The Beatitudes: Day 2

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

by

Today's Text: Matthew 5:3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Revelation 3:17-22

Text: Matthew 5:3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Revelation 3:17-22

“He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit.”
-John Calvin

When we were first married, we spent half a year working for a company after they stopped paying us. We had signed a contract for a year, but halfway in they came upon hard times, and the paychecks just stopped. We were committed to the project, had a little money saved up, and didn’t really know what to do, so we finished the contract.

Now that we are older, a little less idealistic, and more laden with responsibilities, we probably wouldn’t be able to manage that. Granted, the word “poor” is relative, and short of insurmountable homeless starvation, we’re all holding on okay. But during that particular season, we were poor.

I don’t like to be poor. I don’t even like to feel poor.

Money is an insulation from the world. We use it to keep from feeling hungry, cold, and sad. Strength and power insulate us, too—all these things give us the illusion that we are in control. But the “poor in spirit” are those who have no power; they are the demoralized, the dejected. They can be fiscally poor, or lonely, or rejected; but regardless, they have lost all hope of finding power in themselves.

In the eyes of the world, the poor in spirit are the lowest of the low. People who can’t help themselves, or people who don’t believe in themselves, must not deserve all the good things life has to offer, we reason. We put so much value on hard work and grit that the poor in spirit are the most undervalued members of society.

But that’s the upside down version. The world is upside down, but Christ sets things right again. When He said “the last shall be first,” He meant it (Matthew 20:16). The poor in spirit have nothing, but that nothingness empties them of the illusion of their own power, enabling them to rely wholly on God. And to those who totally rely on Him, God gives the earth as an inheritance. He doesn’t promise that they’ll conquer the earth in their own power, somehow taking it for themselves; they will inherit the earth. For the meek, the earth will come to them gently, naturally, like a bequest. The world is upside down, but God sets it upright again.

In an unexpected way, we suddenly have reason to be grateful for the absence of paychecks, the blindsiding blows, and the losses that reduce us to emptiness. Poverty of the heart forces us to rely on the mercy of God. Jesus says they are “blessed” and “happy” who find themselves poor in spirit. Without our insulating security we have no refuge but God, and that blessed contradiction is a glimpse of what earth will look like, right side up, as it is heaven (Matthew 6:10).

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  • Stephanie Yielding

    We live in a society where our girls are taught that they can do anything, be anything, we are a “you got this” society, christians included…myself included. This study has reminded me that I shouldn’t have an attitude (or teach my daughter, or sons for that matter) of my own abilities. In our country, our world, it’s so commonplace to talk about our own strength and power. But Jesus himself tells us that those who have that “nothingness”, that powerlessness…those are the ones who will be rewarded. It will definitely enable us to rely wholly and completely on God. And it shouldn’t be just in the tough times. But in ALL times. In ALL things. Thank you for your breakdown of this…i see this scripture in a new light! God bless!

  • Christine

    Thank you for this message, yes you can feel rejected from many (organizations, family members, peers, groups, church members, etc.) people. It is exciting to know that God is still with us during these periods. God truly cares for us. He knows how many hairs are on our heads.

  • N'Tara Hendrix

    What a beautiful message! We must remember that if/when we are poor in spirit and getting down on ourselves it’s the Lord who we must and ultimately depend on to show us the way.

  • Kimberly

    I needed this one today. God bless!

  • Andrea Z.

    Be intentional about realizing that wholly depending on God is the definition of being poor in the spirit. Love that!

  • As a parent I feel very poor In spirit. There is no manual that children come with. I never had good parents so I feel like I have no one but God to go to for advice. My child is very difficult and sometimes even violent and he’s only 7. I’ve gone to parenting groups and have tried everything they suggest, but nothing works my son just doesn’t listen to me. I’ve spent a lot of time crying out to God that I just don’t know what to do with my son. I love my son and I don’t want to give up on him, but I’m exhausted. I have nothing left that I know how to do and I just need God to help, but right now I feel that he’s forsaken me he’s silent and not responding to my cry for help

    • Marilyn

      Praying for you and your son, Hope. Have you tried seeking counseling for him? I raised three daughters, and I wish I would have sought counseling for my oldest earlier in life. I was either in denial or too embarrassed to do so until she was in high school. I think if she had had a Christian counselor earlier in life, it would have helped her avoid a lot of anxiety and depression. I’m guessing here, but are you a single mom? I know how hard that can be when you are responsible for everything and have no one else to turn to. I’ll pray that God will help you find a good counselor and support group to offer the guidance that you and your son need.

