Blessed Proverty

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:3

We don’t generally include “the poor” under the column of things labeled “Blessed are.” We’re much more used to associating wealth and success with blessing. For us poor is bad. We link it with failure. When we apply it to people, it’s usually a term of sympathy or even reproach. “Poor old Joe,” we say. Or, “Oh, that poor woman!” And, “You’re a poor excuse for a man.”

But Jesus says the good life begins with being poor. He’s not saying that it’s good to be poor in a literal sense. Notice, it is spiritual poverty about which he speaks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

Poverty of spirit grows only in a humble heart. The kingdom of heaven which is gospel shorthand for the blessing of God’s presence and rule over our lives can be experienced only by those who have learned to see themselves honestly, as God sees them. They recognize that they really have nothing to offer him except their desperate need of his mercy, forgiveness and love. “Nothing in my hands I bring,” goes the old hymn, “simply to Thy cross I cling.”

Do you know how to sing that? The only way is to humble yourself, to empty your hands of the possessions, accomplishments and achievements that make you feel so important and to turn your palms upward to God, asking for him to save you.

PRAYER

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” For Jesus’ sake. Amen.