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Jesus often preached on our attitudes. We know because Matthew and Luke both credited Jesus’ sermons with an introduction to attitudes. These attitudes are what make the Kingdom of God function upon the Earth. So, kingdom living requires an attitude adjustment. Jesus began with the attitude of poverty.
Luke 6:20 (NLT) Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Poverty and Abundance
Only Beggars Need Apply. What exactly do you have? What do you possess that is so valuable that you could trade it for say, a meeting with God and His approval? Your health, wealth, or fame?. What could you trade for your soul?
Poverty Means You can’t Take Care of Yourself. You CAN’T be your own answer. It means I need something and I can’t get it; only someone else can give it to me. And, it has to be given to me because I have nothing to trade. Have you ever been in that position?
Isaiah 41:17 (NLT) “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
The Poor of Spirit are completely and desperately dependent upon God the Father. Think of blind Bartimeaus, the woman caught in adultery, or Lazarus in a grave. They are all me in this world without Jesus.
Where is Your Dependence? Are you wealthy here or there? If it is here, then you are poor. Financial resources can be erased so quickly. Your health could evaporate overnight. Your marriage could be over and you don’t know it yet. Your job or career could end tomorrow for a multitude of reasons. There is nothing on this earth that you can count on.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT) “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Heaven Or Earth?
How are We Storing Treasures? What do you place your security in? You see, that is what earthly riches are about, security. A safe with cash, precious metals, bullets, and guns. An account with a comma or two or three. A great career and lots of certifications to keep you employable. Lots of connections and friends. BUT, there is nothing secure about them.
All of these are attempts at self-sufficiency. They are merely ways to be our own supply. There is no security on this earth. There is the illusion of security. But, it only takes a relatively small tragedy to erase it.
Where are We Storing Treasures? So, where is your treasure? Where is your heart? What do you fear losing? Certainly, there are losses worthy of grief. But, the Father is good and will care for those truly precious things. The more we give to Him, the more we secure.
I only know a few ways to save in the banks of Heaven. Giving – God honors giving. Whether it’s money, time, or sacrifice. He promises to return far more than is given. Prayer– Your prayers ascend to Heaven’s Altar and will one day be on display for all. Tears – God apparently saves them for you. That way they can all be done away with in might celebration. AndWorship – Our worship is eternal. It inhabits far more than the moment it fills.
1 John 2:17 (NLT) And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Secure Investments. The Father will not let you down. He will come through for you. One day you will look back on this life and realize that God was always faithful. He never let you down. Sure, you suffered. Your faith was tested. But, you will have come through it.
Matthew 6:22-24 (NLT) “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
What Do You See?
Focused or Scattered. James talks about a “double-minded” man, and this is where he got the idea. The language here lends to the idea of focus. Imagine getting light into a house. You must somehow focus the light through a window or opening. That’s the idea here. We are either focusing light in, or we are scattering light. When we scatter the light, we are unable to get it within.
Jesus ties this idea to having two masters. God and materialism. We cannot serve both. Sure you can make an income or build a business, but you cannot make them your God. They cannot replace God as your source, provision, and supply. This is not how Kingdom people live and operate.
Your Vision Will Be Your Master. We see what we actively look for. You may have never even wanted a Tesla, but now you are interested in one. Before you were unaware that anyone owned one, now they are everywhere. This is how we work. It’s how God made us, to move toward what we see. We either earnestly seek God or we suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
So what will it be? God or you? Your poverty for his wealth. Or your illusions for your own advancement. Are you someone in need? Or do you take care of yourself? What should you do?
Matthew 6:33-34 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
How Could You Put the Kingdom First in Your Life?
Where is Your Faith? What do you fear? Your fear will tell you where your idols live. When you find them, let them go, and depend fully upon God. Give your security on Earth to God. Then ask yourself, “How do I put God’s Kingdom first?” You see, that is what makes the disciples of Jesus unique. It’s not my house, not my church, not my possessions, or my Kingdom. It is God’s Kingdom first and foremost. So, what does that look like in your life?