You Are Viewing
Tag Archives: blessed are the poor
A sacrifice is not a sacrifice unless it is a sacrifice. How does the sacrifice of Jesus for us lead toward radical generosity toward others in the body?
Because He Loves us, God radically shares with us until all our needs are met. The more we believe and rest in this reality the more we love and sacrificially share with others in need. This is the simple gospel that is turning the world upside down as it is believed and lived out with a heart of love. In the early church, we see God’s people joyfully contributing and experiencing such a community. People who were blessed with the world’s goods shared with those in need through their local house church where they shared life, worshipped, fellowshipped, ate, prayed and heard the gospel proclaimed and applied to their hearts (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37). It says “there was not a needy person among them.” How is that possible? How could a person be so compelled to give up their own individual “flourishing” for the sake of the whole not having a need?
Why does it seem that the rich of the world are favored over the poor? How does God feel about that? What did Jesus and His followers teach about being poor?
Jesus said that the blessing of the Kingdom of God is for the poor (Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20). What does that even mean? Does it mean that God can only accept poor people into His Kingdom? That’s exactly what it means! Is that offensive to you? Does the idea of God choosing those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom rub you the wrong way? It actually should, because it is counterintuitive to our thinking that the systems of this world have brainwashed us to believe. The systems of the world tell us the “rich, fixed and socialized” are the “chosen ones” and the elite and exceptional ones we all should aspire to. They have the education, the power, and the resources so they must be favored of “the gods.” They must be “blessed” as they flaunt their successes, power and wealth. Since society worships them as the height of human achievement, surely God favors them as well!
“No justice, no peace.” Is this a biblical statement? Is it more than just a cry from the streets by the oppressed?
If there is no justice, there cannot be Shalom. In the context of this text, the Hebrew word translated “righteousness” means “executed justice.” To the extent justice is rightly executed, the effect is always Shalom: nothing-broken-nothing-missing peace. Human thinking, motives, and behavior must be transformed in order for Shalom to manifest itself on earth as it is heaven. But how does that happen? When we look at the state of humanity, we can easily lose heart.