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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2015-06-22 12:21:44
Subject: Poverty and poverty

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

-Luke 12:13-21

It's hard not to think of this Kingdom quote when I see very wealthy people around the world, trying to protect their riches and horde what they have, even in the face of poverty, disease and suffering. I know that we cannot and should not simply be handing out large amounts of cash to people on the streets, but here is what I see as an outsider to the wisdom of this world...

Here in Honduras, you see plenty of people with little in the way of assets. If they have a place to lay their heads and something to put in their mouths, they are generally content to not try and accumulate a lot more. They live day by day, earning their tortillas as they go. Sure, many are trapped by the wants of modern culture, such as cable TV, smart phones and the lifestyles they see on Disney, and "reality" TV. However, the "hope" of accumulating enough wealth to live like the celebrities is just not there.

Contrast the poor in Honduras, to the rich. The rich can be identified by how high they build their cinder block walls, complete with razor wire, around their estates. They have very nice automobiles, clean water, modern electronics, armed guards and their children attend expensive private schools. They are very much guarded against the lower echelons of society. They seem to value what they are able to acquire, much more than they regard their neighbors. It is not uncommon to see a very wealthy home surrounded by squalor in Honduras.

Back in the industrialized world, "wealth", and the term makes me laugh, is kept in banks, stocks, precious metals and real estate. I laugh, because increasingly wealth refers to digital numbers representing how much you have in a bank account, or corporate stock. Where once currency was backed by gold and silver, now wealth is not even backed by paper currency. It's more of a mirage, a virtual reality. If certain computers went kaput, the wealth of many people would simply vanish like the email archives of Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner.

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

-Luke 12:21

In the past I have had online discussions with doomsday pundits. They believe you should always accumulate gold, horde it and guard it with plenty of firearms. They believe they will be ready for the fall of mankind while the rest of us starve off. It is funny. If I, living on a farm, had a few sacks of corn for my family in a scarcity of food, and a man drove up to our house with a truckload of gold, I would not trade that corn for the whole truckload. We cannot eat gold.

Real wealth is very easy for us to obtain, and can never be taken away. 

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal."

-Matthew 6:19

If we have faith in the living God, we have all that we need. Our physical bodies may fail us because of famine, disease or even violence before Christ returns, but in the scope of eternity, why should we worry?

God's Kingdom is infinite. This world, these countries, our own private kingdoms, all will be swept away.

From a Kingdom perspective, the wealthier people on this planet have more of a "poverty mentality" than the poor of this world. To horde is to lack faith in God, who's supply is infinite. To give is to trust in Him.

Replies to this message
re: Poverty and poverty  by mike rockert on Tuesday June 23, 2015

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