TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, April 23, 2019:
Needy; not rich; little or no wealth; humble.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom in heaven.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Did you notice that every beatitude begins with the word “Blessed?” It must be understood what Jesus meant by “blessed.” Blessed does not mean worldly prosperity and a life of ease. The word blessed from the world’s perspective means happiness found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure and such things. To the believer in Jesus to be blessed means to experience hope and joy outside of prosperity and circumstances. It is a feeling bestowed by God that brings real happiness. It can be obtained only by following Jesus.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” is the first Beatitude that Jesus taught in His famous Sermon on the Mount. The POOR IN SPIRIT are empty of all spiritual pride. A spirit of pride is the spirit of this age of which Satan is god. To be poor in spirit is to have a “contrite and humble spirit” as Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 57:15.
Being “poor in spirit” does not mean that a person must be poverty stricken and financially poor. Hunger, nakedness, and slums are not pleasing to God, especially in a world of plenty. Christ in this Beatitude is not speaking about material poverty.
First of all, being “poor in spirit”, as Jesus was teaching, means for us to acknowledge our utter helplessness before God. It is the opposite of feeling self-sufficient. We must recognize our spiritual poverty and spiritual neediness. We are to be solely dependent upon God to meet our need and not to rely on ourselves.
Secondly, it is to acknowledge our spiritual deadness and our inability to face life and eternity apart from God. For us to have the real blessings of life and eternity it will only come from having a right relationship with God.
And finally, being “poor in spirit” is to acknowledge our lack of superiority before all others. This is acknowledging that we are no better, no richer, and no more superior to the next person, no matter what we have achieved in this world. We are to approach life with a humble attitude, contributing all we can to a needy world out of a spirit of appreciation for what God has done for us.
The message translation of this beatitude says; “You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God.” That says it very plainly, doesn’t it?
The opposite of being poor in spirit is having a spirit full of self. There is a world of difference between these two spirits. There is a difference in thinking that we are righteous in ourselves versus that we need the righteousness of Christ. Self righteousness dies but the righteousness that is of Christ lives forever.
A person that acknowledges his spiritual poverty turns his attention away from the things of this world and reaches out to God and seeks His kingdom. There is no substitute in all the world for what God has to offer us as believers.
The poor in spirit are weary of the deceptive enticements of this world and burdened for those who are lost in the world we live in. The poor in spirit receive from God the gift of life everlasting and eternal fellowship with God.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 14:27.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid.
Help me to acknowledge my spiritual poverty and give me a desire to have more of Jesus and less of me that I might know all the blessings of God’s blessing. Help me to always seek Your righteousness and allow You to be in control of my life.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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