    • Laura

      Hi Hope,
      I ,too, know what it is like to feel that God doesn’t hear and doesn’t care about our sufferings. But you are his child and he will not leave you alone.
      I will be praying that God would give you strength to deal with your sons disobedience. I hope that you will find comfort in God’s promises for you.

      But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. – Psalm 4:3

      Love, Laura

    • Kylee

      Know this: You are loved. You are so loved regardless of how hard this is, God has not turned his back on you! Our kids are great big canvases for God’s grace and forgiveness, as we try new things and figure out what works and what doesn’t, exhausting our own resources and requiring us to rely solely on Jesus. He’s going to honor your efforts. He’s not going to leave you. Stay strong. This is the hardest job in the world!! I’m praying strength for you & for peace in your household.

    • Mary

      Hi Hope! I have a son I love that is often my greatest source of the “I can’t do this” feeling as a parent. After speaking to a friend, I followed her advice and sought a Christian counselor to help him deal with his own struggles with anxiety and fear. (He is 6) I was surprised to find my insurance covered this and that made it easier to commit to taking him. He LOVES his therapist, looks forward to their time together, and has already learned some good methods to help him cope w his anxiety. I also, have found her to be comforting as she encourages me in parenting him. I am praying you find this for you and your son – we all need a little support!!

  • I love how Jesus starts his sermon with this scripture. The masses have come. He’s gathered his disciples up on a hill to discuss the game plan. They may be feeling a little scared – some might be feeling like pop stars because all these people have come to see them. And the first thing Jesus does is check them: you are not superior to any of these people.

    Yes the disciples made the decision to drop everything and follow Jesus. Yes they are trying to live a life of good works. But only through God’s grace were they saved. They are not superior to anyone else.

    Recently someone stole a lot of money from me. But blessed are the poor in spirit for they will inherit the kingdom of God.

    I’ve also recently experienced racism in my life. But blessed are the poor in spirit for they will inherit the kingdom of God.

    It’s hard to think the thief and the racist will inherit the kingdom of God. They both have caused me a great deal of pain. But through God’s grace, all people can be saved.

    We can help by maintaining a heart of compassion and by keeping our very earthly desire to feel superior in check. I’m no better than the thief or the racist. I just know how to love, thanks be to the grace of God.

  • Brianna Goodman

    I’m in full-time ministry and have been living on the other side of the world for over a year now. In every way I feel reduced to infancy… not fluent in the language, seeing little progress on the field, and overall feeling totally worthless. Not making a practice of bringing my whole heart–with all its fears, longings, dreams, issues–to the Lord has reduced me to a place of desperation. I feel so far from Him and am tempted to believe I am a burden to Him. But He has been telling me over and over that He loves me and His grace covers me, fully.. that I live and breathe and labor by grace and grace alone. This passage and devotional today brought me to tears because it was so poignant and from Him. Oh, Abba Father, would you humble us as your Son was humble! And show us who we really are, that we can be free from illusions of power and control and trying to put our worth and identity in what we possess or accomplish!

    • Marby Iglesias

      Thank you for sharing your heart. We planted a church two years ago and can really relate to those same feelings of despair. God is doing a great work and using us in ways we sometimes do not see…even if only to sanctify our lives and make us more like Christ. Press on sister and I pray that your love for Jesus will grow in this trying season and that the Harvest of your labor would soon come. That you would have spiritual eyes to see him working in mysterious ways and that your joy would be made new. Much love!

