Easter Devotional
Poor in Spirit, but not Impoverished
J Anthony Shuff, Director - The Salvation Army – Keest Center, Lincoln

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[March 16, 2016]  From what’s commonly known as Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” we find these opening words:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” -Matt. 5:3

This first of several Beatitudes can be as perplexing to some now as it may have been then. Many preachers have explained the beatitudes as how we are to live or “be” – the “'Be’ attitudes.”

So, how exactly are we to live “poor in spirit?”

The poor in spirit will not inherit the Kingdom of God because they are weak, mousey, groveling, living full of fear, passive, or remaining neutral in life. Though not an exhaustive explanation here, someone who is poor in spirit, is one who displays a complete reliance and dependency on God, acknowledging Him in all there ways.

Like Jesus, Who did nothing without His Father, this individual prays to know God’s heart and mind in the matter at hand. This individual knows he can come boldly to God’s throne of grace to find the help he needs, thus he is not self-willed or independent. His rights rest in His relationship, as a son, with his loving Heavenly Father.

There were times Jesus had plenty to say. It was never to get even, “fly off the handle,” or make an irrational display. When He did, His words were convincing and direct, spoken without shame or intimidation. At times He had nothing or little to say. He showed His dependence on, and His relationship with, His Father. He was “poor in spirit,” but not lacking or impoverished. So, the same is asked of us as sons and daughters of God.

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Similarly Moses, who in his day, was known as the meekest man in all the earth (but obviously not weak), was called to live and lead by leaning on the Almighty. One like Moses has secured a place and a kingdom for us.

As we enter another Easter season to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior, let’s reflect on our dependence on Him.

You and I can rule and reign in this life through Him. Are you a recipient of the grace of God? Humbly steward the affairs of His kingdom, poor in spirit, but not impoverished! His promise to you is that you will be blessed and will inherit the kingdom of heaven.


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