“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Blessings and Woes
When Jesus was talking about blessing, the crowd understood there were also woes. Luke records several contradictory statements, one being: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20) and “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” (Luke 6:24)
Being Destitute before God
Two words are translated “poor,” one meaning poor and the other destitute. Matthew uses the word known as destitute. Someone poor may be able to work themselves out of poverty, but a destitute person is hopelessly in need, they cannot get themselves out of their condition. They end up begging for an existence.
Poor in Spirit
When Jesus talks about the poor in spirit, he is referring to being spiritually bankrupt. The person recognizes their need and correctly responds. They evaluate their condition accurately.
Living in the Kingdom
You enter the Kingdom and live in the Kingdom by continually recognizing your absolute poverty. You have nothing to give and are unable to work yourself out of your predicament. You are a destitute beggar before God, willing to ask for help.
Seeking to be Taught
Begging before God requires being teachable and correctable. Mature followers of Jesus are not only teachable, but seek out opportunities to be corrected.
Where is the Kingdom?
When living in the Kingdom on earth God’s will is done like it is in heaven. He rules! As people recognize spiritual poverty and remain teachable, they experience Kingdom living.
Allowing God to Rule
The more you earnestly plead your condition before God, the more He rules your life. The less you recognize your need and fail to pray, the less He rules.
You cannot get into the Kingdom by yourself. By joining arms with the church, you experience the Kingdom. Join ranks with others who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy and live in the Kingdom.
Heaven on Earth
The Kingdom is heaven on earth and is for those:
- recognizing and acknowledging their spiritual bankruptcy
- seeing themselves as dependent upon God and pleading for His help
- evaluating themselves accurately, remaining teachable before God and the church
Accurately recognize your spiritual condition and examine yourself. Be teachable, asking God to constantly and faithfully rule your life. By grace you can experience heaven on earth.
What are some practical ways you strive to remain poor in spirit? Share your comments below.