The rich followers of this poor Savior

(Letters of John Newton)

"There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table." Luke 16:19-21

However some professors may seem to differ from the world—they are not easily distinguished upon many other points; particularly at their meals. The people of the world can scarcely exceed them in the cost, care, profusion, and variety with which their tables are covered.

Perhaps there is no one circumstance in the history of our Savior so little laid to heart, so generally overlooked, by those who acknowledge him as their Master and their Lord—as that state of poverty to which He submitted, while upon earth. He had no home. He did not even have money to pay His tax. He was hungry when He went to the fig-tree. He wrought no miracle solely for His own relief; but He felt for the necessitous, and miraculously fed them by thousands; not with dainties, which would have been equally easy to Him—but, finding a few loaves and fish among them, He satisfied their needs with plain food. Yes, after His resurrection, when He had taken possession of all power and authority both in heaven and in earth—He condescended to dine with His disciples upon broiled fish and bread, which He likewise provided for them.

Alas! the rich followers of this poor Savior have more reason to be ashamed of . . .
  their gorgeous apparel,
  their fine houses,
  their elegant furniture, and
  their sumptuous feastings
—than to value themselves upon such trifles!
They are unavoidable appendages to people in some situations; but, I believe, those who have drank deeply into our Lord's spirit, account them rather burdens than benefits!

We must be watchful of that sinful, shameful conformity to the world, which spreads like a gangrene, which is the reproach of the gospel, and threatens the utter extinction of vital religion in multitudes who profess it.

"In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him—Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire!" Luke 16:23-24