Trading Places

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Friday, April 22, 2016

Trading Places

On April 21, 2016, two men died. God knew both men, but only one of them knew God. One man knew riches on Earth; the other, poverty. Now they have traded places and one man enjoys the unsearchable riches of Christ whereas the other suffers eternal separation from God.

These men were very different. One was a titan of the music industry, famous, and yielded great power, even as a semi-recluse. The other was dirt poor. Through God’s perfect timing, their stories crossed paths on the day of their death. Their lives and fates offer a contrast of great magnitude as well as an illustration of how fleeting are the riches of the world and how meaningless worldly wealth is to the God who created us and all the riches we enjoy. Jesus emphasized this point as He questioned His disciples, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, popular performing artist, was a multi-millionaire, with an estimated net worth of $300M. He was a conservative man in private, to the concern of many homosexual and liberal fans. His faith was as a Jehovah’s Witness, and he was interested in studying the Bible. This fooled a Los Angeles Times writer into calling Prince a conservative Christian. Jehovah’s Witnesses are cult followers; they do not know Jesus Christ and are unsaved.

In contrast, on the same day, a homeless man died obscurely somewhere in the United States. His story may have been something like this: He had never been a leader of anything. He was born into an impoverished family and suffered continual economic hardship. His parents were alcoholics. He went to school at the local schoolhouse until his fifth grade year when his father died. After that, he had to quit school so he could work to help support the family. His mother was faithful, however, that he went to Sunday school and church each week.

As he grew older, he adopted the drinking habits of his parents and worsened his condition by developing a drug habit. He married once, but that soon failed. He was never able to own a home. In fact, at several points in his life, he was homeless in large cities as he tried to find work without skills or education. He never traveled outside his home state, although he did go to grade school with a boy who eventually became mayor of his small town. He never met anyone important. When he died, television reports did not cover his passing nor will anyone write a book about his life. No one envied the life the homeless man lived.

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, Prince left the only “kingdom” he will ever know. Though he enjoyed 58 years here on Earth as a star performer, today and for the rest of eternity he will suffer pain, poverty, and an eternal separation from God. Because he did not accept Jesus Christ as his Savior, Prince is doomed to an eternity of misery. His knee has bowed at the foot of our King Jesus Christ, and Prince has left his riches here on Earth forever. His death is eternal.

However, on Thursday, April 21, 2011, the unknown homeless man finally met someone important – a King, the only King he ever needed to meet. Today he is enjoying the rewards of being an heir to the Kingdom of God. He has met His LORD and Savior Jesus Christ in Heaven, having accepted Him as His Savior one winter night in a crowded homeless shelter – no fanfare, no red carpets, just the derisive wisecracks from others who thought him a fool for putting his faith in a God he couldn’t see. Today, however, this formerly homeless man has a mansion in Heaven (John 14:2). He is enjoying his eternal status as heir to the riches of the Kingdom God has promised us all if we will only believe on His Son.

It is normal for God to reward those who believe in His Son, no matter their economic or social status here on Earth. It is not only normal, it is His duty, because He said He would and as a Holy God He must fulfill His promises, both to save those who accept Him by faith and condemn those who reject His Son. God does not deliver on His promises solely because of duty, He does it because He loves you, with a love beyond all Earthly understanding. In contrast, it is also normal for God to punish those who reject His Son, withholding the riches of His kingdom and condemning nonbelievers to an eternity of misery.

As the writer of Hebrews puts it, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’, and again, ‘The LORD will judge His people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:29-31).

Yesterday two very different people traded places. One left a musical kingdom to be in misery, the other left misery to be in a matchless eternal Kingdom. Will you be trading places as Prince did or will you be like the homeless man when you leave this life? Don’t delay. Make sure today, not tomorrow – better yet, RIGHT NOW – that you have accepted Jesus Christ as you LORD and Savior. The choice is yours – you can live luxuriously with a King or in misery with a former musical “king” who traded places with a Believer just a few hours ago. What choice will you make today for your eternity?

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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