The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.
Our status often determines our behavior. If we are poor, we will rely on entreaties to coax help from others. If we are in a position of power or wealthy enough to procure the help we need from many, we are likely to speak roughly or be more demanding.
Think about this in our relationship with the Lord. It is those who recognize their poverty who will humble themselves before him; those who think they are rich in life see no need for him and are offended to be told otherwise. They patronize and ridicule those who are spiritually humble. Their riches – be it of money or talent or pleasures – blind them to their true position. They are impoverished, believing they are rich.
Are you rough sometimes in your speech or thoughts towards the Lord? Do you find yourself at times demanding the help you want? Are you ever resentful, thinking that your good behavior merits better response from God? What do you have that you have not received, even the ability to behave well?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They turn to their Savior and Lord humbly for all things. They are not blind to their poverty, nor are they blind to the blessings that are theirs in Christ. They make entreaties like the poor, but they receive the blessings of heirs. Entreat the Lord today for his favor, and know this – that to all who entreat humbly he answers tenderly and generously.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.