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Will the Real Rich Man Please Stand Up

by Filoiann Wiedenhoff  
10/22/2007 / Devotionals

Luke 16:19-23
"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. but there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell* from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom."

Right from the very beginning Jesus tells this story making a distinction between a certain rich man and a certain beggar named Lazarus. It was clear that Jesus knew both these men but the difference was, one knew Jesus and the other did not.

Lazarus at this time was physically ill, full of sores, and could no longer stand. He was left with nothing to relieve the pain except medicine that came from the licking of stray dogs. It is a well known fact that dogs and other animals produce antibiotic micro-organisms in their tongues that naturally heal wounds.

How amazing that God can provide for our weaknesses and illnesses in unconventional ways we don't understand. Never the less Lazarus suffered greatly in this world.

There must have been many a day that Lazarus laid watching outside the gate, feeling cold, sick and hungry as grand officials, dignitaries and the like entered the rich man's estate; as they fine dined, had lavish parties and celebrations and the whole time unaware of his presence.

But now his grief and agony was finally over and upon his death he was carried away by angels to Abraham's bosom. What a great experience that must have been for Lazarus to be transported to heaven first class Angel style.

But much more than that was who was waiting for him. Abraham received Lazarus at his bosom, (the front area of the chest) which we all know is where the most intimate embraces of love and comfort are made, perhaps because this position is closest to the heart.

What an honor that was given to Lazarus for Abraham himself to be waiting to receive him. It reminds me of the Beatitude in Matthew Ch. 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted." Although Lazarus may not have felt comforted in his lifetime he was definitely comforted in heaven.

Another observation about Abraham's embrace is that in order to be embraced at someone's bosom both parties are most likely standing. Imagine Lazarus no longer lying ill but standing perfect and upright in Abraham's arms.

What a great comfort this is to also be reminded that we will not only receive an inheritance and great reward in heaven but also our illnesses and our sorrows will be taken away. No longer to fear, suffer or grieve but rejoice in the Lord's great mercy and love.

It's so easy for us as Christians to see the wicked prosper and wonder why we are not prospering as they are. During those times it is important for us to remember that our rewards are in heaven and that the temporal pleasures we see now do not compare to the eternal rewards we will receive in heaven. As we put our trust in God and continue to focus on Christ and press forward, we will be blessed beyond what we can imagine or think, as we persevere by faith.

As it is written:

Phil 3:13-14
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." NIV

So who really was the rich man here? The bible says that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. If we truly want to be blessed here on earth we have to learn to view life, our situation and people through God's eyes and not our own and measure success using God's Word and not the World. The bible says that this world and it's passions are temporary and passing away.

If you are struggling in your life today, feeling beat up, physically, financially, or experiencing grief, I hope this devotion will be a comfort to you as it was for me, that not only are we rich in Christ Jesus but that our reward is waiting in heaven for us.

If you don't know Jesus personally, I want to encourage you to receive Him in your heart today and receive salvation and all the precious promises that He gives you by the power of the Holy Spirit and through His Word the Bible.

Today is the day of salvation for tomorrow is not promised, I encourage you to please receive him today. If you need more information on salvation please contact me through my website.

Personal Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the illustration you gave us in Lazarus, that although he had nothing in this world to give that your plan had everything for him to receive in love, comfort and eternal life. Help us to remember that our treasure is in heaven and not of this world and that temporal pleasures on earth do not compare to the eternal blessings you have waiting for us in heaven. We give you all the praise and the glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

God Bless you!

Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff is a pastor's wife,work at home mom, Womans Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer. View her website for more articles

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