Blessed are the poor in spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3)

To be poor in spirit is to acknowledge before God and others that you are spiritually bankrupt, that you have nothing of worth that you can bring to God or give to others. All you have is filthy rags, as Paul described human righteousness. You are admitting helplessness and insufficiency, which are very un-American concepts, but very biblical ones.

I like the way The Message puts this verse. “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

To be at the end of your rope is to admit you have gotten yourself in a fix that you can’t get yourself out of. That you are hopelessly and gloriously confused and lost. That you need Someone to rescue you.

It also means that you aren’t in the Who’s Who of Christianity or in the Most Likely to Succeed in Spirituality. From a worldy perspective, you don’t count. But in God’s eyes, you are a treasure and a masterpiece. I like what Brennan Manning says about this verse:

“You poor, you nobodies, you of little account by the world’s standards, you are blessed. It is my Father’s good pleasure to give you a privileged place in the kingdom– not because you worked so hard, and not because you are saying all the right things or doing all the right things or becoming all the right things, but because my Father wants you.”

So if you feel like giving up or quitting, don’t. Remember that God loves you. He’s very fond of you and He will never give up on you. He has placed people in your life who are cheering you on and who will also never give up on you. Remember that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to people like you. It is God’s good pleasure to give it to you.

And the best part about the Kingdom is that God comes with it. Better yet, the Kingdom of God is God Himself. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is the Holy Spirit power that raised Christ from the dead. And it’s yours.

As always, I believe. Help my unbelief.


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