Summary: An 8 week series on the characteristics every Christian is called to possess as citizens of God’s kingdom.
January 8, 2006
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
Video: People of the Fine Print – What does your fine print say about you?
Trans: This clip made me think of Ph. 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as Christ.
Trans: A person’s attitude determines altitude. It testifies to their disposition and determination. Spiritually speaking, your attitude determines the depth of your faith and the passion of your convictions.
Story: Twin boys were giving their mother fits b/c one was an eternal optimist while the other was a pessimist. At her wits end, she took them to the doctor desperate for help. The doctor had a plan that put the pessimist in a room w/ everything he could wish for and the optimist in a stall of horse manure. At the end of the day he was certain both would be cured. But when he checked on the pessimist, instead of enjoying the toys, the boy was crying b/c he knew he wouldn’t be able to take the toys home. Then, when they got to the stall, they found the optimist covered w/ mature, slinging it and yelling in excitement – “W/ all this manure, there’s got to be a pony in here some where!”
Note: Attitude certainly determines altitude. In Mt. 5, Jesus speaks to the issue of attitude in greatest sermon ever preached – the Sermon on the Mount. He offered (8) attitudes (beatitudes) every Christian is called to possess as a child of the Kingdom. The first (4) focus on our relationship w/ God, while the second (4) focus on our relationship w/ one another.
Verse: This AM we’re going to begin a new series on the be-attitudes Read Mt. 5:1-10
Trans: You might have noticed that each attitude begins w/ the word “blessed.” In fact, God makes a promise that those who possess the beatitudes will be blessed.
I The PROMISE
Word: Blessed (markarios) fortunate and happy. Typically we think of happiness as a chance experience of elation fueled by feelings and circumstances, but this in not what Jesus was saying.
Note: Markarios is to have an inward contentedness unaffected by surrounding circumstances. It’s to be singularly favored and graciously approved by God.
Quote: To be blessed is not a superficial feeling of well-being based on circumstances, but a deep supernatural experience of contentedness based on the fact that one’s life is right w/ God. MacArthur
Trans: It’s the positive judgment and pronouncement of God to approve and bring joy to His people, or as Lucado puts it, “It is to receive the Applause of Heaven.”
Quote: First, we recognize we’re in need (poor in spirit). Next, we repent of our self sufficiency (mourn). We quit calling the shots and surrender control to God (meek). So grateful are we for His presence that we yearn for more of Him (hunger and thirst). As we grow closer to Him, we become more like Him. We forgive others (merciful). We change our outlook (pure in heart). We love others (peacemakers). We endure injustice (persecuted). And in so doing, we receive the applause of Heaven. Lucado
Note: We must realize the beatitudes are essential elements Christians are to have to possess a balanced/healthy Christian life. In living by and exemplifying these attitudes, we exude God’s nature and are promised God’s approval.
Insert: Do we really want God’s approval and blessing more than anything else?
Note: This AM, let’s look at the first attitude Jesus said we must possess to be blessed. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Mt. 5:3
II The CONDITION
Word: Poor (ptochos) to shrink, cower, or cringe. It is a reference to destitute beggar. It is someone who has absolutely nothing and is an outcast to society. It’s one who has a hand out for alms while the other hand covers his face b/c of shame.
Note: In the Greek, there are two words for begging – ptochos and penichros. The woman who brought Jesus the two coins in Luke 21 was penichros. She was poor, but she wasn’t a beggar – she had some meager resources. But one who is ptochos has nothing and is completely dependent upon others for support. Now Jesus is speaking to our spiritual need – we are all ptochos before God and in need of God’s help to experience forgiveness and eternal life.
Trans: To be “poor in spirit” is to recognize how spiritually destitute and utterly dependent we are upon God. It is to understand that we have no saving resources and that we can only beg for His mercy and grace b/c we are spiritually destitute. It is to consciously confess our unworthiness to God b/c we realize we’ve missed the mark and fallen short of God’s perfect standard.