brother of humble circumstances here on earth … First the verse identifies you as a brother, what does that imply? … That you have received Christ’s free gift of eternal life and will spend eternity with him in heaven. That you have been accepted by God and are now a citizen of a Holy nation, where the creator of the universe is the king and you are his son. Colossians 3:1-4 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. And this ruler of all things has promised you victory here and now and throughout eternity. God has forgiven you of all of your sins and failings: past, present, and future and he loves YOU totally, completely, and unconditionally. The certainty of your life in heaven is not dependent on your success or accomplishments here in the world, but rather it is based upon his love for you and the fact that Jesus’ shed blood on the cross has made you new and sinless in God’s sight. You are transforming your mind and now have new goals, new priorities, and many different values and principles that are guiding your life.
What is your high position? Well, in addition to already being a citizen of heaven on a spiritual level … as we have previously discussed, you are an "Ambassador for Christ with a "Ministry of Reconciliation". God has left you here on a mission. I do not think worldly riches are a priority in God’s job description, do you? I could write several more pages, but I think you get the point, and obviously continuing to clarify your identification in Christ is a good exercise for you. How are your humble circumstances looking, now? When we look at things from God’s perspective: we are to “consider it all joy". We are beyond our worldly circumstances … we are under the care of the master. Things are not nearly as discouraging when we get a glimpse of God’s wisdom.
Now, what about the rich man? Honestly, would you trade your position in Christ to be the son of Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates? Well that’s a heavy question, isn’t it? Be careful, I have read where they are both directing their inheritances elsewhere, so as not to spoil their children’s lives. In any event, there is no certainty or security, there. 1 Peter 1: 22-25 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” Look at the contrast, one is controlled by the pure love of Christ, and the other “the rich man’s glory is in his wealth and accomplishments and they are like a flower … perishable ... here today, gone tomorrow. If you think that is not true, check your history … what good has come to the descendants of the 19th century’s rich men? Are they the leaders of today’s world? For the vast majority … no way. But God's truth, and his children are imperishable ... eternal.
and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation …
As you can see, the rich man is not called brother in this verse. Do you think there is any specific reason? Certainly, riches often allow us to shift our focus off of God and his mission for us, and onto our own personal worldly possessions, goals and plans. I know a number of rich men who are committed brothers in Christ. And for sure, they have a different set of challenges that are apt to lead them away from Christ. The verse says he “is to glory in his humiliation”. He is to keep his focus on who he is in Christ and not who he is in the world. I have meditated on this and am convinced that God is also saying that basically humiliation is inevitable in the world, for all men ... and potentially much more so, for the rich man. The rich man and his possessions will come to an end. Buffett and Gates and everyone else and all of their accomplishments and riches, will come to an end, and all will be left standing before God. If they have not accepted Christ, at that moment, they are no better off than the worst of men. But, when the Christian rich man is confronted with it, he needs to … like the poor man, focus on God's blessings and his position in Christ, rather than his worldly losses. Also here and now, if the believing rich man can keep his mind focused on Christ and see his worldly possessions as temporal from God’s perspective, God will reveal how to use these worldly riches for God’s glory. RICH MAN ... BE RECONCILED TO CHRIST!
God Bless you my friend, Bob
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