Saturday, December 31, 2016

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

By Hayley Boud

Mathew 5:1-10, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

Jesus saw the crowd and went up on the mountain where everyone would be able to see and hear Him.  He wanted all to hear His word.  Tonight, we are here to listen to God.  He wants us all to hear the Word of God.  Let’s open our ears.

Jesus sat down.  I wonder why?  Was He too tired to stand?  I doubt it.  In the culture that I was brought up in, sitting down is a sign of humility.  Bringing yourself to the level of others or even lower than others.  I’m not sure why Jesus sat down but it makes me think of our relationship with others.  When we want to share the Word of God with others, we need to be humble.  We need to be at their level, not lording over them or pointing our finger.  If we come with humility, people are more likely to hear what we are saying.  If we come with pride, no one will hear the words we are saying.  It will be a missed opportunity.

Jesus started by saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit.  That sounds the opposite of blessing.  We usually think of those who are rich as blessed. 

The word poor in Hebrew means poor, helpless, someone who is fallen down and needs lifting up.  Blessed are those that know they are helpless to save themselves.  Blessed are those that know that they have sinned and fallen down.  Blessed are those that know that only Christ can save us, only Christ can clean us of our sin and raise us up. 

Those who think they are rich spiritually are those that don’t know who they need Christ.  If we think we can save ourselves or we think we don’t even need saving, we will never be able to receive Jesus. 

The word spirit is the element of man that thinks, feels, reflects, desires, aims and moral qualities.  It is the element of faith in man.  We need to make our inner self to reflect on our words and actions.  Do they match God and His Word?  We need to feel shame when they don’t. 

Jesus went on to say that the poor in spirit are blessed because theirs is the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God is where the king dwells.  If we accept Him, He will dwell in us and when Christ comes back, we will dwell with Him in His Kingdom forever. The blessing is Jesus Himself.  We are blessed because Christ dwells in us.  We are completely satisfied because that is all we need.   All we need is Christ in us.  He is the One who fills us with joy, hope, strength. 

The Kingdom of God belongs to the humble, those that know who they are in front of God.  Those that recognise that only God can save them.  The Kingdom of God doesn’t belong to the proud who stand in front of the crowd and proclaim how great they are.  It doesn’t belong to those who look down on others and think they are better than them. 

It also doesn’t belong to those who realise they have sinned and fallen but stay sinning and fallen.  The poor are only blessed when they realise they are poor and make a decision to change.  If our conscience tells us we are wrong somewhere, we need to repent and make a decision to never go back to that way of living.  If our conscience tells us we are wrong but we carry on in that way, then we will just like those who think they are rich in spirit because the rich don’t think they need Jesus. 

Only those that see their sin and repent will inherit the Kingdom of God.  If we don’t see our sin, we will never know to repent and we will never enter the Kingdom of God.  If we see our sin and don’t repent, we will never enter the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, only those that see their sin and repent are blessed.  Only those that recognise they have fallen and accept for Christ to lift them up out of their sin are blessed because only those that accept to leave their sin will enter the Kingdom of God.

Lessons from today, we need to remain humble, we need to see who we really are in front of God, we need to apologise to God when we have fallen and we need to accept Christ to lift us up from that place of sin and take us to another place where we will make a decision not to sin anymore.  When we do this, we are truly blessed because we inherit the Kingdom of God.

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