Is Being Poor a Blessing?
Over the next several weeks I thought we’d focus on the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes (Blessed are the…). Before we begin, however, we need to understand what Jesus is doing here. Sometimes these passages are read as a new set of commandments or as Christian secret to happiness. However, these statements aren’t prescribing what we must do in order to be blessed (or even saved) by God, they are describing how God blesses us. In other words, this isn’t, “If I ‘x’, then God will ‘y’.” It’s a list of several ways God blesses His people and in situations which may run contrary to how our culture thinks of being blessed.
With this in mind…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
Sometimes we think we must become the greatest Christian ever. The more faithful I am and the less I sin, the more God will love me, the more He will bless me. That is certainly how the world seems to work, but God is different than the world. Here he is blessing the poor in the spirit, not the spiritually rich.
Most of us know that we are, at least to some extent, poor in spirit. God has given us all a conscience and we know there are times we do things that aren’t right … a lot of times. The Holy Spirit, as well, convicts us of our sin. And while we often look to God’s Law to guide us, more often it serves the role of showing us our sin … showing us just how poor in spirit we really are.
This can seem bad at first. It’s scary to see how sinful we really are, but that also shows us our need for a savior. Thankfully, God doesn’t just show us our sin and leave us hopelessly in despair. He gives us the good news of the Gospel. He sent His Son to die for us, to be that savior we so desperately need. This is the Kingdom of God that Jesus was sent to establish and this is the same Kingdom of God which we have through Jesus Christ.
Yes, we are poor in spirit, but knowing that is a blessing! It draws us to the good news of the Gospel that we might enter the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ. What a wonderful blessing God has given us!
We confess that we have sinned against You and our fellow man. We are poor in spirit. Thank You for sending Your Son to die for us. Establish Your Kingdom of the Gospel in our hearts.