The Poor in Spirit

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Full of Ourselves but Lacking Spirit

How often in our lives have we noticed the joy that others may have in their faith? During the times of my life when I struggled with loss, conflict, and uncertainty, I was encouraged by those who had faith all would turn out for good.
Rom. 8:28 says God works all things out for good. It is difficult for me to see that sometimes in the midst of the trials of life or the temptations we face.
Through time, I have come to recognize the truth of faith in God. When trials come our way, God is the faithful one that is always there for us.

Received Blessings from the Kingdom

We often wonder what occurs when we submit our lives to God. Those who fight against the will of God and never fully surrender may not ever be able to fully partake in the blessing God has for them in their lives.
Thankfully, God knows what we need in order for us to realize where we are in our spiritual walk. With Jacob, it took many years for him to give in to God’s will for his life.
For anyone of us who are within a group of people but only focus on ourselves, our understanding of the kingdom of God will be limited.

Beatitudes

Jesus spoke on His sermon on the mount and the first thing He mentioned was character development in the correct way to walk with God.
Throughout the ages, many have interpreted the sayings here to mean a state of being happy or content. However, as we read through all 9 we see there is strife, persecution, insults, and other themes that do not conjure up thoughts of happiness.
No, it is the words of Jesus Christ to any who would choose to lay down their lives and follow Him.
Matthew 5:1 NASB95
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
Matthew 5:2 NASB95
He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
Matthew 5:3 NASB95
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:4 NASB95
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:5 NASB95
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:6 NASB95
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:7 NASB95
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Matthew 5:8 NASB95
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:9 NASB95
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:10 NASB95
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11 NASB95
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Matthew 5:12 NASB95
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Misunderstanding Poor from an Individualist perspective

The very first beatitude from Matthew’s version has brought many to think that those who are poor or living in poverty have a way to also be blessed by God. This is not the case. In our individualistic culture, it is easy to see that our comforts are found in our surroundings. What we have to protect us and what we have in our lives to sustain ourselves.
However, the reward for those who admit they are poor in spirit is the kingdom of heaven. For many Americans we see the poor and destitute and wonder what they have done individually in their lives to be placed in that situation.
They must have done something in order to be where they are. What Jesus is saying is that we are all poor; we are poor in a different manner though.
There is nothing in our lives which we can pay off the debt we owe. When we realize we owe this debt for our lives and we understand how destitute we are, only then can we receive the kingdom of heaven.

Admitting We are the Poor

Those who continue to believe they have it all figured out and go through life with the blessings of the world are cautioned by the words of Jesus to look into their spiritual character to see what they are truly lacking.
If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit then what are you filled with.
Just as David said, my cup overflows and Paul says to be filled with the spirit and not on wine, we are to search our hearts and inspect what we are filled with.
This is the first step in admitting how poor we truly are.

Where in your life have you realized being poor in spirit?

Search your life and recognize when you knew you needed God and knew that receiving the kingdom of God was what you needed and wanted. For an individualist culture, most of us stop there though.
We have received the reward of the kingdom and know the destination is near and we thank God that we have realized we were lacking the one thing that would connect us back to God.
Through Jesus Christ, the gap has been closed and we know our sins are forgiven. Knowing we sinned is knowing we are incapable of doing the things to make up for those sins and giving them over to God.
Let us not be like the church in Laodicea.
Revelation 3:14 NASB95
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
Revelation 3:15 NASB95
‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 NASB95
‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:17 NASB95
‘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 3:18 NASB95
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
Revelation 3:19 NASB95
‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
Revelation 3:20 NASB95
‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:21 NASB95
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Headstrong in Yourself

In the end, we must all give in and if we have not submitted ourselves to the will of God and
The indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom of God is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty. To the poor in spirit, and only to the poor in spirit, the kingdom of God is given. For God’s rule that brings salvation is a gift as absolutely free as it is utterly undeserved.
Stott, John. The Beatitudes : Developing Spiritual Character, InterVarsity Press, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/liberty/detail.action?docID=6154213. Created from liberty on 2022-02-13 12:57:57.

Looking forward to the remaining beatitudes

The remaining beatitudes are a reminder of the personal journey we all must share in. Because we live amongst each other and go through this journey together, many of the beatitudes reflect character that draws on relationships with others.
Remove yourself from the center of the salvation story and place Jesus there where He should be. When we do this and see that God’s family is the focal point of the story, we become more inclined to understand our eternal poverty in spirit.
We must continue to rely on God to guide us through this spiritual development and realize there is no time in our lives on earth when this will be complete. It is a journey that begins daily.

Know that You are Poor in Spirit

When you give in to the fact that you will always need to rely on God for your life, your spiritual development, and your ability to reconcile with others, your journey may begin.
If you have never given in to understanding your state of poverty, there is never a time where it is too late.
Just as Jesus says, repent and notice your poverty and then become rich in the kingdom of God. It is not the other way around where we bring our treasure to God and then receive His blessing.
Nothing we have to bring is of worth to God unless it is our humble admission of needing Him in our lives.
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