03 A Blessed Poverty and a Blessed Prize

Matthew 5v2-11

What is bad about a crutch? Christianity is often criticised as a crutch, but how is this a criticism? We don’t hate on crutches… Perhaps it is that we must then be cripples to need a crutch, and this grinds our ego… But it is true. I need what Christ did on that Cross! We have hobbled out of Hell on this crutch. But our culture has a conventional wisdom it holds to. Biblical wisdom turns conventional wisdom on its head. Culture says up is up, but the Bible teaches us that the way up is down. And this wisdom is not only wise – it’s true! Reign in your spirit a bit when you want to change everyone around you. Give the Holy Spirit time to work. You cannot, only Christ can! Let Him work in You!

  1. A Blessed Poverty
    All those things that declare the glory of God are only glimpses. Don’t give the real thing up for the glimpses and thus make idols of good things. To get into God’s kingdom, you require a blessed poverty! The crowds were hungry for a word from God and Jesus spoke these words to them. This is a very strange idea to us.  The Afrikaans word “Sielstevrede” – Soul satisfaction and blessedness. Poverty of spirit acknowledges how easily we can harm and hold back on this. Who needs the most grace? The Lost. Yet we often give them the most law. How were you changed? Do you remember? Let us not just say what He said, but also show what He is like! Poverty of spirit took Christ to the Cross! God sending His Son to a Cross to display His glory!
    But this is not how the world sees life. Everyone knows poverty of spirit is not the way to get ahead. Assertiveness – supermen who take everything if they are strong enough. This is not a good thing. In its extreme application it becomes Machiavellianism, wherein villains see harming others as acceptable as long as it serves the greater goal. Many baptise this into Christianity. God Himself then becomes more a means to an end.
    Yet He had in mind your eternal glory and not just your temporary happiness! Do we stop to find out how people are doing? To love the person more than you hate their pride, drunkenness, etc? A good word for us is destitute. Without Christ we can do nothing! Have you seen this? Have you tried to serve Him in your own strength? We become exhausted because we cannot do this. We limit God to make us feel safe. But we are empty. And we need to know this poverty, since without it we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, coming to Him with empty hands.

  2. A Blessed Kingdom
    God’s kingdom itself is what we gain when we are poor in spirit (Col. 1:12, 1 Pet. 1:4). We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ! Children of the King! Your Father’s promises never fail (2 Pet. 1:4, 2 Cor. 1:20).

Try to find out about others. Who is here today? Maybe last night something bad happened. How do we receive those who are hurting? Do you know what God has done with us? Ask: “How are you doing?” Can we be more poor in spirit? Let’s be a Church like that! Can we be poor so we can inherit the Kingdom of God?