For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB
Last time we looked at some of what Christ gave up to enrich us. Today we look at some of our riches and gifts that benefit us everyday.
First Timothy 4:14 says, “Do not neglect your gift” (NIV). Some gifts develop through use (Hebrews 5:14). That new computer or smart phone becomes more prized as you learn how to use it. The same is true with spiritual treasure. Our appreciation of its worth increases with understanding and use. Below are some of the many ways Christ enriches and gifts us. Pick a couple of neglected ones and begin developing them.
Through His poverty we have become rich:
- In life—Because Jesus died, I no longer need fear death (Hebrews 2:15). His death brought me eternal life. Eternal life is the highest quality of life that begins here and continues all through eternity. See Romans 6:23.
- In peace—Because Jesus suffered the wrath of God and man on the cross, I now have peace with God, and the peace of God is available to me. (John 3:36; 16:33; Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:8).
- In wisdom—Jesus, considered a fool by the world, “became to us wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:23, 30). Divine wisdom is mine for the asking (James 1:5).
- In love—Because Jesus was hated, I am forever loved (Romans 8:38-39). The God of love now lives in me providing an unlimited supply of love (1 John 4:8, 16). Biblical love is acting for someone’s eternal good. Jesus loved those who crucified Him by dying for them, not by feeling warm and fuzzy toward them. God gives me the power to express love when I don’t feel loving (1 John 3:18).
- In comfort—Because Jesus suffered, I can receive and give comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- In power—Because Jesus became weak, “His incomparably great power” is available for us who believe (Ephesians 1:19; Romans 8:37). Now that Jesus has returned to the Father, we can do greater works than He (John 14:12).
- In authority—Because Jesus temporarily emptied Himself to take the form of a slave (Philippians 2:7-8), I now have spiritual authority to live a victorious Christian life and make disciples. (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:18-23).
- In purpose—Because Jesus left heaven, He has also sent us into the world (John 17:18). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NASB). “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
- In acceptance—Because Jesus was rejected, I am accepted in Christ by God. (Mark 15:34; Luke 17:25; Romans 15:7)
- In wholeness—Because Jesus was broken, I am complete (Luke 22:19; 1 Peter 2:24).
- In joy—Because Jesus became a man of sorrows, I have everlasting joy, (Isaiah 35:10, Romans 15:13).
- In hope—Because Jesus entered a hopeless world, I have hope that will not disappoint (Romans 5:5; Hebrews 11:1)
- In righteousness—Because Jesus became sin, I have “become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
As we close 2011 recognize you have all you need to enter 2012 with hope and confidence. Christ became poor that you through His poverty might become rich. This year may we remember all Christ is for us and not neglect His gifts.
Happy New Year
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