Summary: Believing that God loves you and turning to Him for help moves His heart with joy. This kind of weakness and need results in the blessing that comes to those who are poor in spirit.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT I (GOD) LOVE YOU?
Pastor Daniel J. Little - The Landmark Church, Binghamton, NY
2 Corinthians 8:9 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 by his poverty might become rich.
When Paul writes saying For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, “grace” means God’s always present “conscious will” to love you. God’s will to love you is such an all pervasive influence that you cannot find a place on the earth where there is no sign of it. So pervasive, so limitless is God’s grace that any direction you attempt to run from it you are still running into it; run as fast as you will, the borders of God’s love simply expand under your feet at a faster rate than you can run. Romans 5:20 … where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Romans 5:20 (Amplified Bible) But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and super-abounded,
The Apostle Paul says that this grace is not theoretical but as real as the unseen air we breathe. Grace is the atmosphere of spiritual reality that God means for us to experience and thrive in.
It seems to me that Paul bends right down where we are seated and gets very close to our faces and says; “…for your sake Jesus became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Paul often speaks of this environment of wealth.
• Romans 2:4 the riches of God’s goodness that leads to repentance?
• Ephesians 1:7 we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
• Ephesians 1:18 … that you may know …the riches of the glory.
• Ephesians 3:8 … preach … the unsearchable riches of Christ;
• Colossians 1:27 that God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
• 1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches , but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; KJV
What ever riches Jesus laid down when He took on our flesh and human experience, those riches are for us. For our sake he laid them down and now they are safely kept in God’s presence as an inexhaustible supply for all our needs.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
If we can discover the nature of Jesus’ poverty we can then determine the nature of our riches in glory through Jesus.
Jesus poverty did not begin in the power department. He did all kinds of very powerful and miraculous. He was able to breathe this power upon His disciple that they might go out and use it in His name.
The poverty that Jesus experienced in becoming one of us He gave up His own eternal and unbroken and immediate fellowship in the love of God. For all eternity His relationship with God was more immediate than the relationship between your thumb and index finger, but when He became flesh for our sake that immediacy was greatly hindered.
The mere weight of his flesh dulled His sense of God just as it does with us. His hunger and thirst, the heat and cold, the weariness of body, all these things that cloud our direct experience of God also clouded His direct awareness of God. That is how deeply He entered into the poverty of our experience. This poverty became complete as He hung on the cross.
At the cross He refused to exercise His power option. He laid it down for our sake.
Matthew 26:53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"
He stilled storms, walked on water, healed the sick and raised the dead, summoned fish to bring a gold coin for taxes, but when the temple guard came to arrest Him in the Garden He laid His power aside and became weak and docile as a lamb, … “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8-9)
Only by laying down His wealth could we be saved and the Scriptures be fulfilled.
In the midst of overwhelming pain and shock and struggling with fading strength to even breathe, He came to the place where He had no more sense of God’s fellowship whatever. So complete was this poverty that He cried out from the cross, Matthew 27:46 "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"