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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”—Matthew 5:3 (NLT)
I recently read an article in which the authors stated that poor people from impoverished countries view their lives as more meaningful because they find fulfillment through “life-enriching religious tradition over immediate gratification.” This isn’t the first time I’ve heard something like this, either . . . and I’m 100% in support of this idea, because it’s a deeply biblical one.
Matthew 5:3 explains this principle and gets right to the heart of the matter: True richness and purpose in life comes from Christ. When we empty ourselves, put aside our pride, and come humbly before the Lord, He fills us. He gives our lives purpose and meaning, He breathes His love into our hearts and lives, and He bestows upon us the riches of His grace.
Now, please note with me that this poverty is of the spirit. You can be middle class, or well off, or filthy rich in the physical world and still be poor in spirit. In fact, the word used in the Greek is ptōchoi, which means “destitute, spiritually poor; a humble, devout person; to crouch or cower like a beggar; bent over.” It implies being as helpless as a beggar, with no sense of pride. Wow, what a picture!
It reminds me of the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9–14 where two men went to pray. In verse 13 (NIV) it says, “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.’” This is the heart we should all take as we understand our lowliness, our emptiness, our helplessness, and our hopelessness apart from Christ Jesus! This is the kind of heart that leads to thankfulness, appreciation, and humility. This is the kind of heart that has “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12 NIV)—the kind of heart that has joy no matter what is happening. This is the kind of heart that can experience the abundant life Jesus came to give!
Andrew Murray once wrote, “Being filled with the Spirit is simply this—having my whole nature yielded to His power. When the whole soul is yielded to the Holy Spirit, God Himself will fill it.” Are you being filled daily by the Spirit? If you feel the answer is no, pray and ask the Lord to empty out whatever is keeping Him from filling your soul!
DIG: Do a word study on “poor” in both the Old and New Testaments.
DISCOVER: What does it mean to you to be spiritually poor? Do you consider yourself spiritually poor?
DISPLAY: Today, celebrate and praise the Lord because through Jesus, He has made all those who have come humbly before Him heirs, adopted into His family!
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.