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Rags to Riches

May 8, 2009

If you are like me, you like a good,  old fashioned rags to riches story.  I love to root for the underdog and hear a powerful tale about rising above the odds and experiencing victory. 

The basic plot of every movie or story like this involves someone who was dealt a tough hand, fought against difficulties, beat the odds and ultimately became successful.  The poor became rich, the obscure became famous, the weak became strong.

These stories always showcase the character’s resolve and fortitude to overcome. 

In 2007, Forbes reported that “almost two-thirds of the world’s billionaires made their fortunes from scratch, through grit and determination, and not good genes.”  They overcame tough odds to become successful.  Perhaps the most well-known is Bill Gates, a high school drop out himself.

If you are a Christian, you are a living rags to riches story.

Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

Our sins condemn us.  Romans 3:10 tells us, “there is no one righteous, not even one”.  

The Christian rags to riches story, however,  is so radically different from any other in that we are not the over comers.  There is no amount of grit, determination or fortitude that will overcome our sin and deserving punishment.  We can’t “white-knuckle” our way with willpower and resolve and make it into heaven, we are totally unable.

What amazes me about the redemption story is that God, in His kindness, enables us by His grace to be converted into what we couldn’t become on our own.  He does this through the gospel.    

Romans 5:6 tells us  “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it this way, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Because of Him we receive not only heaven, but we receive Jesus, the ultimate reward!  We get to spend eternity with our precious Savior – for we were born again “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for (us).” ( 1 Peter 1:3-4).  We are heirs to an amazing inheritance. 

God’s work in transforming rebellious, sinful people into those who love and cherish Him is the ultimate rags to riches story.

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