      • Rachel Sweatt

        Amen and amen! In total agreement with Marby. Praying for refreshed vision with spiritual eyes and renewed FERVOR for you, Brianna! Keep doing the incredible Kingdom work you are faithfully pursuing. Eyes planted firmly on Jesus.

  • Jennifer B

    I know that I am poor in spirit because a lot of times I feel like nothing I do is pleasing God. I feel that I am making one mistake after another. I must remember that God loves me and I need to rely on him for strength and not my own reasoning. By doing this it can strengthen me because all things are possible through Christ.

    • EmyDiaz

      Hello, i used to feel tjat way… until i accepted that Jesus is the way. We cannot serve both worlds! God gave us every power to dismiss all thoughts that are not from him and the more we practice that, the more we become pure hearted.. leading to good actions, choices and life lead closest to Jesus. :)

  • Alexandra

    I’m reading this a couple days late, but wow God provides. This is exactly what I needed today after an extremely demoralizing blindside and embarrassment. I know I am poor in spirit in this moment and can only rely on God to lift me up and give me hope. I pray He will fill my heart with peace during this difficult time.

  • Sonja Matthews

    “The poor in spirit have nothing, but that nothingness empties them of the illusion of their own power enabling them to rely wholly on God.”

    Father I pray this with an reluctant heart, but I know full well that my own illusion of power and control has hindered me from a deeper relationship with you and fully relying on you everyday. Help me let go of my “control” or perceived notion of it!

  • ❤️

  • Father, help me to be poor. I m afraid of being poor… Escpecially to be poor in spirit… This world tells me too be full of confident, because only that attitude will help me when I am not pretty enough. But I can’t. Can’t do it by myself. Give me please Your Spirit today, set your light on the topics I need to speak about at work, show me where I can say friendly words and blessings. Let your humble beauty shine in me, trough me, over me. That is so much better then any fake prettiness. Glory to You! Amen.

  • Keri McCue

    I have found in my experience that I feel closer to God in “hard times” whether that be hard times financially, physically, mentally, etc. I think this verse gives insight to that. When we aren’t distracted by all the “things” we have or the happiness of a new relationship or security of a new job, we can really see God at work. Not to say that when we are in a good place and aren’t struggling we WON’T be close to God, but it IS easier to become distracted from Him when things in our lives seem to be going well. I love this call to really be intentional about being with Christ no matter what stage or phase of life we are in!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Thank You, Lord, for bringing me back to a place of hunger and thirst for Your Word! Today I enjoyed Bible study more than I have in a long time. I am desperate to hear from God in a personal way – so often I feel like my quiet time is routine and mundane. I needed a revival in my personal life and today I feel like that is beginning. It begins with humility and getting desperate for God. Thank You, Lord, for SheReadsTruth!

  • Lord Jesus, thank You for Your quiet humility. Keep us humble and poor in spirit that we may know and rely on You only. Amen.

  • I love the way this is written so simple. Thank God that even when we feel terrible about ourselves, God has something great in store for us.

  • Thank you, Amber…it is a profound feeling to know I am not alone. And a relief…such a relief.

  • So…I must tell you that I have (mistakenly?) always read this passage in a completely different light. As someone who has experienced clinical depression and anxiety (genetic) on and off for more than three decades, I have always identified with the description “poor in spirit.”

    And by the same token, I have taken great comfort in knowing that those of us who experience this uninvited, unwanted darkness will inherit joy and peace through Jesus. Is it just me who understands these scriptures in this way?

    • Amber

      I completely understand how you feel!

    • Jes

      I’m with you too. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lexi

      Absolutely yes. While I cry out for God to take this from me, I realize He may not. I may only find peace in my spirit once I’m with Him in Heaven.

    • Lana

      Hey Jamie. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 6. So I understand as well. My favorite book in the Bible that deals with depression is Jonah. When you look at it, that story is about God’s relationship with a clinically depressed person. Jonah tries to sleep through the ship wreck. He volunteers to be thrown overboard and to essentially die. In chapter 2 Jonah’s prayer, he describes his life as if he’s been drowning. He obtains hope in the whale, but when he gets out and things don’t go his way, he sinks back down to anger and depression and asks to die again – even though God has worked miraculously in his life on a very consistent basis. It’s an interesting story about perspective and it blessed me this week. Hope it can bless you too. Sending you all my love.

