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The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by Jame...

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My husband is currently preaching through a sermon series on The Beatitudes, so naturally I thought this would be a good starting point for our Tuesday series.  Last week we began our study of The Beatitudes by looking at how Jesus set the stage for this  teaching.  He chose the location (away from distractions), controlled the timing, and captivated His listeners.  Now let’s see what He said to them (and still says to us)…

 1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit…

Jesus begins by outlining the spiritual state of someone as they come to realize that they don’t have it all together.  When a person comes to the end of herself, she transitions from being rich in pride to “poor in spirit.”  This is the point where she admits her need for a Savior.  So how is this person blessed? The blessings Christ taught of in The Beatitudes refer to the happiness that He divinely gives to those who believe in Him.  When a person comes to realize the need for Christ’s lordship in their lives, they can be happy because they know He can give them what they need – salvation.  Psalm 146:5 explains this well: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,  Whose hope is in the LORD his God…

…for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

My husband points out, “The word theirs is possessive; we as believers share the kingdom of Heaven as heirs with Christ” as stated in Romans 8:16-17: “16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”  Poor in spirit is realizing that you have nothing of worth to offer God, but you know that God has everything to offer you.  And it starts with salvation, which leads to a stake in the kingdom of Heaven.

Questions for Meditation and Reflection:

  • Think back to your salvation experience, and what it felt like to realize that you needed to lay your pride aside and admit your need for a Savior.  Have there been times lately when pride has started to creep back into your life?  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal an area in which you need to exchange “pride richness” for “spirit poorness.” Then ask Him for the grace to make the changes He shows to you.
  • Are you reading this and saying to yourself, “I haven’t had a salvation experience.  What does that mean, anyway? How can I find out more?”  Just click on this link: http://bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation
Dear God, Thank You for your Word, the Bible.  Thank You for giving us a written record of the ministry of Jesus so that we can know how to model our lives after Him.  We don’t have to guess.  Holy Spirit, thank You for guiding us and giving us discernment as we pray and study the Scriptures.  Please help us to live the way God wants us to as outlined in Micah 6:8 – to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.  Amen.