In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
Many people believe that poverty causes crime, that stealing and robbing would cease – at least be greatly reduced – if wealth were more evenly distributed. However, a recent spokesperson musters a great deal of evidence to show that the terms should be reversed: Crime causes poverty. The community deteriorates, and everything in it loses value, when crime infests it.
Part of the solution to poverty is not stealing and robbing but getting a job. Saint Paul tells the Ephesians: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands” (Ephesians 4:28). In doing this, he will not only overcome poverty by having a steady income but will “Have something to share with those in need,” the apostle declares.
Whatever a person’s economic circumstances may be, the main concern of a Christian is to be “rich toward God,” as our Lord said. God has provided spiritual riches. Saint Paul writes: “to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:6-8).
By nature every person is – to borrow the words from the book of Revelation – “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). From Christ, as Charlotte Elliott says in her hymn “Just as I Am,” come “sight, riches, healing of the mind.” This is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: He became poor, He deprived Himself of every convenience, that we “through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
We may lack riches. It doesn’t bother us. It doesn’t tempt us to commit the crimes of stealing and robbing. Our riches are in God, our heavenly Father.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord God, for all Your blessings to me through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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