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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Beatitudes 1


Matt 5:1-3 (NKJV)

1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  Letís look to other passages in the Bible to find out.  Whenever something is hard to understand in the Bible we can do one of two things.  We can guess or we can let the Bible interpret itself by turning to other similar passages that shed light on what we donít understand.  The first way is dangerous.  The Bible is the word of God and the blueprint for salvation.  It is too important for us to just guess or use wishful thinking in our interpretation.


Isaiah 66:2 (NKJV)  For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the Lord.  "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.


Who has a poor spirit that is pleasing to God? 


According to this verse it is someone who trembles at Godís word.  You canít have  a poor spirit and treat Godís word with contempt.


Also in this verse we see that one must have a contrite spirit.  What does this mean?


According to Strong's Hebrew Dictionary it means smitten, i.e. (literal) maimed, or (figurative) dejected :- contrite, lame


Are you smitten?  Do you feel broken?  Do you feel that your spiritual life is poor or even bankrupt?  Then it should lead you to look for something more.  Jesus has a promise for you:


Are you looking for rest?


Matt 7:7 (NKJV) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.


Iíve talked with many different people who all had similar stories.  Their life had been broken.  Some had been involved with alcohol, drugs, gangs, and/or immorality of various types.  They all had a similar experience.  They decided to look for something better or someone taught them about something better.  It turned around their life.  Now they were faithful Christians.  They had a better life.  They had an overflowing life.  I remember one man in particular who had had a life like this.  It was a life filled with danger.  At the time I met him he was a changed man.  We were on a bus going to a mission seminar together.  He was interested in helping others.  I found out one new hobby he had that I was able to help him with a little.  He was collecting and writing down ďI love youĒ in many different languages so he could tell that to his wife in as many ways as possible.


Are you spiritually bankrupt?  Are you humble enough to admit it if you are?  Are you willing to swallow your pride and look for something better?  Are you willing to seek?  Jesus is the answer.


He invites you to come to Him


Matt 11:28-30NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


Sometimes we donít get that rest because weíre too proud to ask for help.  We deny that we are poor in spirit.  We claim we can do it on our own.


Example:  ďI can do it by myselfĒ.  A little child often says this when they are learning something new.  That turns out OK, because what they really mean is ďLet me try to do it myself firstĒ.  If they find out they canít do it, then they let you help them.  Thatís humility.  Adults on the other hand sometimes say the same thing.  ďI can do it myselfĒ.  What they really mean is ďI want to do it myself and I donít want you to know that Iím not capable of doing it on my own.Ē  That is pride.  It comes right before a fall.


I remember my grandmother.  She had Parkinsonís disease.  As time went by she started having trouble walking.  She even fell a time or two, but she declared that she did not need or want to use a cane.  Pride comes before a fall.  Her grandson however decided he knew what to do.  With the help of his father, he went into the woods and found a young sapling with a vine growing around it making it look fancy.  He took that sapling, made a cane out of it, and gave it to her.  She was proud of her grandson so she was proud to use the cane.  It helped keep her from falling.


How about you?  Does your pride give you a haughty spirit instead of a poor spirit?  Then its time to give up your own  pride and replace it with pride in the savior.  Be smart enough to realize you canít do it on your own.  Let Christ take your burden because He is meek and lowly in heart.  Give your life to him.


Luke 6:20 (UKJV) And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.


Prov. 11:28 (NKJV) He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.


Prov. 13:7 (NKJV) There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.


I have met men and women who scoffed at the religion of others.  Usually they are someone from a higher socio-economic background.  Often they feel a sense of self-importance.  Perhaps they teach on a high level and have great knowledge in one field, but they donít realize their great ignorance in spiritual matters.  They think they are rich, but they are really poor.  They have no idea what they are missing in both this life and in the life to come.


On the other hand, I have seen examples of faith in poor countries.  I have met people in Kilange, Arno and other parts of the world who were hungry.  The surprising thing is that they were still happy.  They had gone for a day or more without food, but they had faith they would not starve.  They were poor but happy.  They trusted something greater than themselves.  They put their hope in God. 


Matt 6:19-21 (NKJV) 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


I once knew a man and his wife who had a wonderful house full of priceless antiques.  They had started collecting them before they really became popular so even though they didnít have a lot of money, the antiques were worth a lot.  They were all over the house displayed on the walls and on little shelves and in curio cabinets.  One year just before Christmas, their house burn to the ground and few things could be saved.  A few things were saved, but most were lost.  The man was never the same after that.  He perhaps became depressed.  They moved to another town and their health went down hill.  Those antiques were at least a good part of their treasure.  Thatís where a good part of their heart was.  When it was lost they lost happiness.  Donít lay up treasures on earth.


Possessions can deceive us.  We think we own them.  Really they own us.


Matt 13:22 (NKJV) Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.


Donít let the deceitfulness of riches choke out the word of God from your life.  Donít become unfruitful.


Luke 12:15-21 (NKJV) And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'
18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '
20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."


Your life is worth more than the things you possess.  Those things or the lack of those things should not be what defines your life.  They are not what life is really all about.  They are deceitful.  They are a trap. 


Donít be like this man who thought he had it made.  He thought he was rich, but he was really poor toward God.  He thought he had all he needed and in one instant, the instant of his death, he lost it all and then knew that he really had nothing.


You say ďIím not richĒ.  That depends on how you define it.  By world standards even many Americans who live on public assistance are rich.  One missionary nurse who worked for a while in an orphanage in Haiti came back and said she now knew who was rich.  She said if you can wake up in the morning and know you will have something to eat that day then you are rich.  If you can wake up and know that you will have a choice in what you will eat that day that you are very rich.  We often just do not realize just how blessed we are.


How can you be poor in spirit even if you are rich:


1 Tim 6:17-19 (NKJV)17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.


1 John 3:17 (NKJV) But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?




Are you poor in spirit?  Do you realize you canít make it on your own?  Are you willing to swallow your pride and trust in Jesus?  Then this invitation is offered to you.  Once again listen to the words of Jesus:

Matt 11:28-30NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."



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