• David Simmons

A Weekly Word from your Pastor

The Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

The Beatitudes begin Jesus longest discourse found in the gospels. Matthew records what we have come to call, “The Sermon on the Mount.” It is three chapters full of Jesus’ teaching about many things. Over the next 8 weeks we will highlight one of the nine beatitudes.

The word beatitude means blessings. Jesus is pronouncing blessings on the people as they live a certain way. This, the first, speaks of the “poor in spirit.” Just exactly what is Jesus talking about?

Let’s begin with what “being poor in spirit” is not. This doesn’t mean you have to be poor and in not wealthy. Some people have tried to interpret the meaning as you have to be poor and can’t have material things. This is not what Jesus is talking about. Some have also said that you must have a poor image of yourself. You must allow the world to push you around and be pitiful. Jesus didn’t mean that either.

What did He mean? To be “poor in spirit” is to know who you are in the presence of God. To be “poor in spirit” is to know that you are nothing and God is everything. Once we have the right mindset about where we stand in the realm of spirituality we have the opportunity to tap into the Kingdom of Heaven. We will never really know about all that God has in store for our lives until we find ourselves in the right mindset with God.

One might ask, how do I become “poor in spirit?” Well the first place to look is to Jesus. The apostles had been sent by Jesus to the surrounding territories to preach the gospel, to cast out demons and to heal the sick. They came back and told of all they had seen and done. Yet later when continuing to be around Jesus and seeing all that He did they said to Him, “Increase our faith!” You would think if you had cast out demons and healed in Jesus name that you were pretty well far along, but the truth is that to be “poor in spirit” is to realize we always need more of Jesus.

It is Paul’s concept of “pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God.” One cannot ever receive the Kingdom of Heaven if one doesn’t know their rightful place. No matter how much we read the Bible, go to church, or serve the Lord we will never get to the place where we have arrived. We must know that without Jesus we are nothing. We must know that without the very presence of the Holy Spirit we could do nothing.

Once you have found that without God you are nothing, you have learned your rightful place and you will receive the Kingdom of Heaven. So remember; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Dear Jesus, help me to want more of you. Help me to strive to allow you to fill me with more faith. Keep me in my right place and never allow me to think more highly of myself than I ought to. Keep me “poor in spirit.” In your name I pray, Amen.

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