  • Thank you for this devotional. It is very encouraging. So many times, I try to rely on my own “righteousness” and strength to make it through each day, but this devotional reminds me of what God has been trying to tell me…I am not righteous and my strength is not sufficient. I must rely on Him daily.

  • Evangeline

    Powerful, powerful

  • Susan Dexter

    We just had a sermon series on the Beatitudes, entitled “The view from the bottom”. This study is a great way to engrain this wonderful passage on my heart.

  • I found meaning to this verse in relation to Ephesians 2:8-9 “for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of a God, not of works lest any man should boast”.
    Rather than referring to being materially poor, I think it relates to the realisation that we have nothing in us to save ourselves and that we must rely fully through faith on the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as our only means to salvation. We have no merit of our own, we cannot pay, pray or work our way to Heaven. When we accept that we have no power of our own to save us, we are truly poor in spirit and only by trusting in the Lord do we inherit the kingdom of Heaven.

    “nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling”

    Thank you for linking these readings together to develop my understanding.

  • Natalia R

    Hey ladies. For those using the book. The first question, where else in Scripture we see reversals like this? What does it means by “reversals” I looked for the word in Spanish but I don’t think it means what is supposed to be. Thanks

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Natalia! I think it’s similar to the theme of the world being upside down and Jesus setting it right again. Think “the last will be first” and “blessed are the poor in spirit”—things being reversed from the way we’d expect. Does that help at all?

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Jess Gardiner

    Also :) Matthew Henry noted that we are to be cheerfully and humbly poor in Spirit. There is a big difference. I can be empty and poor and yet moan and groan about it for attention. I can so early put on false humility or even become self-righteous. Pride often makes me despise and resist being low in spirit. This is not being blessedly poor.

    Poor in is the sinner beating His chest, the prodigal son crying unworthy, Job on his agony worshipping the Lord as the one who gives and takes away. It’s Paul saying that he is the least of all the apostles and yet showing perfect contentment because Christ is the secret in all circumstances.

    Poor in Spirit is an attitude of the heart that responds to every situation with a willingness to be emptied and a reliance on God’s fullness. We are all poor in some way but only some will be willing to confess it and look gladly and loving to Christ.

    • cherylin

      Yes to your thoughts! Thanks for sharing, especially your examples of ones in the faith..it helped me have an even greater understanding of being “Poor in spirit”

  • Depending on the Lord

    I needed to read this today, and God knows best how to speak to my ‘poor ‘heart. A friend of mine and I both got married a month apart but our situations are very different. My husband and I live in a 400 square ft studio apartment ( which the Lord miraculously provided through a series of events) While she and her husband have a four bedroom home which their family provided for them. I guess I’ve been feeling really judged by this friend for “not having enough” or random comments from her like ” I don’t know how you guys manage” have made me feel horrible. Seeing her home and all of the things in it has made me envious and blame the Lord. After reading this however, I am so THANKFUL THAT I LACK EARTHLY THINGS. The Lord has greatly and richly provided everything that my husband and I need and more. I am so greatful for the dependence we have learned in this season of life, and I need to repent of my ignorance.

    • Skigranny1

      Good insight. Thankful that you can be grateful in your situation. You are truly blessed, where your friend feels she needs “things” to be happy and blessed. He is all we need. He is sufficient.

    • Michelle

      I am on the other side of this coin. We have a large home and my close friend rents a small apartment. I practice law and she is in ministry. She said visiting my home made her feel bad. It broke my heart. Truth is my home is a massive financial drain and time suck. There are endless projects and new bills. It would be a complete distraction to her ministry in every way possible. I actually envy her life which seems to have less stress and more joy.

      So all this to say, I have come to the conclusion that earthly treasures can be a trap to keep us occupied and distracted from kingdom building. Not always, but often.

