How Rich Are You?

It was Jesus who said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25) I don’t know if your brain works anything like mine, but I’ve often read that verse and immediately thought, “Well, that doesn’t concern me too much because I’m not rich.” I’m not “rich” because I’m defining “rich” by U.S. standards. But if I stretch my brain to think beyond these borders, the definition changes. In Haiti, the average annual income is $450. In Ethiopia, it’s $160. In Rwanda, it’s $230. In Bangladesh, it’s a whopping $470. In Kenya, it’s a staggering $530. (Source: World Vision) To get an idea of just how “rich” you might be, check out this website. Just click on the image below to be re-directed. You may have discovered, as I did, that you are in fact “rich,” so what to do with Jesus’ words now? With Him, even the rich aren’t a hopeless cause, and I believe that Jesus encourages us in Mark 10: 1) While it may be hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, it isn’t impossible. “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 2) Earthly riches can be turned into heavenly treasures. How? By giving them away, not letting your possessions possess you. “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me.” Mark 10:21 God can use the rich for His glory, and I have recently been challenged by the example of Joseph of Arimathea, whom Scripture describes as a “rich man.” Joseph mustered the courage to approach Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body and then lovingly “took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock.” (Matthew 27:59-60) Out of his riches, Joseph gave, and the Holy Spirit moved each of the gospel writers to record his act of generosity for us to read.

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