"For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see."
Sometimes I wonder if these words are true of us; especially those of us in the Western Church. In these verses, Jesus is rebuking the Church at Laodicea. He is speaking to those who think they have it all together; to those who claim to have the answers; to those who boast of their programs; to those who outwardly appear to be doing well; to those who glory in their own morality; to those who exalt in their parties' political correctness; to those who, because of their wealth, fail to recognize their desperate need. These words rebuke our tendency to hide behind our own wealth or sufficiency, thus avoiding Jesus as our only Savior.
And what are we to do? Jesus counsels us to, "buy from me", in order that we may attain true wealth, that our shame may be covered, and that we may truly see. The answer is to recognize our own poverty, and repent of our own self-sufficiency, and to receive Christ. The Christian life isn't one of accumulating wealth based on how good or sufficient we are; it is recognizing our own deficiencies and poverty, repenting of them, and in turn receiving the richness of Christ, who is able to cover our shame, grant us forgiveness, and open our eyes to behold His true beauty.
So, this morning, I am reminded, that I am poor and I need everything. Yet, I run to Christ, where I am able to buy freely from him. I run to Christ where I am able to trade my ashes for beauty, my sin for his righteousness, my crumbs for his feast, my death for his life. This is true wealth.