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)
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
Poor In Spirit | Becky Newman
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.
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.
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.