The Kingdom Is Theirs

Open Your Bible

Matthew 5:1-16, Psalm 69:29-33, Isaiah 49:6, Mark 10:32-45, Colossians 4:2-6

The upside-down nature of the kingdom reframes our understanding of human struggles.

Search “#blessed” on social media and you’ll find countless photos of tropical vacations, elaborate meals, and designer clothes. Apparently, success, health, and material wealth are the things our western world has declared a blessing.

Yet, Jesus had an entirely different definition for the word “blessing.” Early in Christ’s ministry at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave His disciples a glimpse of the upside-down nature of His Father’s kingdom, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:3). He went on to say that those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and those who are persecuted because of righteousness are the truly blessed (vv.4,6,10).

Even as Christ’s followers, we might be scratching our heads wondering how poverty, sadness, and suffering can be anything but bad. But God often takes what the world sees as “bad” and declares it “blessed.” But what could be so good—so #blessed—about being “poor in spirit”?

To be “poor in spirit” does not mean to be financially impoverished, but as the great evangelist Billy Graham said, think of it as being “humble” in spirit. We must have the humility to recognize that we are nothing without God. The proud cannot admit that they need God, and so they cannot take the steps of repentance and belief. This is why only the “poor in spirit” will inherit the kingdom of God. Only the humble can acknowledge their spiritual lack and profess a life-saving faith in Jesus.

I’m guessing we’d all love to be heirs to the kingdom of God, but how do we become “poor in spirit”? Look at the example of James and John, two beloved disciples of Christ who struggled with pride. They wanted to be the greatest of Jesus’s followers and sit next to Him in heaven. They even had the audacity to ask Him for exactly that, through their mother, that is (Matthew 20:20–21). Christ’s question to James and John in return can be asked of us too: “Are you able to drink the cup I drink?” (v.22).

We know that “the cup” Jesus referred to came with a cost. The Father called His own Son to a painful death, before raising Him up again into the forever kingdom. If we want to be resurrected with Jesus, we must first be crucified with Him.

As citizens of God’s kingdom, we can see through the lies of this world. Superficial comforts are not signs of the Lord’s blessing, and a lack of wealth and health are not signs of God’s judgment. Rather, the one who grows in humility and hunger for God, often through trials, is the one who is truly blessed.

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64 thoughts on "The Kingdom Is Theirs"

  1. June Pimpo says:

    I took several days to go through today’s reading. Just pondering how “far off” we are from Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom of God. Wow. God, get a hold of my heart and keep my eyes fixed on Your Kingdom. Remind me of your perspective. Use me today as your servant.

  2. Lois East says:


  3. Alayna P. says:

    I fell behind during A Living Hope because I became quite sick so I’m using the grace weeks to catch up and today I did Day 16 in which I read the Beatitudes. I love that it paired perfectly with today’s reading here. And I love the devotional. I found it so encouraging and enlightening. I feel like I understand better what it means to be poor in spirit.

  4. Jen Klassen says:

    This was a much needed perspective change today.

  5. Cee Gee says:

    J M – You can scroll through the studies to find it or just GOOGLE “She Reads Truth Psalms of Gratitude study” and find it that way. You can bookmark it by looking clicking on the 3 vertical dots to the top right of your device. Hope to see you there!

  6. Dorothy says:

    “Rather, the one who grows in humility and hunger for God, often through trials, is the one who is truly blessed.” This is what I needed to hear today. Sooo many trials lately but I do know God, Christ and the Holy Spirit have been with me the WHOLE time.

    Be blessed and know the TRIUNE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS WITH you sisters.

  7. J M says:

    Where is the Psalms of Gratitude?

  8. Candace Smith says:


  9. Rachelle French says:

    I love today’s reading!

  10. Brandi says:

    It is encouraging to go back and read these comments from a couple of years ago – to see answered prayers and spiritual growth and our sweet fellowship ❤️ Father thank you for my sisters in Christ from all tribes and nations!

