The Good Life - Poor in Spirit
Last week we learned from Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount living the “blessed” life means living a happy life.
When a disciple recognizes and submits to God’s will, there is a promise of blessing from God above.
Human nature attempts to define a “blessing” as an outward expression.
Fame, riches, knowledge, etc.
God provides a blessing that goes beyond our time and into his kingdom.
God is the giver of blessings. The important reminder is that God provides blessings according to his agenda.
The 1st Beatitude helps us grasp this important concept.
READ Matthew 5:1-12
READ Matthew 5:1-12
“Blessed (happy) are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”?
“utter spiritual destitution” Solicits and lives by alms.
A biblical definition of destitution is found in (Luke 16:20-22). The life of Lazarus.
“But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was lying at his gate (the rich man). He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abrahams side.”
To be poor in spirit means to be a spiritual beggar.
In scripture, there is often a parallel between people of physical wealth and the poor.
Jesus is not saying that rich people are missing out on the kingdom of God.
The “poor in spirit” have the correct “frame of mind”.
“We have to be poor in spirit before we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.” - Martyn Lloyd Jones
King Canute ruled over Denmark, Norway, and England more than one thousand years ago. A wise ruler, he worked diligently to make the lives of his subjects better. As is often the case, he was surrounded by those who sought to gain influence and prominence with him, and according to the ancient story, he grew tired of their continual flattery and determined to put an end to it. He ordered that his throne be carried out to the seashore and gathered his courtiers about it.
By the sea, the king commanded the tide not to come in. Yet soon the waters were lapping around his legs as the tide did not heed him. According to one historian’s account, King Canute rose up from his throne and said, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom Heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”
The point of this message to that all believers ought to have a “self-emptying” conviction. “Before God, we are void of everything.”
Those who understand the benefit of a poor spirit have embarked upon spiritual excellence.
You can trust God, even if your loyalty to him results in oppression or material disadvantage.
“This is what the Lord says: Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool. Where could you possible build a house for me? And where would my resting place be? My hand made all these things, and so they call came into being. This is the Lord’s declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at my word.” - (Isaiah 66:1-2)
Those who are poor in spirit are promised to inherit God’s kingdom.
The kingdom is God’s rule. God is at rule in our life right now.
But we also inherit the kingdom of heaven.
A time of restoration. Everything wrong and sinful will be turned back and transformed according to God’s standard.
Notice that Jesus didn’t say “shall have” but that believers already have the kingdom. The poverty of being poor in spirit is begun riches.
If you’re poor in this world, you have a wider capacity to be rich in God. Enriched witht the fullness of Christ.
It is those in this place who enjoy the Messiah’s reign and the blessings he brings. They joyfully accept his rule and participate in the life of the kingdom.
Driving with pastor in India who had spent time at seminary in the states. “It affected my relationship with God to be surrounded by such comfort.”
The thought of being a “spiritual beggar” is a tough concept isn’t it?
We aren’t geared to think of our lives in this way.
The path of discipleship requires a posture of complete dependence on God before we can understand the glories of our inheritance.
The concept of “pride” cannot be found in a kingdom minded Christian.
If the “poor in spirit” are happy in God’s kingdom, then being “rich in pride” ultimately results in sadness.
The kingdom of God can be experienced now and in eternity.
“The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the poor in spirit.” - A.W. Tozer
Do I have the faith to believe that I need nothing other than a relationship with Jesus?