“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The miracles Jesus performed comprised the bulk of our Savior’s ministry to the people of Galilee and Judah but in many ways the affect of those actions were transitory, the impact was only immediate and short lived. The same cannot be said about the words of his teaching. What our Savior said when he taught echoes down through the generations and still touches hearts and shapes lives today.
Matthew chapter five begins what is perhaps the most complete account of one of Jesus’ sermons. He begins with a poem of his own making. At first it appears to be a series of proverbial statements but closer consideration reveals that it’s actually a summary each person’s experience as God work’s his salvation in their life.
The first part of that statement, “Blessed are the poor in spirit … ,”tells us that spiritually we’re bankrupt, we have nothing to offer God, nothing within ourselves to rely on, or trust in, to merit or purchase acceptance before God. The statement also tells us that we’re blessed if we realize this fact.
Far too often and for far too long we work to prove our worth to ourselves and to God. The truth is that whatever innate value we may have is totally eclipsed by the mountain of debt our sin has accumulated for us. Spiritually we’re so bankrupt we’ll never be able to even come close to digging ourselves out of the hole we’re in.
So how are we blessed?
Realizing this truth about ourselves has the potential of setting us up to stop trying to earn our way into God’s good graces and to simply accept the grace his love for us is already freely offering. As soon as we do this, wretched, poor, blind and naked though we may be, the kingdom of heaven is now ours to claim. Sonship to the God of the universe is not something we have to earn it’s a standing that’s ours to accept. Citizenship in the Kingdom of God isn’t ours to qualify for it’s ours to embrace.
Rest assured you’ll never be the same if you acknowledge your poverty, stop trying to become worthy of God’s favor and accept all that he’s offering, but the change cannot come before the acceptance it can only come after. We must become citizens of heaven and see that as our true home before we’ll ever let ourselves abandon the treasures of this world and our place in it.
That’s why the journey to grace begins with our accepting the fact that we’ve got nothin.
Are you ready to acknowledge your poverty? Are you ready to let go of those worthless pebbles you’ve been clutching so that you can accept the diamonds Jesus is offering?