Friday, October 28, 2022

Spiritual Poverty

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 NLT)

The Bible doesn’t commend poverty, but neither does it condemn wealth. Rather, the Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10 NLT).

When Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He wasn’t saying, “Happy are the poor.” He wasn’t suggesting that we live in complete poverty so we’ll be happy. 

Rather, the word Jesus used for “poor” means “to shrink, cower, or cringe,” as first-century beggars did. However, Jesus wasn’t speaking about physical poverty. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3 NLT). In other words, blessed are those who see their spiritual state before God. Before we can come into a relationship with God, we must realize that we are spiritually destitute. We must realize that we are not good.

We do not go to Christ to improve our lives a little; instead, we go to Christ to be saved from Hell and the results of our sins. We cannot save ourselves. We go to God as hopeless, helpless sinners.

The great British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “The way to rise is to sink self; the lower we fall in our own esteem, the higher shall we rise in our Master’s estimation.”

Regardless of our education, wealth, social standing, accomplishments, or religious knowledge, we must admit that we’re sinners. 

C. S. Lewis wrote, “Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good—above all, that we are better than someone else—I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil.”

Blessed are the ones who see their real condition before God and acknowledge it.

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