Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beatitude "Blessed are the Poor in Spirit"

At church, we are studying the Beatitudes using a the bible study of The Gospel of Matthew by William Barclay. The beautitudes are core teachings of Jesus that if you place them into your heart that will give you the kind of help you need to find balance. Barclay states, "the beatitudes are not simple statements; they are exclamations; it is a blessedness which exists here and now." (102). And as the pastor says, it does not mean that you will immediately have all these powerful, life-changing attitudes within you, but that you are NOW, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, able to begin that journey with Christ. These attitudes are meant to be your attitudes, beginning today, and they will grow with within you for the rest of your life. And as Barclay states, "The greatness of these beatitudes is that they are the triumphant shouts of bliss for a permanent joy that nothing in the world can ever take away" (103-104).

This message was taken from Northside United Methodist Church. You can hear more podcasts here


"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"

Some believe that being poor is a bad thing, and why bless the poor? It may be a little difficult to understand that this beatitude has nothing to do with how many possessions you may have. Barclay states, "Jesus would never have called blessed a state where people live in slums and do not have enough to eat, and where the health deteriorates because conditions are all against it. It is the aim of the Christian gospel to remove that kind of poverty" (106)  

Barclay defines the meaning of "poor" as used to describe the humble and helpless people who put their whole trust in God" (91).

This beatitude, is asking you to admit that you are helpless when it comes to controlling your world. Many of us believe that we are in control of many things. Things mean noting, God means everything. You cannot do it on your own. 

He is the source of the power for change. Get that and you are ready to do the work of living like Jesus lived. When you surrender yourself to Jesus and admit that you are helpless to change without him, you get the ability to begin living the promise of this beatitude. The most blessed are those who say, "Help me Jesus". When you state this, it will give your life back with meaning to rely on God, that we are poor in Spirit, and that his blessedness is what fills us.

Sometimes we think we do give God our problems, but if he doesn't answer/fix it right away, than you take it back and try to fix it yourself within your time frame, without allowing to trust in God. God may not fix a problem in five minutes, nor may he answer your prayer the way you want, but he knows the time when things are supposed to happen and the reasoning behind why certain things may happen.

However, the world tells us different things. And when you are broken, you either do two different things either 1.) run towards Him or 2.) Run away from Him.

So to be poor in spirit is to know your own brokenness. How else would you get that lesson? Adam didn't believe until he ate the apple.

And what some other things we took out of this beatitude was to thank Him when you're high point in your life, and when you're at your lowest. 

Give God your trust and faith. Barclay summarizes this beatitude as:

"O the bliss of those who have realized their own utter helplessness, and who have put their whole trust in God, for thus alone can they render to God that perfect obedience which will make them citizens of the Kingdom of God" (107).

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