Beatitudes: Poor in Spirit

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I love the many lessons we can share from the Sermon on the Mount in which Christ gave the Beatitudes.  Can you picture it?  Jesus is sitting on the side of a mountain and as people began to draw near him, he started to teach them how to live in God’s favor.  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:3 (NLT)

Blessed means happy and to be envied are those in God’s Kingdom; they receive God’s favor.  Jesus is referring to the physically poor in this verse, but he reminds them that their trust in God is what makes them blessed.  That certainly is a contradiction in the world’s terms, but the Kingdom does tend to turn things upside down. In the Kingdom, wealth, power, and authority are unimportant, because Jesus is the Ruler who gives generously to all.  The Bible reminds us God’s ways are not our ways.  God has created His children to be generous in all things, too.  When you and I give love even when others mistreat us, God says we are blessed.  When we choose to help others even when they use us; God says we are blessed.  When we forgo something for ourselves in order to give to those who have nothing; God says we are blessed.  Certainly, following Jesus is going to call for sacrifice when it comes to some earthly pleasures, but the results are eternal rewards in God’s favor. 

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.  Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12