The Poor of This World Rich in Faith


“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” – (Jam.2:5).


   James tells us to hearken, to pay attention to the poor rich of this world – those who have been born again in Christ by faith. Those who are saved by Christ are the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of Christ’s kingdom. Jesus said – “Blessed by ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God – (Lu.6:20). The poorest of this world may become rich with the true riches – “the unsearchable riches of Christ” – (Eph.3:9). “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” – (Eph.1:7). O, don’t be so foolish as to chase after the temporal riches of this world and lose your soul in hell.


   A good example of the foolish rich of this world is Ken Lay, CEO of Enron. In the news of July 7, 2006 the headlines said – “Ken Lay escapes justice with death.” He was found guilty of accounting fraud. 50000 jobs were lost and one billion dollars in employee pensions stolen. He was a preacher’s son who grew up poor in Missouri. He was arrogance personified and a friend of President Bush and also from Houston, Texas. He was headed for the penitentiary when he died of a heart attack and his case was dismissed. He was 64 years old. He lived an extravagant Babylonian lifestyle.


   Well I have some news from God’s Word- Ken Lay did not escape judgment. It is written in (Heb.9:27) – “it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” The Lord Jesus will judge each and every one – none shall escape judgment for breaking God’s righteous laws. If you don’t get saved by receiving God’s mercy and grace in his beloved Son, you will be judged and cast into the lake of fire which is the second death – (Rev.20:11-15). The more you chase after the riches and things of this world, the farther you get from Christ and salvation. Ken Lay should have stayed poor and got saved. Wealth, which many spend their lives acquiring, is a valueless thing at death.


   Let’s look at his last name “Lay.” The bible says – “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” – (Mt.6:19,20). Ken Lay should have done what the Bible says – get saved and “lay hold on eternal life.”


   When our Lord was here on earth, it was not the rich who followed Him but the poor – “And the common people heard him gladly” – (Mk.12:37). The Pharisees and rulers of the Jews would not believe on Him, bur instead sought to kill Him. While our Lord never turned away anyone because he was rich, His ministry centered on the poorer class of people. In His hometown of Nazareth when He first began His ministry, Jesus stated the very first and very revealing thing – “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor – (Lu.4:18). Although His grace was “exceeding abundant” – (I Tim.1:14), and had “appeared to all men” – (Titus 2:11), it was apparent that the rich were harder to reach and be saved. Jesus said – “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” – (Lu.18:24,25). God finds in the poor person a soul that is usually more receptive to the gospel of Christ. The more you love this world, and all the riches and things of this world, the less you love God, they are opposites. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I Jn..2:15). “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” – (Mt.6:24).  A poor believer is looked down upon in some churches, and yet he may be the richest man spiritually in that church.


   The Word of God says much about the poor – “But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty”– (Job 5:15). Again – “He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.” Again – “For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever” – (Ps.9:18). Again – “Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor (Ps.68:10). Again – “for the Lord heareth the poor…” – (Ps.69:33). Again – “For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy – (Ps.72:12,13) Yes, God has a special concern for the poor, especially with preaching the riches of the gospel of Christ to them – “To the poor the gospel is preached” – (Lu.7:22). The poor has the greater chance to have the true spiritual riches.


   God is especially looking for – “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” – (Is.66:2). God is looking for the poor, humble man who trembles at God’s Word when it’s preached to him, knowing he must be saved and born again or he’s going to hell. Not one who is rich and proud like governor Felix was and trembled at God’s Word when Paul preached to him – “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time: when I have a convenient season, I will call thee. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him” – (Acts 24:25,26). Rich Felix was too proud to repent of his sins when he heard the gospel of Christ from Paul. He wasn’t poor and he didn’t have a contrite spirit and even though he trembled, he just put it off for a more convenient season that never came. After all, he wasn’t going to be saved in the same manner as the common people. His heart was chasing after money.


   The Lord Jesus is our perfect example and he was not born of rich parents but of poor, godly parents – who were the poor of this world, rich in faith. His mother Mary gave the poor man’s sacrifice in the temple – “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” – (Lu.2:24). Joseph was a poor carpenter and so was Jesus. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” – (2 Cor.8:9). Jesus was willing to leave His exalted position in the bosom of His Father, to leave Heaven’s glory and all the riches in order to take on the likeness of man and become poor that through His poverty and death make us rich with the riches of God. We parents need to follow Christ and His parents and not follow after money and becoming covetous of things, but follow God’s Word. Don’t follow the rich and high-minded.


   “… supposing thee gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred form the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness – (I Tim.6:5-11). Desire to be the poor of this world, rich in faith and teach your children and grandchildren to walk the same path by your example and by your words. Desire godliness and godly children. I see droves of old people buying lottery tickets, trying to strike it rich in the few years left of their lives and I feel so sad for them. They can have eternal life through Christ for free and yet they choose death – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – (Rom.6:23).


   Brethren, don’t get caught up in this covetous lifestyle of this nation – it will destroy your faith. The more this nation chases after money and things, the more ungodly it becomes. Separate yourselves from this world and follow God’s Word or you’ll be caught in Satan’s snares. If you follow after godliness, you will not be smoking and drinking alcohol and buying expensive houses and several cars and an excessive amount of clothes and shoes and have several credit cards to purchase more things that you don’t need or can afford. Follow Christ and God’s Word and He will provide your needs, but not your greeds. It’s not the high cost of living, but the cost of high living that is bankrupting this nation. “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man” –(Prov.21:17).


  Are you saved and born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Repent of your sins and call upon the Lord Jesus to save you. Christ is the true everlasting riches of all who are saved by Him. Do not spurn the grace of God in His beloved Son or you’ll spend eternity in hell. Be the poor of this world, rich in faith.


Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705



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