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Spiritual Poverty

by Ken Barnes  
12/21/2017 / Christian Living

You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. (Revelation 3:17 NLT).

Christ, through the Apostle John, was speaking to the Church in Laodicea.  It was a message to believers, not unbelievers.  He had just told them that he wished they were hot or cold, but not lukewarm.  Complacency always leads to some form of spiritual poverty.

We always become what we perceive we need to be.  The Church in Laodicea, once a passionate Church, had lost their zeal. They were oblivious to their spiritual poverty. How does this happen to a church? They may have started to substitute worldly blessings for spiritual ones.  Or they may have begun to believe that their spiritual blessings were only in temporal form. They could have concluded that they had all the spiritual knowledge they needed.  In our spiritual journey, when we assume that we have arrived, it only shows that we have lost our way.  Once dependent on Christ, a church that the Apostle Paul was instrumental in planting, was rebuked for their self-sufficiency. 

The rebuke did not come just because they were wretched, miserable, and poor; we are all spiritual paupers in relation to the glory of Christ.  It happened because they didn’t recognize they were blind and naked.  The first step towards the riches of Christ is the recognition of our need.  There is no such thing as the status quo in God’s Kingdom.  If we are not coming closer to the Lord, we are actually moving away and it happens so gradually that we hardly notice. We lose our hunger for the Lord and become spiritually malnourished in the midst of God’s unlimited resources.


I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]

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