“GIVE ME NEITHER POVERTY or RICHES”: The MISSING FACTOR, whether for or against WOF (Part 3)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on November 30, 2007



James 1:9-11

9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Christians who are not in high positions in this world should be glad because they are GREAT IN THE LORD’S EYES. This brother in humble circumstances is a person without status or wealth. Such people are overlooked, even in our churches today, but they are not overlooked by God.

The poor should be glad that riches mean nothing to God; otherwise these people would be considered unworthy. The rich should be glad that money means nothing to God because money is EASILY LOST. We find true wealth by developing our spiritual life, not by developing our financial assets. God is interested in what is lasting (our souls), not in what is temporary (money, power, and possessions).

If wealth, power, and status mean nothing to God, why do we attribute so much importance to them and so much honor to those who possess them (and NOTE: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT COPELAND ONLY, but even YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR OR CO-WORKER WHO HAS SOMETHING YOU WANT).

Do your material possessions give you goals and your only reason for living>? If that were gone, what would be left? What you have in your heart, not your bank account, matters to God and endures for eternity.

Proverbs 22:2
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.

__________________Quick COMMERCIAL BREAK….Consider this


Luke 14:7-11

7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8″When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’

Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Question: How often have any of us speaking against Prosperity teachers (with valid reasons, of course) done what this passage is describing? DID IT HAPPEN AT THANKSGIVING DINNER? How about planning for this UPCOMING CHRISTMAS (at your house, )?

You rarely hear about events like this taking place (except at a shelter, though even there it generally the case that EVERYONE’S ON THE SAME LEVEL…..& rarely would you see this happening at a CHURCH SOCIAL.

In all honesty, if a poor man walked into a church during a church social at most modern day churches, that man would probably be passed up, escorted OFF THE PREMISES for fear that “He might steal something or just wants to get a hand-out” or avoided because of stereotypes (i.e “He may be dirty so don’t get too close…..”, or “He looks scary…”)

How many would go up, give the man a hug, and give him the SEAT OF HONOR? More often than not, he would not be placed besides those within the middle class but at the end of the table…..and probably most people wouldn’t have any compassion on his situation. They would talk amongst themselves regarding life and theological issues……& even perhaps the FOLLY SEEN ON TBN as a DISGRACE TO THE GOSPEL (ironic ISN’T IT, )

Moreover, most people would never stop to consider that many people who were at the poverty line were once MIDDLE CLASS THEMSELVES. I remember having a conversation with someone who was homeless and it was amazing to hear their stories.

I had NO IDEA that this man was once a PASTOR, Married, and in ministry…..but his wife became involved in sin, kicked him out the house, and he was struggling looking for a job. And yet most people driving by would never even talk to him but dare speak out against the SINS IN THE MODERN CHURCH!!!!!!!


I can rail all day about whaT Copeland or Creflo is doing, saying they’re exploting/dishonoring the poor…..& yet if I SHOW FAVORTISM in wanting to associate moreso with people on MY ECONOMIC LEVEL, I’M JUST AS GUILTY:


James 2

Favoritism Forbidden

1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “Do not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

How dare I speak against issues with the prosperity gospel and yet NEVER consider how often we treat a well-dressed, impressive-looking person BETTER than someone who looks shabby. We do this because we would rather identify with successful people than with apparent failures…….but the irony is that the supposed winners may have gained their impressive life-style at our expense.

Are you easily impressed by status and wealth or fame? Are you partial to the “haves” while ignoring the “have nots”?

The next time a statement comes out of our mouths saying “All those who are poor are just lazy and should work harder”, or look down on them, have you considered that wealth may indicate intelligence, wise decisions and hard work but it can also indicate the good fortune of being born into a wealthy family? Or that it can be even a sign of greed, dishonesty, and selfishness?

By honoring someone just because he or she dresses well, we ourselves are making appearance more important than character. Sometimes, we do this because poverty makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t want to face our responsiblities to those of us who have less than we do…..or we want to be wealthy too and hoppe to use an person with a good socieo economic background to meet that end……or we want the rich person to join our church and help support it financially.

All these motives are SELFISH; they view neither the rich or the poor as a human being in need of fellowship.

Amazing to see how the Sword always CUTS BOTH WAYS….



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