The Poor in Spirit
Are you on Twitter or heard of #Healthyfaith Twitter chat?
You can find it when you click on Explore and enter #Healthyfaith.
The topics on #Healthyfaith vary from night to night, but each leader has a different topic for at least 8 weeks. Recently, on Thursday nights, we led our #Healthyfaith chat on the Beatitudes. For me, it was fun to gather research on Matthew 5:3-12 and come up with questions based on these scriptures.
Since the Twitter chat topic changed to the Names of God, I’d like to share what I’ve learned through my study of the Beatitudes over the next nine weeks on this blog.
I hope you find it encouraging, educating, and even life-changing.
Here we go!
And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:10 ESV
Biology was and is my favorite subject. I loved learning about the different plants, animals, cells, and fungi in the world, especially how we as humans fit into it all. This world belongs to our Creator and everything in it He made it with a purpose—except mosquitos….I’m not sure of their purpose other than to feed bats and dragonflies…but that’s another subject.
As a biologist, I have taught many classes on the six different kingdoms of biology. Starting from the smallest single-cell kingdoms like Archaebacteria and Eubacteria up to the largest multi-celled kingdoms of plants and animals—from the mosquito to the Blue whale. These kingdoms represent every life form on this planet.
The largest is the animal kingdom, which includes humans.
Amongst all the kingdoms we learn about, the most important one we will ever know is God’s. He created His Kingdom, and appointed Jesus as King, to represent and usher all humans into it.
Because we can’t see this awesome place God has for us, many people decide to build their own out of their dissatisfaction.
One way the enemy entices us is through our profession. We may be a secular business, a Christian ministry, or even an author—trying to build a personal kingdom of followers to buy our products and embrace our vision. Our kingdom and brand adopt our name.
You are the customer. Everyone we know—from people we worship with to friends and family becomes potential clients and/or purchasers.
We become the king of our kingdom.
This is what others teach us to do.
Now, I’m not saying we are trying to usurp God’s Kingdom and authority. But, it is easy to get caught up in our own kingdom-building.
Even the Pharisees had problems with this. They weren’t all bad either. We see in Luke 17:20:
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.Luke 17:20
The Kingdom of Heaven
What does that mean?
One rabbi said, “When a person committed himself daily to love God with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, (by saying the Shema) he had “received upon himself the kingdom of heaven.” (https://engediresourcecenter.com/2019/09/04/what-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven/)
For us, the Kingdom of Heaven/God is in our hearts when we make the Lord- King of all we are and do. The Kingdom of Heaven lives in us!
For us, the Kingdom of Heaven is in our hearts when we make Jesus, King of all we are and do. #ThisSideofHeaven #BlessedarethePoorinSpiritTweet
In Matthew 5, we learn what type of people make up His kingdom.
The Poor in Spirit
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The phrase Blessed are translates from the Hebrew as O the blessedness of or The gladness of. This is not a condition of the person who is poor in spirit, but the reality of the person.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
The Hebrew term means to “crouch like a helpless beggar.” (https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Brit_Chadashah/Beatitudes/beatitudes.html)
This represents a person in absolute need of God to take care of them. This is humility at its best.
A person who is poor in spirit is the opposite of worldly thinking—independent, proud, with an “I have it all-I need nothing” attitude.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus begins with the poor in spirit in the Beatitudes?
Without the knowledge and understanding that we are nothing more than helpless beggars, we will never be peacemakers, we will never mourn, never be humble, or hunger and thirst for His righteousness….get the picture?
But that is only in this world. In the Heavenly places, God will esteem the humble, poor in spirit, peacemakers, persecuted, and the compassionate. God loves these traits in us.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.James 4:10
O the gladness of being poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.Matt. 5:3
It is a blessing as well as a state of gladness to recognize we are poor in spirit. We will have the Kingdom of Heaven living within us until the day Jesus takes us to Heaven to live with Him forever!