Summary: A series on the Beatitudes
THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM #1
Text: Matthew 5: 2-12
BLESSED (markarios) - A Spiritual Joy and Satisfaction that endures regardless of Circumstances or Conditions; that carries us through Pain, Sorrow, Heartache, Loss and Grief. – To be blessed is what men seek. The problem is that they seek it in the things of this world.... money, position, power, fame and material things
IN OUR TEXT JESUS GIVES US EIGHT KEYS TO BLESSEDNESS OR TO GOD’S KINGDOM:
V.3 -THE FIRST KEY IS POVERTY: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Right off many would say, I qualify. But let me ask, Are you really poor? -- All are poor concerning material things.... Even a man with a million dollars cannot buy one ounce of health, or buy one moment of real peace and contentment or buy his way out of hell. (Yes we are poor)
To be Poor in Spirit means to be humble, to have a correct estimate of oneself (Rom. 12:3)
It does not mean to be "poor spirited" and have no backbone at all. It is not a false humility that says --- I am not worth anything, I can’t do anything. It is honesty with ourselves that we cannot do anything without Christ Jesus (Jn. 15:5)
Jesus puts this beatitude first because humility is the foundation of all other graces.
Pride has no part in Christ’s kingdom, and until a person surrenders pride he cannot enter the kingdom. The door into His kingdom is low, and no one who stands tall will ever go through it. We cannot be filled until we are empty, we cannot be made worthy until we recognize our unworthiness; we cannot live until we admit we are dead. We might as well expect fruit to grow without a tree as to expect the other graces of the Christian life to grow without humility.
Humility is the work of God. I can think of at least five steps that build humility.
1. The first step is to admit our sin and be saved.
2. The second step is put our focus on God.
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
3. The third step is to deny ourselves.
Luke 9:23, "If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
4.The fourth step is to ask for humility. David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me."
5. The fifth step is to determine to display humility daily. Go out of your way to put others before yourself. When we assert our own rights, no one wins. (Philippians 2:3-4)
* A humble person lives to exalt Christ. He takes worship seriously. He studies the Word because he wants to learn more of Christ. He prays because he needs communication with Christ. He shares the witness of Christ. Like Paul, the humble person says, "For to me, to live is Christ" (Phi.1:21).
* A humble person doesn’t concentrate on his own desires. Someone said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is simply not thinking of yourself." He puts Christ first, others second, and himself last. J-O-Y -- Jesus - Others - You
*A humble person refuses to complain. A sure sign of a person who is in rebellion to Christ is when he whines, gripes and complains about everything and everyone. Nothing meets his expectations and nothing pleases him because he is only thinking about himself.
*A humble person builds up others. You always hear him with an encouraging word, praising others and thanking God for them.
*A humble person prays. Just as a physical beggar begs for physical needs, a humble person begs for spiritual needs. If your prayer life is poor, you need a dose of humility.
*A humble person is thankful. He knows that all he has comes from God. He gives God the credit and can never thank him enough.
*A humble person is obvious. He doesn’t know it, but others see it in him.
Jesus said of the humble or the "poor in Spirit" "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Those who declare themselves unworthy, God makes worthy. Those who declare themselves worthless, God makes valuable. Those who declare their sinfulness, God makes saints. Those who declare their spiritual poverty, God makes spiritually rich.
Every person, whether saved or lost needs to become "poor in spirit." Only then can we know the blessings of the "kingdom of heaven" the rule and reign of Jesus Christ in our lives.
A wise person once said, "In order to inherit God’s kingdom, you must give up your kingdom."