  11. Aimee D-R says:

    Father let me see blessing as You do. In Jesus name, Amen

  12. Mary Ann Graves says:


  13. Alyssa Maxey says:

    Mark 10:45 really got me “. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Servant ship is one way we are called to honor the Lord in the ways Christ served the Kingdom. Blessed are we who recognize our Savior and the ransom he paid on the cross for me.

  14. Alyssa Maxey says:

    Mark 10:45 really got me “. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  15. Dana Watts says:

    Preach it! Thank you, needed this

  16. Renee Atoory says:

    Really am always amazed how God can take trials and turn them into blessing. Thankyou God for YOUR Kingdom!

  17. Renee Atoory says:

    Really al

  18. Casey Evans says:

    Wow such a good reminder! We get it so so wrong. Blessed is the one who endured trials and grows in humility and hunger for God! Wealth and health not signs of Gods judgement. Thank you for this word

  19. Deb Ireland says:

    I will abide in Him today so that I can grow closer in my walk.

  20. Norma Toledo says:


  21. Brandy Deruso says:

    I am blessed lord!

  22. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Needed to read this. Thank You Jesus

  23. Krysta Orona says:

    29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
    Psalm 69:29‭-‬33

    Reading this was such a comfort to me this morning. Praying it encourages you as well, sisters! The Lord does not despise his own people who are prisoners! We are prisoners to the things that hold us back from living for God fully and completely. Our insecurities, childhood lies that we bring into adulthood, critical self-talk, and guilt.
    Lord, set your daughters free!

  24. Madison Botch says:

    Loved this part of the podcast too. As a white woman, I need to continually practice

  25. Tre'Shonda Sheffey says:

    This was a great devotional read. I appreciated the examples and reminders. It made me think about how we identify being “blessed” and our relationship to the word.

  26. Kate Emmert says:

    I definitely needed this reminder!! May I be poor in spirit and one my true treasure and wealth in God. It’s so hard with the world telling you all the things you need to be happy or successful but material things will never fulfill me. Only God can give me what I need and truly bless me.

  27. Jen Brewer says:

    Thank you, Mercy. Loved all these connections you made with various Scriptures. Some good reminders for me as we are still working through family conflict/misunderstandings but finally seeing some light and possible fruit of my prayers and longing for reconciliation. Also recognizing how much heart/thought work I need to do in myself as well! Thank you again ❤️❤️❤️

  28. Jen Brewer says:

    I love these thoughts so much, Katie Schisler. Needed this word—thank you ❤️

  29. Stephanie Lopez says:

    Everything about this is wonderful!

  30. Victoria E says:

    Jennifer A- I have had this struggle as well. My story is similar to yours , I live in a wealthy area outside of LA. But I’ve been like this my entire life no matter where I’ve lived! I pray the Spirit will work in both of us.

  31. Chelsea Little says:

    Amen! Love this !

  32. Jennifer Ficklen says:

    Great devotional!!

  33. Ashley Thomas says:

    I know people who exude the light and love of Jesus Christ. It radiates from them, and it makes me want to be around them. More than that, I wish I could develop that skill set; that it would come naturally instead of me being fully aware of how I’m acting or what I’m saying in order to seem more Christlike.

  34. Mercy says:

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”. This verse has made me come back several times. The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it? People can perceive only the outward, but only God can see the inward, our heart. When our heart has conceived wrongful intentions and hidden sins, the soil of our soul is compromised. But blessed are those the hearts are purified, by guarding it according to God’s words (Psalm 119:9). From the abundance of our heart, our mouth will speak, and the words that come out, only can be seasoned with salt, flavor, dispersing grace, only when the heart -the very source- is first seasoned with much salt, grace through God’s words. Have salt within yourself, for everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice (us- God’s living sacrifice) shall be salted with salt (Mark 9:49). One can stumble in many ways, but if one can control their words, and does not stumble in words (James 3:2), we have achieved the goal and to God be the glory. Our words and speech are truly the product from a purified heart. By the words, you know the heart.

