“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Lately it seems that we Saints 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 flourish. This whole situation calls attention to the fact that we Saints 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 His Kingdom.
The Sermon on the Mount helps us put our lives in perspective for it contains the underlying tenets and principles of the Kingdom of God. These opening verses which delineate the beatitudes are 8 blessings given for 8 qualities that Christians manifest or ought to. These 8 qualities are not a smorgasbord from which we can pick and choose. They are an interconnected group that ought to describe every believer. Each one is to be poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker and persecuted.
The first beatitude is vital to Kingdom living. Christians are to be poor in spirit. No one gets into God’s Kingdom without this poverty for to be poor in spirit is to acknowledge our spiritual deprivation, 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 those 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. When they receive it and are comforted with the promise of unity with God through Jesus Christ for all eternity.