Bible Verse: Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-11

A lot of people say the Beatitudes are a progression, which I also believe they are. But, as we start here, it always takes me a while to digest, for we’re starting with receiving the biggest thing- the Kingdom of God. And receiving it for what? Nothing. Being poor in Spirit, not for being very good as a spiritual person. For this poverty we get the fullness of the Kingdom of God here and now.

I am bad at praying. I am bad at getting to know Jesus through scripture. I am bad at being “spiritual.” I’m much more rational, logical, and like to figure things out. So, when following Jesus, where there is little black and white, it makes things difficult. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but there’s so much more of Jesus that I want to be a part of me. This causes me to feel poor in Spirit. After all, how can I, of all people, earn all of Him? Do you ever feel like you’re just not good at being spiritual; that you’re consistently falling short and failing of what you think is expected? I do.

But thank the Lord for this ethic Jesus lays down. Despite all these crappy feelings and expectations you put on yourself, the Kingdom of Heaven is opened up for you. The ordinary guy. Not just the pastor, the rabbi, or the teacher – but those who fail, feel they aren’t good enough, and those who haven’t read their Bible this year. He is for you; this whole Kingdom is for you.

As we go through these beatitudes, keep one hand on this crazy idea at all times: “Blessed are those who are poor at being Spiritual, for the Kingdom of Heaven is well-suited for ordinary people”1Brian Zhand, Beauty Will Save the World, 2012.

— Jon Pue, Youth Worker, Youth Unlimited, Langley, BC.

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