Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PART 1)
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC )

I) INTRODUCTION – TODAY WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN A SERIES OF MESSAGES RELATING TO WHAT IS CALLED THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT GIVEN IN MATTHEW 5.

MATTHEW 5:1 – 3) NOW WHEN HE SAW THE CROWDS, HE WENT UP ON A MOUNTAINSIDE AND SAT DOWN. HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM, 2 AND HE BEGAN TO TEACH THEM, SAYING: 3 “BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. NIV

A) JESUS HAD CALLED HIS FIRST DISCIPLES, FISHERMEN: PETER AND ANDREW, WHO WERE BROTHERS, AND JAMES AND JOHN WHO ALSO WERE BROTHERS. (IT IS INTERESTING THAT THEY WERE HUMBLE FISHERMEN AND NOT SCHOLARS OR RELIGIOUS LEADERS OR INFLUENTIAL BUSINESSMEN OR POLITICIANS.)
B) HE HAD BEEN MINISTERING THROUGHOUT GALILEE AND HIS MINISTRY WAS BEGINNING TO DRAW A CROWD. PEOPLE WERE BRINGING THEIR SICK TO BE HEALED IN LARGE NUMBERS. THE CROWD CAME FOR THE LOAVES AND THE FISHES AND TO WITNESS THE MIRACLES, TO RECEIVE HEALING, NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE THEY WERE HUNGRY TO KNOW GOD.
C) IF WE WERE IN JESUS POSITION WE MIGHT BE CONGRATULATING OURSELVES ON THE SUCCESS OF OUR MINISTRY, BUT JESUS KNEW THEIR HEARTS. IT WAS TIME TO BEGIN TEACH HIS DISCIPLES AND FOLLOWERS OF THE NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE ESSENCE OF DISCIPLESHIP & SERVANT LEADERSHIP.
D) HE WENT UP ONTO A MOUNTAINSIDE AND SAT DOWN AND BEGAN TO TEACH THEM. JESUS WAS NOT INTO SENSATIONALISM. HE WAS VERY PRACTICAL AND VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD. HE PURPOSE WAS NOT TO IMPRESS OR TO BRING GLORY TO HIMSELF, BUT TO TEACH AND BRING GLORY TO GOD.
E) IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT JESUS BEGAN TO LAY A FOUNDATION FOR TEACHING AND MENTORING TRUE DISCIPLESHIP.
F) TODAY WE ARE LOOKING AT WHAT IS CALLED THE FIRST BEATITUDE, WHICH MEANS “SUPREME BLESSEDNESS” OR “EXALTED HAPPINESS”. THIS SPEAKS NOT OF THE TEMPORAL HAPPINESS OR BLESSINGS OF THIS WORLD BUT A DEEP ROOTED, LASTING HAPPINESS, BLESSING AND PEACE THAT ARE GIVEN TO TRUE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.
G) EACH OF THE BEATITUDES RELATES TO SPIRITUAL CHARACTER TRAITS THAT GOD DEMANDS OF HIS DISCIPLES. EACH IDENTIFIES A DESIRABLE CHARACTER TRAIT AND PRONOUNCES AN ASSOCIATED BLESSING THAT AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOWS.
H) THE FIRST BEATITUDE: “BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. NIV
1) WHAT SPIRITUAL CHARACTER TRAIT DOES OUR LORD PRONOUNCE OF HIS BLESSINGS? “BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT…”
2) WHAT HAS HE PROMISED TO THEM? “…THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”
3) JESUS DID NOT TEACH THE BEATITUDES IN A RANDOM ORDER. THE FIRST SPIRITUAL CHARACTER TRAIT ESTABLISHES A CONDITION OF THE HEART THAT ENABLES AND UNDER-GIRDS THOSE THAT FOLLOW.

II) WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “POOR IN SPIRIT” OR HAVING “POVERTY OF SPIRIT”?
A) WE GRIMACE EVEN AT THE SOUND OF IT: POVERTY OF SPIRIT. AFTER ALL WE ADMIRE AND ESTEEM SPIRITED, SELF-WILLED PEOPLE. PEOPLE WHO ARE SELF-RELIANT, SELF-MOTIVATED, SELF-MADE PEOPLE. PEOPLE WHO RELY ON THEIR OWN ABILITY, THEIR OWN UNDERSTANDING, PEOPLE WHO GET AHEAD IN THIS WORLD AND CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY ARE THE PEOPLE WE ADMIRE. AREN’T THESE THE SHAKERS AND MOVERS, THE PEOPLE WHO ACHIEVE AND ENJOY THE AMERICAN DREAM?
B) GOD DOESN’T SEE THINGS AS WE DO: ISA 55:8-9: “FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, NEITHER ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS,” DECLARES THE LORD. 9 “AS THE HEAVENS ARE HIGHER THAN THE EARTH, SO ARE MY WAYS HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS AND MY THOUGHTS THAN YOUR THOUGHTS. NIV
C) THE THINGS THAT SO ABSORB US AND SEEM SO IMPORTANT TO US TODAY WILL BE GONE SOMEDAY. WHEN WE STAND BEFORE CHRIST THESE THINGS WILL BE THE LAST THING ON OUR MIND.
D) POVERTY OF SPIRIT MEANS:
1) HAVING A DEEP AWARENESS THAT WE STAND BEFORE GOD WITH NO RIGHTEOUSNESS OF OUR OWN. WE ARE TOTALLY DEPENDENT UPON HIS MERCY AND GRACE.
2) WE ARE NOT LIKE THE PHARISEES THAT WERE SO SPIRITUALLY BLIND THAT THEY FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY WERE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SON OF GOD. THEIR CLAIM TO FAME WAS BEING DESCENDENTS OF ABRAHAM WHEN THEY WERE STANDING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GOD OF ABRAHAM.
3) IT IS IN OPPOSITION TO THE SPIRIT OF OUR AGE: WE DEMAND OUR RIGHTS; “I’M WORTH IT”, “I DISSERVE IT”, “GIVE ME WHAT’S COMING TO ME”, “I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW”. THE WORLD SEEKS HAPPINESS IN A WAY THAT ONLY PRODUCES MISERY.
4) IT IS IN CONTRAST TO THE BOASTING, THE RANTING AND RAVING AND EMPTY PROMISES OF POLITICIANS WHO PROMISE THINGS THAT THEY CANNOT DELIVER AND TELL US WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR.
5) IT SPEAKS OF GENUINE HUMILITY AND AN HONEST SELF ASSESSMENT OF THE KIND THAT ISAIAH CRIES OUT AFTER HAVING SEEN THE KING OF GLORY: ISA 6:5: 5 “WOE TO ME!” I CRIED. “I AM RUINED! FOR I AM A MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS, AND I LIVE AMONG A PEOPLE OF UNCLEAN LIPS, AND MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE KING, THE LORD ALMIGHTY.” NIV
6) IT IDENTIFIES WITH PETER WHEN JESUS TOLD HIM TO CAST HIS NETS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BOAT AFTER HE HAD FISHED ALL NIGHT WITH NO SUCCESS. WHEN HE DID HE BROUGHT UP SO MANY FISHES THAT THE NETS WERE BREAKING. PETER EXCLAIMED: LUKE 5:8: “GO AWAY FROM ME, LORD; I AM A SINFUL MAN!” NIV
7) IT IS NOT FOUND IN THE FALSE TEACHERS THAT 2 Peter 2:18-19 TALKS ABOUT: 18 FOR THEY MOUTH EMPTY, BOASTFUL WORDS AND, BY APPEALING TO THE LUSTFUL DESIRES OF SINFUL HUMAN NATURE, …19 THEY PROMISE THEM FREEDOM, WHILE THEY THEMSELVES ARE SLAVES OF DEPRAVITY NIV
8) “POOR IN SPIRIT: MEANS TO EMPTY OURSELVES SO THAT SO THAT HE MAY FILL US WITH HIMSELF TO FULFILL HIS PLANS, HIS PURPOSE THROUGH US,

