The Blessing of Being....Poor? Matthew 5:3 -Ben Robertson



Last time, we addressed that Jesus was about to teach the disciples that they probably, as all of us, had the wrong idea about what following Jesus would mean. He wastes no time coming out of the gate with these cutting words-”Blessed are the poor in spirit”. Wait, what? What do You mean blessed are the poor in spirit? How can you be blessed and at the same time poor in anything? If I'm “blessed” doesn’t that mean that I'm NOT lacking? This is where they started, this is where we all start.

Let's, first, look at definitions.

Blessed: of or enjoying happiness; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person.

Poor:a: less than adequate.

b:small in worth.

Spirit: an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms.

All definitions from

So we can say: “People who enjoy happiness will have a less than adequate spirit, so, also will have a less than adequate life”

That doesn't sound like blessed. Does it?

Remember, this is where we start, not where we finish. We start with the recognition that we can't do it by ourselves. We have to recognize that we NEED God, because we can't look to ourselves to find sufficient peace with who we are. We are broken, and we NEED Jesus.

Isaiah 57:15

New Living Translation (NLT)

15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,

the Holy One, says this:

“I live in the high and holy place

with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.

I restore the crushed spirit of the humble

and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.

Psalm 51:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.

You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God

We see from the above scriptures that we need to have a humble heart to see the need for God. It's important to see the entire idea. We must have humility, a contrite heart and broken spirit to approach God, because we have to admit we are broken, that we can't do it on our own. That we care nothing about our own glory, but that we want God to show His glory through us. But if God left us there then it wouldn't be good news at all. The good news comes from God's promise to receive that broken spirit and bless it. Psalm 51:17 says He will NOT reject a broken and repentant heart. That's the good news-that He will not leave you to mend yourself. You only have to recognize your broken, and then simply give it to Him! That's awesome news!

But the world says to be proud. Be self-sufficient. Don't depend on anything or anyone else-you are responsible for you. God, on the other hand says-Bring it to Me, as soon as you get tired of trying to measure up, give it to Me, My yoke is easy, religion is hard but a relationship with Jesus is a Blessing! And all it takes, is recognizing that you NEED HIM! How much more simple could it be?

So, how do we apply this? How do we do it? Sure it sounds simple, but how do we develop this?

James 4:7-10

New Living Translation (NLT)

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Again, it doesn't look like “good news” if you stop reading at verse 9 but look at the promise in vs.10.

There is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by Jesus. I have tried to fill that hole with everything imaginable, and a temporary sense of shallow contentment is all I could ever hope for. It's a tiring pursuit to make more money, to do more good, to acquire more stuff, to find a better career, to pursue more acceptance of people. It will wear you out, until you ask God to fill that hole. Nobody can do it but God. Even our religious practice is a shallow and empty series of events until it shifts from being a pursuit of being recognized by God to an overflow of our relationship with Jesus. But, more on that later. So, gather up all of those broken pieces and offer them to God, you will be amazed at what He can do with them. Hope you come back next time when we look at the blessings of mourning.

Until then, God Bless

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