Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4
Christ is more concerned with our character than our comfort. He wants us to know what the Christian IS as well as DOES. This past Sunday Brother Van finished his sermon series on the Beatitudes in which Christ lays out the step by step directions for becoming the Christian we have the power to be through Him. This coming Sunday morning he will deliver a message on how we can take all the information from the Beatitudes and live our lives as disciples of Christ. Let’s review what we have learned in the past eight weeks.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 NASB
Step one in the stairway of Christian Character is to see God as He truly is and see ourselves as God sees us resulting in an understanding of our complete and abject poverty of spirit.  This awareness causes us to release any pretense of our ability to reach God in our efforts.
Poor in Spirit is the opposite of Pride...self-assurance, self-reliance. Pride leads us to believe that we are capable of things far beyond our capacity. Poor in Spirit = Total Spiritual Destitution, Bankrupt before God; beggars at the table of God's Grace.  It means we are needy of God's resources and totally dependent on Him.  Even the wealthiest of men physically can know their need of God in a desperate way in their spirit.
The poor in spirit have a teachable spirit. They are receptive people who know they need God's help and are ready to receive the help God gives. They know their own insufficiency.  God needs us to come to this place so we can be teachable to Him.
Importance of this Beatitude
·      It is the basis for all other beatitudes and fundamental for salvation. We must become "poor in spirit" before we can become rich in God's spiritual blessings and life.
·      It is a proper guideline for our relationship to God.  Self-sufficiency in any matter blocks a meaningful relationship to God. 
·      It is a proper guideline for our relationship to others.  A man who is humble before God will be humble before men. This is the heart preparation for sacrifice and service.
What blessed happiness belongs to the man who, realizing his complete spiritual poverty has put his whole trust in God, for this is the way that he can receive the blessings inherent in being an obedient servant of the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Matthew 5:4 NASB
Step two in the stairway of Christian Character is brokenness.  It is to mourn over our sin and our sinful condition and nature unto true repentance which results in pardon, peace and comfort. Mourning is the proper response to the realization that we are separated from God by our sinful nature.  Mourning over one's personal sin and the sins of the world is the path to comfort and strength—the pathway to true happiness. For many there is a sorrow for actions but not a sorrow for self.  They may apologize for what they did but never realize that the greater hurt was that it was they who did it.  The real pain to others is the hurt created in the relationship.  If the inner person is invaded by corrupting forces, the outer actions are affected. Out of the heart come the issues of life.

Some of the values of sorrow are: It is personal, it reveals values and affections, it provides contrast to appreciate happiness, it humbles out spirit, and it develops our character and strength.  The deepest mourning should be reserved for sin.  This brings recognition of our spiritual need for God.  When a man truly realizes who he is before God and becomes humble; he enters the Kingdom of Heaven.  Viewing his sin before God will break a man's heart - and God will be his burden-bearer.  He will draw alongside him and turn grief into joy.

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