Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) What does it mean to be poor in spirit? What does that look like in real life? Poor in spirit is the first mark of a person who genuinely walks with God, knowing that before Him you have nothing to offer. That my friends is what one of the most talented people who ever lived before the time of Jesus found out. He was a well known silver tongued prophet celebrated for marvelous ministry. If he was around today people would fill stadiums to hear him preach, millions would follow him on twitter or facebook. Here is the story of this Godly preacher. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up and His robe filled the temple. The seraphim called out, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The foundations shook. The house was filled with smoke. And I said, Woe is me, for I am lost. (Isaiah 6:1-4)
If Isaiah the prophet is lost, what does that mean for the rest of us? You see what Isaiah is saying: “The world sees my gifts and my talents, but before this sovereign, holy, awesome God, I have nothing to offer.” Isaiah had been in ministry for some time when this happened, but when God came near to him like this, it brought him to a completely different view of himself. However much you may be celebrated for your gifts and talents by others, you are bankrupt before Him? Have you come close enough to Him to see that whatever your position in the world you are in an entirely different position before God. You have something to offer your family, your company, your friends, and your team, but if you walk with God, you will identify with the apostle Paul when he asks “What do you have that you did not receive?” How do you have these gifts? Where did they come from? Since all that you have was given by God, what can you ever offer to Him? When Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit theirs is the the Kingdom of Heaven, he is talking present time not future. That makes this statement all the more powerful because all the other Beatitudes are in the future, but Jesus is talking about a taste of Heaven now. Life in this world is a long way from Heaven, so how can we have a taste of it now? Isaiah 57:15, Thus says the one who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, (that is Heaven) but also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit. How powerful is that ?!?!?! God is in Heaven, but he wants us to know that He also lives with the person who has a lowly spirit. Heaven is to live with God, and the poor in spirit get a taste of it, because God comes to live with them. If you want to move beyond the vague, religious belief that God lives at a distance from you, if you want a felt awareness of God's presence in your life, this is where you must begin. God dwells with the person who is poor in spirit. Heaven is in the humble, before the humble are in Heaven........ Amen

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