Friday, April 10, 2015

The Poverty Which Maketh Many Rich

      We sometimes come across passages in the Bible with statements that are antithetical and which seem really to contradict one another. One of these is found in 2 Cor. 6, 10: “As poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” “How shall we explain this?” How can such a thing be possible?” you ask. Well, let us look into the matter a little. Let us take our dear Savior as an illustration. Surely, He could be said to be poor during His state of humiliation here on earth! His first days on earth were spent in a manger, for there was not room for Him — as it seemed, on account of His poverty — in the inn. Even after having taken up His Messianic calling, this poverty pursued Him. When, for instance, the representatives of the government asked of Him the tribute-money, the common treasury of Jesus and the little group of disciples was found to be empty, so that Peter must needs be sent to procure the necessary coin through a miracle that Jesus wrought. At another instance, Jesus Himself said: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head.”
      Yes, He was poor, and yet, did He not make many rich? Could we have asked the hungering multitude in the wilderness after they had filled, and the twelve basketfuls had been gathered of pieces left over from five loaves and two fishes; or the frightened disciples on the Sea of Galilee, whose lives had been saved by the stilling of the tempest; the widow of Nain, whose only son, having been dead, was returned to her living; Lazarus and his sisters after the former had been called forth out of the tomb, — their answer would surely have been in the affirmative. Again, the woman taken in sin to whom Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more;” the malefactor on the cross receiving the forgiveness of his sins and the assurance of a place with Christ and Paradise– in short, the multitude of weary and with sin heavy-laden souls, to each of whom Jesus spoke words of hope, of peace, of joy, saying: “Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee,” — could we have asked all these, they would surely have answered that Jesus had, in truth, made them “rich;” that there are no riches to be compared with those that we receive from Him, “who, though immeasurably rich, was made poor for our sakes.”
      But how shall we, who are poor, make many rich? By becoming truly “poor in spirit,” by realizing that we have, indeed, nothing in ourselves. When we have come to that point, realizing that we are poor and helpless, yea, destitute in ourselves, then the Lord can fill our hearts with “riches” that know no measure, with treasures that fade not away, “that neither moth nor rust can corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” From such a storehouse of real treasures we are then enabled, through the grace of God, to “make many rich.” Sermon by Rev. Carl J. Segerhammer.

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