“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- Matthew 5:3
Do you know why people love false doctrine? They love false doctrine because they love false living. Too often, in our Christian walk, our doctrine and our character do not line up. We live out our lives divorcing what we profess to believe from how we live. Beginning in Matthew ch. 5, our Lord teaches us that what we believe defines how we live— our conduct flows out of our character.
When Jesus gives us the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Matt. 5) He is NOT giving us a blueprint on how to be saved. Jesus is not saying, “live like this in order to be saved.” Jesus is telling us to, “live like this BECAUSE you are saved.” You are saved— Matthew ch. 5 is who you are in Christ.
The Sermon on the Mount is the most straightforward depiction of those who have surrendered to Christ. Thus, is it any wonder that our Lord begins with “poor in spirit?” Who owns the kingdom of heaven? The "poor in spirit" do. Kingdom ownership begins with an impoverished soul.
Jesus uses the word “PTOCHOS” for poor, which depicts destitution. It describes someone who begs— begging for water, begging for food, begging for shelter. It is someone who is deeply convinced of their own sinfulness and spiritual bankruptcy. This person regards themselves as helpless, contrite, and broken before God.
So what does this mean for you? It means humility is the first letter in the alphabet of Christianity. You start low, and you stay there. Your "kingdom" credentials are your lack of credentials.
Daily, you must trust Christ, not because you've repented, but because He leads you in repentance.
Daily you come to Christ, not because you have a broken heart; you are coming to Him that He may break your heart for what breaks His.
You are not coming to Christ because you are worthy to come, you are coming to Him because you are unworthy. Your unworthiness makes you worthy.
It is rarely self-despair that keeps us from being all we are in Christ— it is self-esteem that holds us back. Our Lord knows this, so He begins the most famous sermon ever preached with "happy are the beggars."
Those who have peace with Christ acknowledge their spiritual poverty; they know that they, in themselves, do not have what it takes to be the person that they were created to be. So they look to Christ. Poor and hungry, they look to Christ, like beggars looking for a sandwich.
Your prayer today, “Lord, keep my spirit lean, hungry, and humble. I need you Lord like a beggar needs a sandwich.”