  • Jess Gardiner

    My heart is exploding with joy today. Jesus brought me to a place of complete and utter emptiness young. I used to cry, wrestle and question why I had to suffer mental illness. I felt that it took away from me all my young adult years. It took away any zest for life, friendships, hopes, even usefulness in God’s kingdom. I see much clearer these days how God redeems ALL things. I used to be so proud and self-sufficient, confident in me. He took that away, so that I might be “forced to rely on the mercy of God” and find my confidence amd refuge in Him. A thousand amens. Every words of this devotion filled with me thanksgiving.

    • Kristi

      Jess, thank you for sharing this. Your testimony gives me hope as my boyfriend is battling depression. I shared the devotion with him today because I truly believe that God is humbling him through this trying time and bringing him to a place of complete reliance on God. You are absolutely right. God does redeem ALL things and there is nothing too hard for Him.

    • Skigranny1

      Praise God for speaking to you this morning. And praise Him for answered prayer. May the Holy Spirit continue to fill you with peace and joy!

  • I would appreciate prayers for me as i continue to surrender and fully rely on God

    • She Reads Truth

      Hannah, I’m praying God would comfort you with reminders of His promises today. So glad you’re here, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I don’t think I ever truly understood this verse. Thank you for sharing this! It makes so much more sense now (and I feel better actually understanding!)

  • Sabrina Klomp

    Thank you Jesus for your mercies that are faithful to lean upon! Thank you for your faithfulness to our hearts more than our comfort, to lead us out of our illusions of control and into an inheritance of the kingdom.

  • I often forget and am amazed how such simple words can bring so much hope. Thank you for this!

    I’m asking for prayer this morning for my fiancé. He told me last night that he thinks he might be depressed. My first reaction was anger. I felt cheated that he didn’t tell me this before we got engaged. And then began wondering if it is even the right thing to be engaged when he is going through this struggle. And I even selfishly thought about how this is supposed to be some of our happiest times and he is bringing it down. I clearly don’t know how to handle it. I’m not sure how my God-loving fiancé is falling into this darkness. I’m not sure why he’s doubting God and his goodness. There is nothing circumstantially that is causing it, he tells me. But I can’t help but think it could be me. I don’t know what to think or how to help. I’m hopeful and I’m confident that our God is near to all the hurt. Welcoming all prayers.

    • Sabrina Klomp

      Hi Kate,
      Praying for you and your fiancé! I’ve gone through similar depression– where I can’t seem to shake it and in a time where it should be full of joy and celebration. Even in the leaning on Jesus, it can be a process. I know the support and respect my husband showed me, even in just walking through it with me, brought more comfort to my heart. Remember the enemy’s plan is to steal, kill, and destroy and he’s out for both of your joy. I’m so sorry you’re both going through this and praying that God leads your fiancé out of it soon!

    • Julie

      Hi, Kate,
      I’ve been going through a similar thing with my boyfriend. Obviously, we’re not engaged, so your situation is a little bit different, but he has been struggling with depression and last week a counselor tentatively diagnosed him as bipolar. This definitely brought about some doubts in my mind about our relationship and how to proceed. But some things that have helped me: When your fiance tells you nothing circumstantially is causing it, believe him. If he really is clinically depressed, that’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. It has nothing to do with you or anything else in his life. I know very well the tendency to blame yourself for his depression – for me, when my boyfriend has a bad day I tend to overanalyze every little mistake I might have made and how it could have led to this point, but he is quick to tell me (and it sounds like yours is too) that it’s not my fault and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. And often the best thing that can be done to help is just to be there. To listen without trying to solve, and to let him know that you’re there for him and you’re not going to leave because of his depression. It’s difficult for sure and I’m still working through many of these things myself. Praying for God to be with both of you as you go through this time!

    • Mel

      Hello Kate,
      I Will be praying for your and your Fiancé. I walked into a marriage with a man who has anger issues, PTSD and sometimes he’s depressed. 2 weeks ago I found out he doesn’t believe in Jesus anymore. He said he has been researching his doubts and has come to the conclusion that he no longer believes in the Son of God. I of course got angry inside and frustrated. All thoughts ran through my mind about marrying the “wrong man”. But then he said something that got me thinking. He told me that even though he doesn’t believe, He doesn’t want me to loose my faith in Jesus because it made me who I am and it keeps our marriage together. God then spoke, it was like a silent whisper. “Be the light, no matter how dark his world may be, be the light.” so I say to you, be the light during this time of darkness in your fiancé’s life. God may be using you in his life for something much greater.

