Day 9

The Kingdom Is Theirs

from the The Kingdom of God reading plan

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

BY Kaitie Stoddard

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.

Post Comments (41)

41 thoughts on "The Kingdom Is Theirs"

  1. 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!

  2. Yuri says:

    Wow!! This devotional was soo good

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Catie Brooks says:

    I always find something new when I study the beatitudes!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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