Poor in Spirit
by Pat McIntosh
“I wish I could buy him for he’s worth, and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.” I heard that statement often as I was growing up. It was uttered to describe one who is arrogant and egotistical. We have all known many people like that and have been “put off” by their behavior. The first beatitude clearly denounces the behavior, indicating that the one who will “inherit the kingdom of God” will have the opposite attitude.
The Bible is literally filled with paradoxes. To live, one must die. To be loved by God, one is hated by the world. In the first beatitude, Jesus indicated that truly realizing the nature of our blessing and fortune involves some sort of poverty. No, we are not discussing physical blessings, per se. It is not inherently wrong to have money, live in a nice house, drive a nice car and wear nice clothes. But, it is wrong if that is the measure of success and happiness.
Material poverty does not guarantee heaven. One can be deep in poverty and still believe that material things will bring ultimate joy and happiness. That thinking is doomed to failure. True happiness and blessing is the result of humbling ourselves and realizing our utter helplessness and hopelessness without Him.
This attitude serves as the basis for all the others we will study in this series. Once we “empty ourselves” of worldly concerns and standards, we can begin to fill ourselves with those things that provide lasting benefit. May we be those who emulate the example of Jesus in such concerns. It will be the “poor in spirit” who will receive “the kingdom of heaven.”
Sunday A.M. Sermon – “The Beatitudes (2): Poor In Spirit”
Introduction – Matt. 5:1-12; Prov. 30:7-9; Phil. 4:11-13
- What should our attitude be? – 2 Cor. 4:5; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; 1 Kgs. 3:5-9; Lk. 18:9-14; Matt. 26:33-35; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Phil. 3:3-8
- “Poor in Spirit” Defined – 1 Cor. 3:18; Psa. 8:3-4;
- “Ours is the Kingdom of Heaven” – Eph. 2:12; Gal. 2:20
P.M. Sermon – “Contending for the Faith” (Jude 1-4)