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"The Riches of Poverty"

Date published: 03/04/2021

Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


   I literally have read the beatitudes hundreds of times during quiet times, Bible readings, studying, and even memorizing, but I never meditated on what poor in spirit meant?  Being the scholar that I am I opened Strong’s to find it means poor! 


   So, I moved from Strong’s to the STRONG man Himself and the meaning became clear.  Poor in spirit is being unable to do anything without God.  You must be willing to empty yourself, so that God can fully work in the situation.


   The poor in spirit have come to the realization that they can only succeed in life by recognizing their total incapacity to succeed without God.  In other words, poor in spirit is recognizing your position in God – totally dependent upon Him.


   As I continued reading the sermon on the mount, I found three examples that Jesus taught that stretch the capacity of our human nature to be poor in spirit:  Loving, forgiving, and judging.  These three actions truly require our spirit to be poor, while human nature calls us to do the opposite.


   Jesus says in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  There are few things that are more difficult than loving someone who is working to hurt you, yet it is God’s way of speaking to them.  The kingdom of God is not about winning or being right but trusting Him.


   Jesus says in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”   God is asking you to put aside your desire to get even, because God wants to use your actions to touch and heal hurting and injured hearts.  God calls you to be a minister of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:18: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

   Jesus said in Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”  God did not call you to be the score keeper of life, but rather to come along side those in need.  Help uplift rather than putting others down.


   All three of these examples will never be true in your life unless you are poor in spirit.  You become poor in spirit by allowing the Holy Spirit to peel back your prideful, independent, successful, and sufficient life to totally needing and depending on God.   You must become poor in attitude toward the things this world values, so that you can fully walk in God’s presence and ways. 


   Jesus tells what this looks like in Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  In Matthew 11:25 Jesus says you get there by having the faith of a child, “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children.’”    


Matthew 18:3-4 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area: “Satisfaction” and “Deeper With God.”