    • Kristi

      Kate, I will be keeping you and your fiancé in my prayers. I am going through a similar situation, but like Julie, it is with my boyfriend. Whenever I find myself feeling confused, frustrated, hurt, or just questioning why, I think back to the story of Esther and remember that God often brings us to places and people for a reason. Continue to seek God’s guidance, pray for your fiancé, and share the love of Christ with him as you support him. Also, if you are interested (and this is for Julie and Mel too), I would recommend reading “Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness” by Matthew Stanford. I recently started reading it and it has been really helpful in understanding what my boyfriend is going through and how to help. It covers a variety of mental illnesses, but speaks specifically about depression/mood disorders and anxiety disorders (including PTSD).

    • Shawna Clingerman

      Hi Kate, as someone who personally suffers from depression I just wanted to tell you that it truly isn’t you causing it! It often has nothing to do with circumstance and it also isn’t about faith or doubt even, it is a real sickness that affects brain chemistry. I hope your fiance will seek help because there IS so much hope, but it takes work to get to a place of wellness. Counseling and medication made a huge difference for me, and eventually I was able to step off of medication (although I have to always be consistent about self care). Encourage your fiance to do the brave work of seeking out a counselor, and you may want to seek the trusted advice of someone with experience too, it is a lot to face alone. I am so sorry you are struggling through this during this special time of your life. You will certainly be in my prayers – always remember that it isn’t about you at all!

  • This is such a timely passage for me, in understanding that it’s okay to be poor. Like the author said, I don’t like being poor. Yet, that’s been the state of pretty much the first five years of our marriage because of student loans, and I often feel so burdened because I don’t see an end in sight. I’ve been coming to realize that I’ve generally been dissatisfied with my life, but I know that I wouldn’t be turning to God if everything was just going really well. I sometimes have a hard time with wondering how long it will be like this though. I’m still trying to learn to lean on Him, and that He is my all in all.

    • Aarika Miller

      Rachel,

      I know just how you feel! I just recently got married and my student loan payment is almost as much as our house mortgage and it is emotionally and mentally killing me inside because I feel so irresponsible for letting that happen. My husband is a great sport, he acts like it doesn’t bother him at all, but I still can’t help but feel like there wouldn’t be any financial strain if we didn’t have my student loan payments. Maybe that is how you feel too and I just want you to know you’re not alone! It’s difficult for me to also feel poor and frustrated and it’s even more difficult to hand over worries and anxieties over to Christ because I feel like it’s my own fault. But maybe our debt is a blessing in disguise, or whatever the reason, I know God has a plan for it.

  • “The poor in spirit have nothing, but that nothingness empties them of the illusion of their own power, enabling them to rely wholly on God.”

    During my depression I had times where all I could do was tell myself “It will be okay. God will make it work and take care of me.” Even when I couldn’t sleep because of anxiety attacks I would tell myself “It’ll be okay. God has this. It has to be okay.” I clung to that and still do today. This kept me going during that really dark time in my life.

  • I love this so much. What a beautiful passage in Matthew. I am so glad true riches is only found in HIM!

    “Poverty of the heart forces us to rely on the mercy of God.” <—- AMEN

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I have been praying lately for a friend who has been suffering with Lyme disease and other medical problems for the past several years. Today I might have an opportunity to go and visit her (she doesn’t know Jesus). This word seems timely – when we have lost all we thought we had and all we have is our suffering, we can be rich in the Lord! Pray for wisdom and opportunity for me to speak life over her in Jesus’ name.

    • churchmouse

      praying you will hear the still small voice of our God telling you just what to say. So appreciate your willingness to love your friend enough to share the Truth!

