Rich in Christ

by Angie Thomas

Did you know you are filthy rich?!  Before you roll your eyes and start listing off to me your debt versus income and why you most certainly are not rich, hear me out.  Perhaps righteously rich would be a better description.  This wealth is eternal, never-ending, and directly linked to God’s love for us in Christ.  In the words of Lacrae, “It’s everlasting, infinite, it goes on and on, you can’t measure it” (Lyrics from “Tell the World”).

So why do we mope around like Eeyore and run around like Chicken Little proclaiming the “sky is falling” when we have been given so much?  I believe it is because we don’t rightly understand Christ’s love for us and the wealth we possess in Him.  We are so accustomed to letting our bank accounts or the lucrativeness of our job dictate our worth that we have forgotten as disciples of Christ our true value is found in Christ and His deep, rich love for us.

Here me out, girls.  This is so much more than religious rhetoric.  It is our reality HERE and NOW as followers of Christ, and not simply something we will experience in heaven.  Yes, the true fullness of our inheritance in Christ will be realized after Christ’s return and once sin and death have been abolished forever, but so much is already a reality.  The veil is torn and we are reconciled to Him.  Consider the Apostle Paul.  When you read his writings throughout the New Testament, the deep, descriptive language he uses repeatedly when describing the wealth that is ours in Christ is powerful!  Only someone who had personally experienced this richness could write about it in such a commanding and clear manner!

I pray these words would not glide over our hearts and minds as simply Bible verses we have heard multiple times, but that the Holy Spirit would reveal to us in a deep and authentic way our riches in Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight… ~Ephesians 1:3-10 

…that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being… ~Ephesians 3:16

 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

 …the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” ~Colossians 1:26-27 

I believe these truths are what empowered Paul to leave what was most likely a comfortable, predictable life of power and worldly wealth as a Pharisee and spend the rest of his life proclaiming the Gospel despite hardships, beatings, and lack of material wealth.  This understanding of Christ’s riches is undoubtedly what compelled Laurie and Kevin to leave the corporate world and status and possessions to follow Christ, as Laurie so powerfully shared with us the other week.  May we be challenged and encouraged by these examples and those of so many others who have left what the world deems valuable to find true riches.  In the words of the missionary Jim Elliot, who died in martyrdom in Ecuador, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

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