    Therefore, above all things, guard your heart with all diligence, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23).

    May your day be filled with joy and goodness from the Lord today.

    Be blessed my dear SRT sisters.

  35. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I have been struggling with materialism lately. I live in an affluent area and it’s so hard to not compare yourself with other people and get your needs and wants mixed up. I’m so thankful that the message at church this Sunday was about storing up treasures in heaven. I learned that our biggest treasure in heaven is Jesus. This world and everything in it will pass away, but thank God that we have beautiful heaven to look forward to. The best part of heaven will be God.❤️

  36. Amy Thompson says:

    This was awesome!

  37. Traci Gendron says:

    Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, Seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. I pray that my speech will be seasoned with salt. I can be feisty and want people to see my point of view. It is not about me! Our job is not to win the fight, but to pursue the peace that Jesus won for us on the cross. I’m so thankful for SRT and all you ladies.

  38. Maura says:

    I took the day off today and so am coming later than usual into the discussion. What great truth to remember what the true blessings are. Our church has been in a series called The Good Fight and it has really helped me as it has been exploring how we are to treat others in situations that are disruptive, how we can be strong and realize the need for grace we all have. The list of the blessed in Matthew 5:1-16 is so eye opening to how we can honor God. The blessed are the poor in Spirit, those who mourn, the humble, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted because of righteousness, those who are insulted and cursed falsely and have all kinds of evil said against them because of Jesus, those who are salt and let their light shine. Wow! It is only through our faith we can be such things through the power of the Holy Spirit, our inheritance, through redemption we have in Christ. Praise God for all His blessings. Erb, chapter 3 was harder and sad. But verses 14 -15 “The Lord enters into judgement against the elders and leaders of His people. It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor? declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.” This made me see His judgement and all the harsh things in the other verses as His good, and the setting more for our need for Jesus sacrifice. Another thing as I was contemplating Heidi’s comments on blessings and this verse I wondered and prayed that in my tithing, in my giving back to the Lord what He has given me, how very blessed I have been. But also that in my life prior to listening to His direction in faithful giving have I not kept what was meant to be a blessing for others and in my holding back to His call to give, plundered the poor as well. Father God may my hands be open and my heart be about You and only You. In Jesus name I pray. For all of those in a battle this morning Lord may they know you are fighting for them and will honor them as they trust you in whatever they are facing this day. Thank you Lord God!! Sarah D, His peace and joy being prayed for you. One day at a time be present and know you are so loved. Hugs and love Sisters.

  39. Melody Bates says:

    Over the last decade, God has really been showing me what it means to be blessed with what I have. My family has gone through some ups and downs financially but we finally learned that material possessions are just “stuff”. More and more everyday I am learning to be content where I am because I know that His presence is all I need.

  40. Donna says:

    The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about true blessings lately. If we could have 3 wishes granted us, what would we ask for? Would it have to do with the temporary or eternal blessings? To be truly blessed is to have the gift of contentment in Christ even in the face of suffering and circumstances we cannot control, to see things from a kingdom perspective, to have His peace and grace and wisdom – to have the privilege of living on mission for Jesus and walking dependent on His Spirit who is always with us – all the things that are in Christ available to every one of us. May we see the beatitudes as gifts from above – to be humble, mourning over sin, hungering for God and being filled, etc. and May we have thankful hearts for every good gift in Him!

  41. Yuri says:

    Wow!! This devotional was soo good

  42. Katarina Friedman says:

    It is interested how we interpret blessed in our society versus how God see it. I really appreciated her honesty and truth about it this morning

  43. Mari V says:

    May I continue to hunger for God. And only HIM! And may I always see the trials as me growing and not a punishment. It’s only through these trials that I am where I am today. It’s ALL Jesus! Not me.

  44. Carolyn Carleton says:

    I was hurting and in a dark place for too long. I don’t want others to feel that way. May I be salt and light to those that have been hurt through “the church” and that in their hurt and doubt they can find peace and healing.

  45. Catie Brooks says:

    I always find something new when I study the beatitudes!