  • “Money is an insulation from the world. We use it to keep from feeling hungry, cold, and sad. Strength and power insulate us, too—all these things give us the illusion that we are in control. But the “poor in spirit” are those who have no power; they are the demoralized, the dejected. They can be fiscally poor, or lonely, or rejected; but regardless, they have lost all hope of finding power in themselves.”

    This, this is so very timely. My eyes are hot with tears. May we all stop believing in the empty promises of earthly wealth, strength, and power.

  • Megan Taylor

    My dear sisters, thank you so much for praying for my husband and his job interview yesterday. By the grace of God, it went really well and he has a second interview today. I ask for continued prayers today and for you to join me in praise of our most faithful Father. How great is our God.

  • Thank you. This is lovely. I needed it after this awful election season.

  • Elizabeth

    I think that some people are definitely afraid of change and how it will affect their lives. But many people have a very REAL and LEGITIMATE fear of being targets for harassment or violence. The safety pin is for THOSE folks, not the one wearing it. The cross saves us all, unfortunately there is no requirement to act like Jesus to wear it, so it is unlikely that someone feeling legitimately threatened is going to look to you for help just because you are wearing one.

    • Ashley

      This is such a great perspective. I know that many people wear the cross as a way to profess their faith, but rarely are we acting that way. Instead we are cold and critical of others that are unlike us. Let this serve as a lesson for us to remember what Jesus and the cross truly stand for and that it is more than something for us to remember and tell who we are, as a lable or title, but it is a way to live. And to look at those people wearing safety pins as people who are helping the poor in spirit. Thank you again.

  • Mmm. What a great word today! It is so humbling (+ reassuring) to know that we are never going to reach the pinnacle of the mountain in our relationship with Jesus. We will never reach the top + need to turn around because we’ve gone as far as we can. We will always need Him + it’s not always going to be a easy journey, but that’s ok because He is on our side. One day we will receive the kingdom of heaven. What a promise!

  • raschknits

    I love the commentary in the MacArthur Study Bible [ESV] on Matt 5:3: “POOR IN SPIRIT The opposite of self-sufficiency. This speaks of the deep humility of recognizing one’s utter spiritual bankruptcy apart from God. It describes those who are acutely conscious of their own lostness and hopelessness apart from divine grace.”

    Oh, this. Growing up poor (like, moved 13 times in 12 years, our family of six living in the upstairs bedrooms/bathroom of friends for six months, sometimes depending on friends and relatives for food) made me very financially conscious. As a result, I put a great amount of stock in the numbers in our checking account. I struggle with the sin of pride in self-sufficiency, having been on my own at the age of 17. I find I must actively focus on my ‘hopelessness apart from divine grace’ because the idea that ‘I did this!’ can creep back in oh so easily.

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    Amen

  • These words today…wow! “Poverty of the heart forces us to rely on the mercy of God.”
    Any Rend Collective fans? This made me think of their song “Desert Soul,” so I included the link. This isn’t the best version of the song, but it includes the lyrics for those who are unfamiliar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD9xdDNX_hk

    • DAH

      Love Rend collective & love the application of this song. Definitely think it is fitting. May we all recognize our lostness & hopelessness apart from divine grace and let it draw us closer to Him

  • Today’s response gives so much perspective to better understanding the need some see with the trend of wearing a silent safety pin of solidarity. An overwhelming fear of the way our world is changing is increasing everyday in so many ways. Let us not give into this fear as we recognize it is satan working against us as we claim the truth that sets us free.
    My safety pin is the cross on which He died for our sins.
    Love always wins.

    • Cristy

      When the bottom drops out, and it has a couple of times, my God has always been there. Nobody enjoys being poor in spirit, but it’s in those dark times that my faith grew and were the most intimate times that I have had with the Lord. It was painful, but truly a blessed time in my life.

      • Heather (MNmomma)

        I agree……although I wouldn’t have ever asked for those times, nor would I wish to repeat them, I am thankful that my faith grew and I was refined….

    • Kellie

      As someone who saw a few people wearing safety pins yesterday, I find a lot of timeliness and truth in your words today! Thank you for sharing.

