On December 27th, 2012, ABC News ran a story about a homeless man. Sixty-year- old Timothy Gray was found dead under a Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Evanston, Wyoming. Children who were sledding in the snow nearby discovered his body. The coroner found a wallet on him that had several undeposited checks. One check was for a hefty sum of money. All of the checks were several years old.
Not only that, but a lawyer had been looking for Timothy Gray. He had inherited a fortune from New York heiress Huguette Clark that was worth about 19 million dollars.
Any death is tragic, of course, but Timothy Grey died homeless in 10-degree weather when he could have been living in a warm, comfortable mansion.
That story reminds me of what may be a struggle for some of my readers. Many of you read my articles every week because you consider yourselves to be Christians. A Christian is a spiritual millionaire, and yet many who claim the name of Christ complain constantly about what they do not have. Their words are gloomy and sometimes even unkind. That doesn’t make sense because Christians are spiritual millionaires.
The first fourteen verses of Ephesians, Chapter One, describe the wonderful riches that are given to Christ’s followers. I encourage you to read them prayerfully. Here are a couple of excerpts.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.…” (Ephesians 1:3–4).
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us …” (Ephesians 1:5, 7–8).
If those riches don’t make you rejoice, if they do not send a thrill of joy into your heart, then I’m worried about you. Are you appreciating all that the Lord has given you?
Spiritual riches are crucial for at least two reasons. Without them, we have no spiritual life (see Ephesians 2:1, 5, 12). When a person repents (turns away from sin) and trusts in Christ, then God will “… grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). Christians have an inner strength that is greater than any of life’s disappointments. I’m sure you will agree that we all really need that strength.
Here is another reason those spiritual riches are so important: They last forever! Our time on this earth is truly short when compared to eternity. That is why Paul prayed that “… the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might” (Ephesians 1:18–19).
Even if you were to inherit 19 million dollars, that money will eventually run out, or when you die, someone else will spend it. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, though, in Christ you have “… obtained an inheritance…” (Ephesians 1:11) that is permanent.
Christians belong to the King of Kings. That truth brings confidence and joy. You should not feel like an unhappy, homeless person wandering through this evil world. Don’t ever live that way, even for a minute. If you have given your life to Jesus, keep rejoicing in the riches you have in Christ!