  46. free indeed says:

    I have never made the connection or had the understanding of what “poor in spirit” meant. I always kind of assumed it meant “sad” and never dug dipper. I’m so thankful for this devotion and for your explanation as well, Katie. Man, I love this community that helps me daily. I can more clearly see and appreciate the nuances in God’s word. Being a woman in the word everyday with you ladies is a privilege!!

    STRUGGLING: saying a prayer for you today. I hope you’re still reading with us. Praying the Lord draws near to you as you draw near to Him.

    Have a great Tuesday, sisters!

  47. ChappyBeach Girl says:

    So thankful for the reminder in the Colossians passage this morning. I have a very difficult board member to deal with and my first reaction is to fight back (it’s been a long journey…) , but I know God is calling me to be gracious. I will share this with my boss as we both struggle with this same woman.

  48. Jill Lee says:

    Thank you for life giving truth, Lord! I embrace the true definition of blessed today. Amen!

  49. Alli Barlik says:

    You said it so well Heidi!

  50. Alli Barlik says:

    Today’s reading hit home for me! And boy let me tell ya, my husband and I have been blessed through many trials and sufferings. If we don’t look for God in those things, we are not dependent on Him and that’s what we need to be. I’m thankful for each of those situations.
    And the reminder to be salt and light—it gave me great things to think about.

  51. Taylor says:

    Praying for you Sarah D in your last week of college! Soak up every minute with your friends and make tons of memories (even staying up late to study)! I remember my last week of college and yes it was stressful with finals, but just sitting outside studying and talking to people as they walked by, packed up, etc. made it very special.

  52. Laura says:

    Heidi, YES!!! I struggle so much with our consumerism and materialism and I see it in myself as well. Thank you for the convicting words and the much-needed reminder that EVERYTHING I have is God’s and should be stewarded well and used for His glory.

  53. Angela Sutherland says:

    Such a contrast between what the world calls blessed and what God calls blessed. The upside down Kingdom is so counter cultural, and I can use this as a measure to see where I’m leaning more toward the world’s view than God’s when I count my blessings and see what I’m calling blessed. What a good reminder today’s readings are! Be truly blessed today, sisters!

  54. Taylor says:

    The last line of this devotion is so good! May I daily acknowledge my need for salvation, my need for Jesus, and may I live a life of complete dependence on Him. You’re a good Father! May I be salt and light with those I interact with today

  55. Heidi says:

    Love the verse on our “speech being seasoned with salt..” :) It’s actually the verse I chose for my kids to memorize this week and when we talked about it on the way to school yesterday they both burst into laughs about their speech having salt in it :)

    I have to say I find myself quickly being annoyed when I see the word “BLESSED” all over the place.. it’s so irritatingly under my skin because EVERY. TIME. I see it, it is under some reference of materialism. JESUS? Was blessed. And I don’t recall him rolling up in a tripped out Tesla. His CHURCH? Was blessed and they budgeted their donations and collections and personal “paychecks” to the homeless, widowed, and orphaned. It’s just one more example of the “Americanized Christian” and I have to say it’s an enormous thorn to me. I’ve said it on here before (though I’m very not the first to say it), if the word of God and the definitions of His terminology and concepts aren’t true for every living human on this planet, then it’s not the right definition and the person taking it as “truth” is following a false god. If God pours His tender blessings out on His children, know right now it’s not a materialistic thing. He may certainly allow for some to have more in terms of financial gain than others, but you can bet your bottom dollar it’s intended for the good of His Kingdom. Now- if it’s USED that way, that’s up to the one possessing it. But I fully believe there will be a full-on accountability to be given one day as to what and why we handled our resources the way we did. From the way we were stewards with His children, our children, the homeless, the refugee, the marginalized– to how we were stewards with the homes, cars, financial opportunities we were given. And not in a condemning way, no- but there is still an accountability we are expected to meet, with His goodness being the guiding force behind the choices we made with His resources. Because at the end of the day, that’s who it all belongs to. We have the enormous gift of getting to know and learn about our God and take that into our day, choices, people. WE are blessed by His loving hand and generous spirit to be adopted into His Kingdom.. blessings to YOU, sisters!!! :) ❤️

