Sunday, February 17, 2013

Poor in Spirit {Lent Day#5}

by Michael Dudash ~ "He Shall Hear My Voice"

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

Reading and praying over what Robert will preach on this morning ~ Matthew 4:18-25 ~ the calling of the disciples.  I read on and into the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5, and there it is, another exhortation to confession and humility ~ dependence, not arrogance and self-sufficiency.  "Proud in spirit" seems like it would be a good antonym.

The commentary I grab from Robert's office in the basement says this:

"The poor in spirit realize that they cannot please God on their own.  They are 'poor' or 'bankrupt' inwardly, unable to give anything of value to God, and thus must depend on His mercy."  
Life Application Commentary on Matthew, p. 756

It also points out that the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven NOW ~ theirs IS the kingdom, present tense, not theirs WILL BE the kingdom, future tense.  {Oh, how I'm constantly thinking about tense in the teaching of Latin...☺} In their state of brokenness they get it both ways, actually ~ the kingdom now, and the kingdom future.  And I think "the kingdom" always just translates to Jesus.  They get Jesus now ~ His nearness, intimacy, peace, joy, hope, and they get Him later ~ eternal life with Him.

And that is what I want...most days.  But some days not, because inheriting the kingdom now doesn't usually equal worldly comfort and pleasure {a big, beautiful house, weekly trips to the spa, basking in sunshine, and financial comfort, to be more specific} and being "blessed" does not always mean being happy {without sadness, lifted spirits, lots of laughter and fun}. I'm learning though, that poverty of spirit is always good, because it puts Jesus in His proper place in my heart ~ which is the only means to true pleasure and happiness.

Lord, forgive me for the extremes of my spiritual arrogance ~ from the thought that I can gain your approval and earn salvation from you, to the attitude that I don't really need forgiveness so much. Humble my heart before You, and show me, in your kindness, the poverty of my own soul.  Forgive my bad attitude about church on some Sundays, and the people who gather there. Forgive my wandering thoughts during worship ~ my list making and schedule planning with its self-sufficient control and lack of trust.  Prepare me now to join with others in common dependence on You. Amen.

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