What Is Poverty?

2Corinthians 8:9(NLT)
“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.”

The most common definition of poverty is the state of being destitute of riches and abundance. It is being very poor and having a lack or insufficiency in the provisions that are important for the survival and well-being of a person’s life. Society would define being poor as not having enough finances to purchase all the materialistic and trendy things it says we should have. Those who are of this mindset believe that owning designer fashions, furniture, and other glamorous and expensive things qualifies a person as wealthy or important. People have varying opinions about poverty and wealth, but as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to understand that a person that doesn’t know him is the poorest of all others in the world.

Our precious Lord and Savior is the only begotten Son of the One True Living God. John 1:1-5(NLT) tells us, “1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” This extraordinary passage is talking about our powerful Savior, Jesus Christ, the light that shines in the darkness and the light that will never go out. He is the living Word of God. He is the Word made flesh, and he left the throne of our Heavenly Father to come to earth because that is what our Heavenly Father wanted.

If there was anyone deserving of royal treatment, it was our King, Jesus Christ, but he didn’t receive that kind of treatment. He was born in a manger, a place where animals were fed. There were no fancy ceremonies or extravagant gifts given to welcome him. Instead, he grew up in the home of Joseph, a carpenter. As he carried forth his ministry on earth, he did not have a home or a bed to call his own. He left the wealth, majesty, and splendor of our Heavenly Father’s royal throne to come to earth. Through his life and ministry, he taught us what true wealth is.

In Mark 10:25(KJV), he teaches us that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Our Heavenly Father does not dislike wealthy people. He loves them as much as He loves the poor. However, rich people often cling to their wealth and the power it brings. Many of them do not see God as their sufficiency, they see money as their sufficiency. Because of this, they have failed to walk by faith and not by sight, and without faith in God, Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we cannot please Him. In Mark 10:25, Jesus is revealing the heart of many people that are wealthy. Their problem is that they cannot love God the way Christ has commanded all of us to love Him. They refuse to place God over money, and Jesus Christ makes it clear in Matthew 6:24 that it is impossible to serve both.

Society desires to drive people away from the things of God. It seeks to have the poor remain poor and the rich remain rich, but 2Corinthians 8:9 tells us that Jesus Christ became poor for our sakes. He became poor in order to make us rich in the Kingdom of Heaven. When Jesus Christ gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins, he was stripped of life and all that it holds. Through the incredible act of love that God demonstrated by giving the life of His only begotten Son for us, He made us rich beyond measure! Because of what God has done, we will never see hell and we will spend an eternity with our blessed Lord!

The true definition of poverty is to be disconnected from the Father. This is truly being poor and insufficient because God is our everything! 2Corinthians 3:5 tells us that He is our Sufficiency. He is our Provider, Protector, Refuge, and Rescue. 2Corinthians 9:8 (NLT) says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” So, we are rich with Him and have nothing without Him.

In his message to the Church in Smyrna, Jesus said in Revelation 2:9(NLT), “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich!” The world looked down on this church because they were poor, but Jesus Christ called them rich because they would get to share in his eternal glory, and so will we when we give our lives to him and accept him as our Lord and Savior. We may not have the material possessions that others have, but to know God through Jesus Christ makes us rich, and if we remain faithful, he will give us the crown of life.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“What Is Poverty?”, written by JMack, 4theChristianMan.com© 2023. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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