"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
It has been said that Jesus' sermon on the mount provides the meat of his ethical system. It is the sermon that articulates and advocates for a lifestyle that is uniquely counter-cultural and joyfully free. Its an alternative vision for living, that Jesus simply describes as "the kingdom of God"
The world blessed can be loosely translated as "happy" or "fortunate". It means that because we experience the described state or activities, we are made happy and should count ourselves as fortunate.
The initial state of being "poor in spirit" suggests a state of poverty of our souls. A state of poverty means to be deprived of necessary things. We recognize the effects of social poverty easily, but poverty of the soul is much more sublime and profound.
Poverty of the soul is the state of seeing that you bring nothing to God. It is the understanding that are souls are in such need from God, that we dare not approach God with a sense of entitlement.
This is not a neutral statement, where we are to see yourselves as empty that simply needs to be filled. No, its actually a negative status, where we are also wicked that needs to be made righteous.
True poverty of the spirit begins with a sense of our own sinfulness. It begins by realizing that the evil of the world around us, began with the evil within. Poverty of the spirit recognizes that we do not have the capability or the desires to be righteousness and Godly, but that left up to our own devices, we will hurt others, ourselves, and our causes.
True poverty of the spirit humbles us to realize that apart from God, we are not blessings to one another, but simply curses that multiple the pain and agony of life.
While this seems so dark, it is essential that we arrive at poverty of spirit, because it marks the beginning of our spiritual revitalization. It is the mark of a people, ready to be shaped and molded.
When was the last time that you wrestled with your own evils? When was the last time your realized that you can not "fix" yourself, but that God alone can. The same God waits to bless you once you to come to this realization. God's desire is not that we remain poor in spirit, but that we become whole in him.
I pray today that you will receive a blessing because of your poverty of spirit. That blessing is found in wholeness, peace, and love that comes from God, and not ourselves.
God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor