Crosfigell

This Way to True Riches

You can't have it both ways.

Who can satisfy God in the last times,
when the noble rules of truth have been changed,
save for those who scorn this present world?

  - Colum Cille, Altus Prosator, Irish, 6th century[1]

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

  - James 2.5

What a glorious promise to all who truly love God – to inherit the Kingdom of God and its power for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 4.20; Rom. 14.1, 18)! But how do we know if we love God? And how do we know if our lives “satisfy” Him?

James and Colum give us a simple test: Are we poor with respect to the things and ways of the world? That is, do we treasure the things of God more than the things and ways of the world?

And, conversely, are we rich in faith? Have we entered the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit? Is seeking the Kingdom of God our highest aspiration and most constant endeavor?

We cannot love God and the world (Jms. 4.4; 1 Jn. 2.15, 16). If we find that our thoughts, affections, and strength are more devoted to accumulating things or indulging our whims; if our manner of speech mirrors that of our secular and narcissistic generation; and if our ways of relating to others are based on self-interest rather than self-denying service; then the world is too much with us, and God, not enough.

We scorn the ways of Christ and His Kingdom when we march in lockstep with the ways of the world. The world is forever seeking to change the rules of the game of life, to throw off the Law and Word of God, and reinvent truth and morality according to its own preferences and agendas (Ps. 2). I don’t need to argue that the “rules of truth have been changed” in our day. But I do argue that many who profess belief in Christ have failed to notice this, or to care, and are simply going along with the flow of a materialistic, pragmatic, and narcissistic approach to life. We can be certain that such conduct does not satisfy what God intends for us.

Of course, while we are in the world, we must make our way through it. But not on its terms. We are in the world as citizens and ambassadors of another realm, and if we would satisfy God and show that we are heirs of His promise, we must represent our true home and nature by living consistently according to the ways of the Kingdom.

How can we become rich in Christ and His Kingdom, and poor in worldly ways?

Only by loving God above all else. Loving God makes us poor toward the world and rich in the ways of faith. Moreover, if we love God, we will possess His Kingdom, and possessing the Kingdom, we will demonstrate evidence of being possessed by it.

Where Christ reigns supreme in the heart and life of a person, dramatic, rightside-up changes will be in evidence (Acts 17.1-9). Seeking the Kingdom will be our consuming passion. The power of the Kingdom will be at work within us, transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (2 Cor. 3.12-18; Eph. 4.17-24). We will conduct our affairs and manage our relationships in an envelope of peace and good will.

Loving God, we will be ruled by Him, for His glory, unto the progress of His Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. And we will not become bogged down in the priorities and practices of our materialistic and narcissistic age.

This is a matter for daily, even moment-by-moment vigilance over the time of our lives (Eph. 5.15-17).

Do you love God? Is it evident by your poverty toward the world, riches in faith, and fruit of the Kingdom?

Amid the shifting sands of what passes for truth in our postmodern world, our neighbors need to see living examples of steadfast love and faithfulness, of commitment to God and His Word, and of freedom from the bondage of fleeting distractions and diversions.

Will the people in your Personal Mission Field see such an example in you today?

Psalm 138.1-3 (Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
I will give You thanks and praise You, God of gods, with all my heart.
I will bow before Your temple, grateful praise to You impart.
For Your Name and for Your glory, You have magnified Your Word! 

Help me to grow in love for You, Lord, so that today I may…

How do you love God? How do you love your neighbor?
We’d be happy to send a worksheet for you to use in assessing the state of your love for God and neighbors, and helping you improve in each of these. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you our worksheet on loving God and your neighbors.

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T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

[1] Carey, p. 49.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.