Faithlife Sermons

Poor in Spirit

The Beatitudes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:52
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When it comes to financial prosperity, most of us live in the middle ground.
We cannot sympathize with the super-wealthy (like the Astors who built The Breakers as a summer home in Newport)
We cannot sympathize with the super-impoverished (like children playing soccer in a literal dump that they also call home)
Generally speaking, we have what we need, and much of what we want. So when we read passages in the Bible that talk about poverty we have an interesting reaction: we struggle to understand what they mean and how they apply, while we also recoil from what the imply.
We have long recognized that poverty is a social ill to be eradicated, not embraced, and neither I, nor Jesus, would contradict that; the idea is based on solid biblical and christo-philosophical grounds. That said, Jesus as He begins His list of better attitudes for a better life, began with being poor.
Matthew 5:3 NKJV
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

A Definition of Poor

Poor is the state of being unable to possess or provide the necessities of life.
Most of us have no real acquaintance with this

A Deterrent to Poor Judgment

There are a few things that Jesus is NOT telling us here

He is not telling us to be physically poor

1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Poor is not being able to possess or provide the necessities of life and we are instructed to provide for our own as a faithful part of being a believer. Selling everything you have and adopting and ascetic or monastic lifestyle is not what Jesus intended.

He is not telling us to be spiritually poor

To be spiritually poor is to be unable to possess or provide the spiritual necessities of life. More of us are here than we would care to admit, but Jesus does not want us to be here; it is actually counter to His instruction.
What things could we “give up” that would make us spiritually poor?

A Decision to Trust

Knowing what it is to be poor and armed with the knowledge of what Jesus was not saying, we are better equipped to process what He was saying. These beatitudes are better attitudes for living a better life, the attitude for us to adopt here is two-fold:
Simplicity - Not providing or possessing everything we imagine we might want is an element of what Jesus taught. Wealth runs counter to true spirituality, primarily by reinforcing the notion that we don’t need God. which brings us to the real point.
Dependence - Develop the understanding that every need we have is met by our Heavenly Father. The resources we have were given to us by God. We sense this in the really big things in life, the really little things in life, and the really deep things in life, but we need to recognize it in everything in life.
Those who adopt the attitude of being poor in spirit will be rewarded with the kingdom of Heaven. What does that look like?
Revelation 21:9–21 NKJV
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
John 14:1–3 NKJV
1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
By adopting the attitude of poor in spirit, we align ourselves with God’s plan to give us greater wealth than we can readily conceive.
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