  56. Katie Schisler says:

    Our sermon on Sunday was on blessed are the poor in spirit. The pastor explained, just as in the devotional, that God desires a spirit in need. A spirit that realizes there is only one thing to fill the God shaped void in our life. And not a need that can be cured once and is forever satisfied, but a need that continues coming back to God in everything. Putting aside our pride, especially within the confines of our faith seems foreign at times. Being in need is not a state we enjoy being in. Self-sufficiency is what many of us view as success. But God isn’t interested in us pulling ourselves up from our boot straps. He never says He helps those who helps themselves. God’s desire for us is complete dependence on Him. To admit our need daily, every moment in fact, and humble ourselves to accept our insufficiency so we can embrace the sufficiency of Christ Jesus.

  57. Churchmouse says:

    If we encounter hostility towards our faith, we are indeed blessed. The hostile person must see Jesus in us (blessed indeed!) for them to be angry about our allegiance to Him. We are to imitate Jesus, share His light and courageously be salt in this world. The Holy Spirit will give us the power, the conviction and the words to be both salt and light.

  58. SarahJoy says:

    Working with the students I do can cause some worldly attitudes to flare up in me. How do I show them Jesus? Teach me, Holy Spirit, that my words and actions will bring Your Truth and Light into the school to all the students and my co-workers.

  59. Blessed Beth says:

    I am so blessed as each trial I have been through I grow, grow in wisdom and knowledge. Be it cancer, near homelessness, loss etc. I always know I am blessed through our Lord Jesus.

  60. Angie says:

    I see so much “attitude” in these scriptures this morning. Not attitude like the world refers to, but the attitudes, thoughts, emotions, responses we are to have that are like Jesus and usher us into His kingdom blessings. Humility, goodness, purity, grace.
    When will people taste the saltiness and see the light in us? When our responses and attitudes are like Jesus and unlike the world.
    The Matthew verses start with, Jesus seeing the crowds and going up the mountain and teaching them. (They needed Him and He was there, in the moment – not thinking ahead to what He would face or of himself.)
    In the Mark verses the disciples are astonished and the people afraid. Jesus tells them of His pending death for a 3rd time. What happens next? James and John (or their mom) starts working for placement. Jesus just told them He would die and they are worried about how it will effect them. (Kind of makes me think of a child who is only interested in the inheritance when the parents die.) They were not in the moment, they were preparing for their future, they thought.
    Yet, Jesus’ response is not to reprimand, or take offense, He just keeps teaching. He keeps guiding and offering care. He keeps being Salt and Light.
    I long to live in the moment, in the attitudes of Jesus Christ, as salt and light. I thank God that He loves me, in every moment, and sees me as I am in Him. May my response in this world be prayer, wise action, and humility of attitude and word, in Jesus.

  61. Kelly says:

    Col.4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
    This is my prayer today for myself aa well as for God’s people so that we can be peacemakers.
    STRUGGLING – Psalm 69:29–33
    But as for me—poor and in pain—
    let your salvation protect me, God.
    I will praise God’s name with song and exalt him with thanksgiving.
    That will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with horns and hooves.
    The humble will see it and rejoice.
    You who seek God, take heart!
    For the LORD listens to the needy and does not despise his own who are prisoners.

  62. Erin Hudgins says:

    It is so easy to fall into the temptations of what the world calls “good”. It’s a daily struggle and fight. I must remember that what the world calls good isn’t my goal. I must strive and reach for what Christ calls good so that others see Him instead of me.

  63. Bridgette says:

    Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all of its righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Let us look at blessing with Christ like eyes so that we can see God’s constant blessing on our lives. This reading today has opened my eyes to the blessings of God in my life so even when I don’t have things that this world deems as “blessed”, I know that I am truly blessed from above.