DAY 20

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Day 20: Upside Down Kingdom

James 1:9-11
“Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation – since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls away and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.”

Devotional
The kingdom of God is entirely upside down when compared with the kingdom of this world. What matters in God’s eternal economy is almost entirely opposite of the things our world prefers and exalts. Today’s scripture verses provide us with a stark contrast to consider when we’re evaluating the circumstances and provisions of our lives.

When you read believers in humble circumstances, do you resonate with those words in any area of your life? While monetary poverty and riches are certainly being addressed in these verses, humble circumstances could refer to anything that feels like a less than ideal scenario by the standards of this world. Perhaps you wanted to be married and have children by now and you’re still single. Maybe you wanted to climb the corporate ladder and it just hasn’t panned out for you. It could be that the pandemic impacted your life in a way you were never expecting and now things have changed for you completely. In the upside down kingdom of God, those in humble circumstances are encouraged to glory in their high position of being loved and valued by God. He vindicates and exalts those judged as lowly by this world. 

Perhaps you most resonate with having been abundantly blessed here on earth. What an opportunity to be aware of those blessings of God and respond with a heart of gratitude and a willingness to be a blessing to others in return. James is reminding us that no amount of earthly wealth or prosperity can give us right standing with God or guarantee us entrance into his presence. The material wealth of this world doesn’t transfer to eternity, but instead it passes away. If we’ve been blessed with riches of any kind in the world’s estimation, then it’s our privilege as children of God to make sure those temporal blessings are transformed into eternal ones by using them to impact others for the kingdom of God. 

May we be people who understand the values of the upside down kingdom and strive to think rightly about our position here. This world is not our home. We are citizens of a better kingdom.

Prayer
God, we so often do not see as you see and we don’t judge as you judge. We are easily swayed by the ranking system of this world and we confess our tendency to adopt that system as our own. May we resist the urge to judge those around us, but instead rightly assess ourselves and how we can impact this world with eternal results.