Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are those who mourn...

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4 CSB

Christ is more concerned with our character than our comfort. He wants us to know what the Christian is as well as does. In the Beatitudes Christ lays out the step-by-step directions for becoming the Christian we have the power to be only through Him. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit...

The first step Jesus gave us 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 own efforts.

Poor in Spirit is the opposite of pride, self-assurance, or 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. 

Blessed are those who mourn...

The second beatitude is about the brokenness we feel over our own sin.  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 our sin, which brings recognition of our spiritual need for God.  

When we truly realize who we are before God and become humble; we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Viewing our sin before God will break our heart - and God will be our burden-bearer.  He will draw alongside us and turn grief into joy. 

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