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Devotional - week of January 12, 2003


LIVING FAR ABOVE THE POVERTY LINE

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.  2 Corinthians 8:9

Just as there is a financial poverty line, there is a spiritual poverty line—below which many believers live, unnecessarily. Jesus became poor so believers “through His poverty might become rich.

Through His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection Jesus provided entrance into the Kingdom of God for believers and made possible their own spiritual crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

In seeking an answer to the question of why many believers are not spiritually rich, we should consider a statement Paul made concerning himself. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 Paul describes himself as:

… poor, yet making many rich …

Jesus came to make us rich. Paul made people rich. Jesus provided the spiritual riches. Paul told people how to receive them. First, he pointed people to Jesus for salvation. But he did more. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 Paul writes:

I have sent Timothy to you … who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

In every church formed of the new believers, Paul testified of his “ways in Christ.” He testified of his oneness with Christ in crucifixion, burial, and resurrection and the spiritual riches that resulted.

We can easily conclude that Paul also told the believers in every church of their own crucifixion, burial, and resurrection—and the riches they provided. They only needed to experience their crucifixion, burial, and resurrection to possess the spiritual riches.

Those same riches are still available for believers. One only has to believe he is crucified, buried, and resurrected, as taught in Romans 6:3-5, and continue to obey the five commands of Romans 6:11-13.

The Scriptures even mention three areas in which spiritual riches are evident: in “good works,” (1 Timothy 6:18 ), in “faith,” (James 2:5), and in “liberality” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).