“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Lately it seems that we all feel troubled, frustrated and powerless due to all that is going on in the world. These things in the world frustrate us because we really can do little or nothing to resolve them. We feel powerless and victimized. The wicked ways and values of the world permeate society and government on every level. Laws and customs have been changed to allow sin and selfishness to grow and prosper. This whole situation emphasizes the fact that we believers do not belong in this world. We are not first and foremost citizens of our nation. We are primarily citizens of the Kingdom of God. And there is a great gap between the culture and values of the world and the Kingdom.
The Sermon on the Mount helps us put our lives in perspective for the underlying basis for the tenets and principles of the Kingdom lies within the beatitudes. These beatitudes are 8 blessings given for 8 qualities that Christians manifest. These 8 qualities are not a smorgasbord from which we can pick and choose. They are an interconnected group that describes every believer. Each one is to be poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker and persecuted.
The first beatitude may trouble us, but it is vital to Kingdom living. Christians are to be poor in spirit. To be poor in spirit is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, that we have nothing to offer God. We are sinners who are spiritually bankrupt deserving only God’s wrath and judgment. Only those who repent, who recognize and admit their spiritual poverty receive the blessing of faith and citizenship in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not a blessing for the wealthy, the winners, the successful, the movers and shakers, the self-sufficient, the powerful or the popular. Such rarely admit they are sinners or that they need help from God. The kingdom is a blessing given to the feeble, the weak, the humble, the losers, the inept and the rejects of society all who know they have nothing to offer God, who know they can achieve nothing of value or worth. All they can do is cry to God for help and the blessing of God’s mercy. And they receive it and are comforted.