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. Jennifer Ficklen says:

    Great devotional!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.❤️

  5. Amy Thompson says:

    This was awesome!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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