The Beatitudes: Poor in Spirit

The Beatitudes: Poor in Spirit

In Matthew 5:3-12, we find Jesus teaching the multitude who had come to hear Him teach and watch Him heal the lame and sick.  As He sat on a mountainside, He began His great sermon with the words “Blessed are…” and these first few verses are known today as The Beatitudes.

I have always referred to The Beatitudes as “beautiful attitudes”.  If we can master even one of these attitudes, a new world of contentment and joy will open before us.  Over the next several weeks, I would like to dig deeper into each of these “beautiful attitudes”.

In Matthew 5:3, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  When Jesus said, “Poor in Spirit” He was not talking about financial poverty.  This is not a physical state but a spiritual one.  What Jesus is talking about is being humble.  The phrase literally means spiritually destitute.  It means that you realize that your state before God is one of utter helplessness and being completely dependent upon His mercy and grace.  You are poor in spirit when you realize that you are nothing more than a beggar before God.

When confessing his own state, the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:24, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”  I can’t deliver myself, only Christ can deliver me.  We have nothing to offer God.  According to Isaiah 64:6, our best is filthiness to Him.

I am not downgrading our position in Christ Jesus.  As believers we are sons of God; we are His possessions; and we are His workmanship.  But woe to us on the day that we forget what we were before He saved us.  It is easy to do.

The church in Laodicea was a group of believers that are much like us today.  They had become wealthy and had need of nothing.  They were a body of Christ yet they took their salvation and position for granted.  The world looked at them as blessed, but God did not see them that way.  They were filled with pride and Jesus pointed this out to them.   In speaking to the church in Laodicea, our Lord said, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked”(Revelation 3:17). Their worldly success has caused them to become blind to their spiritual state.  The same thing can happen to you and me.

Even though we can come boldly before His throne and our position is that of a son, we must not allow ourselves to become high minded. Yes, we approach Him as His child but with the same heart as that of a prodigal son who desires nothing more than to be His servant.

Grasping the attitude that you are “poor in spirit” can help you defeat the pride that would well up within you.  When you strive to adopt this beautiful attitude in your life, yours is truly the Kingdom of Heaven and along with it a very real and deep sense of contentment.

These are your Words for Wednesday.

We had a great Covenant Sunday this past Sunday. In case you couldn't be present, the Covenant will be available each Sunday for you to sign. Have a great rest of your week!

In Christ,

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