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Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 NIV

When making lists, we often start with the most essential items. For example, in going to the grocery store, we likely put those items most used first on our list. In our house, it's milk–not simply because it's in Aisle 1 at Market Basket, but because we use a lot of milk for two people–coffee, smoothies, etc.

Today's verse is the first in the "Blessed are" statements made by Jesus in Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. First among those blessed are the ones who recognize they are nothing without God—those who acknowledge their spiritual bankruptcy. There's primacy in knowing we are empty. In emptiness, we become aware of our needs. As we look in the refrigerator and see we're down to the dregs of the milk bottle, we look inwardly and are made aware that we are spiritually nothing without Christ.

Though we are empty, we do not need to despair. In acknowledging our poorness, we are promised the kingdom of heaven. In humbling ourselves, we recognize that God is sovereign over everything and accept he's the ruler of our hearts. Though part of this reward is to come later–that final day we are reunited with God–we experience that void filled with the Holy Spirit, a foretaste of the riches to come today. By the Holy Spirit, we are guided into righteousness and strive to make the physical world in which we live the kingdom in heaven.

Father God, we come humbly acknowledging our spiritual bankruptcy. Without you, our souls are empty. We confess we can do absolutely nothing to save ourselves. We thank you for your Son, who came to offer us hope and salvation and for the Holy Spirit that fills the emptiness. May we acknowledge your reign over all heaven and earth and everything in it each day—our very hearts belong to you, and we are nothing without you. Emptied, God, fill us again with your Spirit. Guide us in the ways of righteousness. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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