Sunday, March 8, 2015

Grace and wealth 1 Corinthians 1:26-28

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, …” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (ESV).

I have a lot of material advantages. I have clean water, clean clothes, shoes, a clean home that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I drive to work and to the grocery store, and I have the means to put gas in my car and keep up the maintenance on my car. I always eat breakfast lunch and dinner, and I have a variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables to eat, as well as milk, eggs and cheese. I have money to keep up my appearance. I get my hair cut regularly. I have access to health insurance, so I get regular health and dental check-ups. I tithe ten percent of my income to my church. However, I do not have enough money to buy a new car or new home any time I want to, nor do I have the means to own every new technological convenience. A big concern I have is that I want to have enough money saved when I retire.

According to 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, I am wise according to worldly standards. I do not like being in that classification, but when I ask myself, “What am I willing to give up in order to be chosen by God?”, I am hard pressed for an answer. Paul says that God chose things that are not to bring to nothing things that are. I need to be willing to give up everything to God because it all belongs to Him to begin with.  It is because of God's grace that I am able to live in our society.   

I must constantly be aware that all of the material wealth that I have is not mine. It all belongs to God, and He can make nothing out of everything, and everything out of nothing. Material wealth is a great burden that I must constantly pluck out of my own heart and give to God. I must continually keep my eyes fixed on God, and not my earthly manna.

This is always a work in progress for me. Each time I look in the mirror to put on make-up, I am operating from the view of worldly wisdom. Each time I get in my car and drive to church, I am doing something the world considers good. When I give everything to God, and become nothing, then His grace showers me with love and worth and I become something. We all need to consider our wealth and nothingness regularly, and allow our worth to come from God’s grace.