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June 4 – Beatitudes Study Day 2

This summer, we are studying the Beatitudes that start-off Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. These ways that Jesus tells us we should act as Christians are counter-cultural, with blessings or rewards that will come in eternity, not here. We’ll be digging deeper into each of the 9 Beatitudes, looking at other verses in the Bible that describe each characteristic, Biblical characters that exude the Beatitudes, and the blessing that comes from it. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

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

Isaiah 61:1

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.

SOAP Note

Poor In Spirit | Becky Newman

Scripture

Isaiah 61:1

Observation

To help me read each day in the context of the Beatitude we’re studying for the week, I’m using a 2012 study on the Beatitudes by Rosemary Bardsley, which is subtitled “A Call to a Radical New Identity” [Click HERE to go to it]. Looking just at the first part of Matthew 5:3 — what does it mean to be poor in spirit? The study notes say that it’s coming before God as beggars, knowing we are completely dependent on His generosity if we are to hope for acceptance, peace, forgiveness, love, and salvation. It’s coming to the end of self, realizing it will never be enough on my own or in my own merit. This is where we have to be to accept God’s gift of salvation — face down flat on the ground before God’s throne because we can’t get any lower. This is where it all starts in our Christian identity; this is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Isaiah 61:1 describes the poor in spirit as brokenhearted, captive, prisoners, in darkness. This is who will hear the Good News and take it to heart.

Application

Once saved, always saved, right? So once I come to the point of being spiritually impoverished and accept Your salvation, then I can go back to doing it all on my own, picking back up the reins, right? But Jesus is saying this “poor in spirit” becomes part of our identity in Christ, when we accept the gift of salvation and become believers. For it being part of my identity, I sure do have to remind myself a LOT of who’s really in charge. Bardsley’s study says, “It is not something we have to generate for ourselves, it is what we already are, in union with Christ Jesus. But it is also our calling – that which Christ calls us to express in our lives.” So, to express it, I need to continue the daily reminder, as I pray on the breastplate of righteousness each morning, humbled under my God who has all authority and power over heaven and earth.

My second thought on this is how I should apply it in carrying out the Great Commission. Unbelievers must first come to this place of being poor in spirit before they’ll take in Your Word of salvation. I had an interaction with an unbeliever this last week who was realizing the darkness. I was disappointed in my reaction and that I did not turn to You in prayer in this moment. But You’re showing me today that this is part of Step 1, realizing the darkness to realize there’s no way out on my own. Right now, I’m supposed to listen and build trust and shine Your light until this unbeliever reaches the poor in spirit necessary to acknowledge Your authority over this world, hear Your Good News, and take it to heart.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for Your gift of salvation. Help me to fully put on the identity of poor in spirit so that Your Spirit can completely work in and through me. And help me be a good listener, shining Your light as an attraction out of the darkness, and give me a good nudge when they’re ready for the Good News!

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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