  • While I would have loved the comfort of a life riddled with less strife, I am not certain I would have the personal relationship with Christ I have without it. I would love to say that things wouldn’t be different but I know what the comforts of this world can do and it is easy to fall into the trap of “plenty”. And it is a slow decline from viewing Christ to viewing ourselves. My biggest concern over the years has been for my children, wanting to ensure that despite life’s difficulties they’d come out on the better side of it, humbled and reliant on God and just this weekend I was reminded how He works through all areas in our lives, as I watched my 18-year-old, in her freshman year in college, choose baptism AND speak of it in a way that is clearly Christ centered. The best peace, the best stuff on earth isn’t made of things, material possessions, physical comfort or financial security, sure those are nice and fine to have but it’s intimate relationship with Christ that will provide real freedom and rest. My two smaller children and I are reading a book about finding Christ as part of our curriculum for homeschool. The book is beautifully done in a way that keeps the small folk interested and in touch with Jesus. Yesterday one of the chapters the main character was released of his “burden” as he approached the Cross and the description was so well done, tears came to my eyes. As the chapter went on, the way the young character described this freedom was reminiscent of the joy I felt when I first came to Christ. Prayerful that the joy of Him in our lives is as present as it was in our first days of relationship and that our comforts, our ease of burdens don’t impede our view but instead keep us remembering who took the pain of those for us!

  • Thank you for this explanation. I was having a hard time understanding this piece of scripture.

  • churchmouse

    “Poverty of the heart forces us to rely on the mercy of God.” Indeed poverty of the heart takes many forms but it results in desperation. Poverty of the heart may be financial loss, loneliness, chronic illness, emotional upheaval, the death of a dear one. Poverty of the heart is that which drops us to our knees with only One to turn to for help. This Beatitude reminds me that I do not work to become poor in spirit in order to be rewarded but that when I am there, on my knees, tears streaming down my face, He is there also. He will bless me with His presence here on the earth, at my darkest, most desperate moment and I will one day be in His presence for all eternity. One who knows this fact is never marginalized or less than. Blessed and rich. In Him.

  • The poor in spirit may be rich materially. Those who are poor in spirit realize that there is no way that they can save themselves-it is only through Jesus Christ that salvation occurs.

  • sorry I was having trouble commenting a moment ago! Is “poor in spirit” something a person should aspire or hope to be…or is the passage saying, WHEN you are in that situation you will be blessed? I guess I always viewed the Beatitudes more like a to do list and now that I am reframing it I am not quite sure how to interpret.

    • Lesley

      In the New Living Translation it says “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him.”
      I think it’s saying that we are all poor in spirit. Without God we are dead in our sins like the passage from Ephesians says, and there is nothing we can do to sort it out by ourselves, but there is blessing when we realize that we need God and turn to him, when we stop trying to be self-sufficient and admit we need his help. That’s how I understand it- hope that helps.

    • Lori~girl

      My opinion, “poor in spirit” is our complete realization that we have and offer NOTHING…Jesus has done it all. Some get there because they have nothing. I must get there by attitude and surrender to his love and complete work for me…because I am so rich in worldly things!

      • Amy

        so almost like we have to “access” or acknowledge the fact that we already ARE poor in spirit

  • I didn´t get that sentence:”And to those who totally rely on Him, God gives the earth as an inheritance.” I guess you had Matth. 5:5 in mind, but what does it mean to inherit the earth? In my German translation it says “they will inherit the country”. Will this be in future or now? But how? I´m a bit clueless …

    • Katie

      I think it means when Jesus comes back and makes a New Earth as in Revelation 21, so in the future. By the way, I’m wondering if you live in Germany? I’m not German, but my family is stationed here with the US Air Force. It’s exciting to see other people from around the world taking part in these studies!

      • Marianne

        Ah, this makes sense. Thank you! And yes, I am German and live in Germany – near Cologne. :) My daughter works with YWAM and introduced me to SRT. For me it´s a great possibility to enhance my English – besides learning more from God´s word and being in touch with other women in the word, of course. ;)

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