Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God
Last week’s devotion talked about the importance of a new lens for experiencing the transforming power of Christ. Jesus taught in the first beatitude the importance of being poor in spirit. For that reason, Matthew 5:3 is a rich Scripture for living the Christian life. Humility is the core character trait for being poor in spirit.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in kingdom of heaven.” Take a deep breath and try to wrap your arms around this truth. You do not need to study it, look for every complementary Scripture, or sit at the feet of great teachers, because the greatest teacher says, humility is best.
Take time to walk through your life: Everyone you have conflict with; those you are competing against; those who intentionally or unintentionally demean you; conflict derived from driving, people rudeness, you are right they are wrong; being treated unfairly; people or events that intentionally harm you.
These situations are tough to process without the lens of Christ. When Christ came into the room, He commanded the attention of others. Some wanted to take Him down, others wanted something from Him, and all or most were in awe and fascination with His Godly countenance. Jesus tells you in Matthew 25:45 that there is no condition in life that relieves you of the responsibility of living for Him, “Whatever you did for least of them, you did for Me.”
As a follower of Christ, you are not living for yourself, but for Him. A lens of life that is selfless and humble points to Christ and not you. Your greatness is not in your brilliant responses, fearless show of strength, but rather what Jesus said in Matthew 20:26, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.” You are a servant of Jesus and not self. Serving others allows Jesus the maximum opportunity to touch others, but it requires a lens that is poor in spirit.
One last lens for humility is the compassion Jesus lived and showed in Matthew14:14: “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Our sinful nature more easily rises in anger, self-interest, and getting rather than showing compassion. I often chuckle when reading in the gospels how Jesus’ disciples showed a lack of compassion as they pushed right by people desperate for compassion. Not Jesus! Jesus was so attuned to others’ needs that even a touch alerted Him to the needs of someone.
Living through the lens of humility will help unbridle God’s work in your life in amazing ways. Imagine your countenance in Christ as being measured by a reverse gasoline gage. The poorer you become in spirit, the fuller you become in allowing God to work in and through your life. Allowing Jesus to be Jesus in and through you by the work of the Holy Spirit is far more powerful than performing miraculous acts.
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."
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area: “Satisfaction” and “Knowing God’s Will.”