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Devotionals by Greg Laurie

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

What It Means to Be Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:2 nkjv)

If we rewrote the Beatitudes for our culture today, they probably would look like this:

Blessed are the wealthy, for they will have it all.

Blessed are the beautiful, for they will be admired.

Blessed are the popular, for they will be loved.

Blessed are the famous, for they will have followers on social media.

However, that isn’t what Jesus said. Instead, He started the Beatitudes with a bombshell: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:2 nkjv). Or, to say it another way, “Happy are the poor in spirit.”

Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the poor.” Rather, He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (emphasis added). In itself there is no blessedness in being rich or poor. The Bible doesn’t commend poverty, nor does it condemn wealth.

But the Bible does say this: “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10 nkjv). I’ve met wealthy people who were happy and poor people who were miserable. I’ve also met poor people who were happy and wealthy people who were miserable.

So it isn’t about your bank account. It’s about your spiritual state before God. The word poor in this verse comes from a verb meaning “to shrink, cower, or cringe.” Beggars often did this in Jesus’ day.

If you want to be happy, if you want to receive God’s blessing, then you must be poor in spirit. This means recognizing your spiritual poverty apart from God. It means recognizing the simple fact that, apart from the Lord, you’re lost, helpless, and hopeless.

If you want to be happy, then admit your true spiritual state. Blessed are those who see themselves as they really are, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Copyright © 2019 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Many years ago I wrote hundreds of notes and articles for a unique Bible that was made specifically for new believers. Recently, I’ve refreshed many of those notes and added new ones to create a brand-new edition of the New Believer’s Bible. You can receive the easy-to-understand New Believer’s New Testament with my updated notes in thanks for your gift of support today.

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About GregLaurie.TV

GregLaurie.TV  features the teaching of Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. Join Pastor Greg as he teaches God's Word in a relevant, practical, and understandable way. Discover biblical insights and learn how to know God and make Him known!

About Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie pastors Harvest Christian Fellowship (one of America's largest churches) in Riverside, California and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California. He has authored several books including the Gold Medallion Award winner, The Upside Down Church, as well as Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners and The Best Is Yet to Come. You can find his study notes in the New Believer’s Bible, The Seeker’s Bible, and the Start! Bible.

Host of the television program GregLaurie.TV  and the nationally syndicated radio program A New Beginning, Laurie is also the founder and featured speaker for Harvest Crusades — contemporary, large-scale evangelistic outreaches, which local churches organize nationally and internationally — and Harvest America, which offers churches nationwide the opportunity to host a crusade event simultaneously from their own local venues.

Whether speaking or writing, God has gifted Pastor Greg Laurie with the ability to apply biblical principles to current events in a way that is relevant and easily understood by people of all ages, from all walks of life. The trademark of a Greg Laurie sermon, book, or broadcast is his contemporary, yet straightforward style and format. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Cathe.

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