Blessed are the poor in spirit

(Mat 5:3 NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Salvation belongs to those who recognize their spiritual poverty

(Luke 18:10-14 NIV)  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. {11} The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. {12} I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ {13} “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ {14} “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Pharisees were excellent observers of religious requirements. They obeyed diligently all the “dos and don’ts” of their religion. Yet Jesus taught that it is not those things that save them but emphasized the need to recognize you are a sinner and completely put yourself at God’s mercy. You have to realize that you are poor in spirit. The gospel is for the poor in spirit, who recognize that they have nothing to offer to gain God’s salvation.

(Luke 4:18-19 NIV)  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, {19} to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

God’s rule and intervention come to those who recognize their dependence on God

(Mat 5:3 NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven does not just refer to the passport to enter heaven. It refers to God having His way in this world and in our life.

(Mat 6:9-10 NIV)  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, {10} your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

When you are poor in spirit, you will have the privilege of having God’s will fulfilled in your life. Being poor in spirit means recognizing your own inadequacies and being dependent on God. When you are dependent on God, He comes into your situation, takes over and straightens everything out. He doesn’t want to intrude into your life if He is not welcomed there. He does not intervene if you think you are not “poor” and that you can do it by yourself.

(Isa 57:15 NIV)  For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

(Heb 4:16 NIV)  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(Phil 4:6-7 NIV)  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.