III) HOW DID JESUS MODEL BEING POOR IN SPIRIT?
A) IF ANYONE DESIRES TO COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, AND FOLLOW ME . LUKE 9:23 HOEKSTRA – IN ORDER TO FOLLOW THE LORD, A PERSON MUST BE WILLING TO RENOUNCE THE SELF-LIFE, WHICH IS PRODUCED BY ONE’S OWN SUFFICIENCY. THEN, THAT PERSON MUST AGREE THAT SUCH A SELF-PRODUCED LIFE DESERVES TO BE JUDGED AND SEPARATED FROM GOD. FINALLY, EVERYTHING THAT IS NEEDED FOR GODLY LIVING MUST BE FOUND BY PURSUING A GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
B) PHIL 2:1 – 8

IV) WHY BECOMING POOR IN SPIRIT BRING GODS BLESSINGS?
A) POVERTY OF SPIRIT SPEAKS OF THE SOIL OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. THOSE WITH AN IMPOVERISHED SPIRIT RECOGNIZE THAT THEY CANNOT BEAR FRUIT WITHOUT HIM. THEY ALLOW GOD TO PLOW THE SOIL OF THEIR HEART TO BREAK UP THE FALLOW GROUND AND TEAR UP THOSE ROOTS OF BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS AND PRIDE.
B) IT IS SOIL THAT WILL RECEIVE GOD’S WORD IN HUMILITY AND BRING FORTH FRUIT. SOME 30, 60, 100 FOLD. HIS WORD WILL CHANGE US FROM THE INSIDE OUT! IT WILL GROW AND BEAR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, KINDNESS, ETC. IT WILL RENEW OUR MINDS, GUARD OUR HEARTS AND CONFORM US TO THE IMAGE OF HIS DEAR SON.
C) THE WORLD SEEKS A KINGDOM THAT IS HERE AND NOW BUT IT IS PASSING AWAY AND SO ARE THEY. WE CANNOT HANG ON TO OUR LIFE OR PRESERVE OUR YOUTH. GOD MAY GIVE US RICHES, BUT WE WILL NOT TAKE OUR RICHES WITH US INTO THE NEXT LIFE SO WE IF HE DOES GIVE US RICHES WE BECOME GOOD STEWARDS AND INVEST IN HIS KINGDOM. JESUS PROMISED THE POOR IN SPIRIT AN INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WHICH WILL NEVER PASS AWAY – IT WILL BE THEIRS TO ENJOY FOR ALL ETERNITY.
D) POVERTY OF SPIRIT DOES NOT SPEAK OF PERSONALITY; IT GOES MUCH DEEPER THAN THAT. WE CAN BE POOR IN SPIRIT REGARDLESS OF OUR PERSONALITY TYPE OTHERWISE WE WOULD BE PREDISPOSED TO BE A PART OF HIS KINGDOM OR SATAN’S KINGDOM BY OUR PERSONALITY.
E) BEING POOR IN SPIRIT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE RESIGN OURSELVES TO BE FAILURES IN BUSINESS OR IN OUR PROFESSION – IT MEANS THAT WE HUMBLE OURSELVES AND SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD; THAT WE GO ABOUT OUR LIFE WITH INTEGRITY AND PURPOSE, RECOGNIZING THAT GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR BLESSING AND WE WILL STAND BEFORE HIM AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES.

V) SO, HOW DO WE BECOME POOR IN SPIRIT?
A) DO WE HAVE TO WITHDRAW FROM SOCIETY AND TOTALLY SECLUDE OURSELVES AND PERFORM ENDLESS ACTS OF PENITENCE AND GOOD WORKS? NO, THIS NOT ABOUT ACTS OF PENITENCE AND GOOD WORKS – THIS OFTEN ONLY BRINGS SPIRITUAL PRIDE AND SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT GOD HINDERS THE WORK OF GOD IN OUR LIFE.
B) POVERTY OF SPIRIT IS A NATURAL OUTCOME OF SPENDING TIME IN GOD’S PRESENCE AND IN HIS WORD. AS WE SPEND TIME MEDITATING UPON HIS WORD AND SEEKING HIM WE BEGIN TO RECOGNIZE THE TOTAL FAILURE OF OUR OWN ATTEMPTS TO BE RIGHTEOUS AND OUR TOTAL DEPENDENCY UPON HIS GRACE AND MERCY. WE BECOME TRULY THANKFUL RECOGNIZING HIM AS THE SOURCE OF EVERY THING GOOD.
C) POVERTY OF SPIRIT IS NOT SOMETHING WE ACQUIRE BUT THAT WE COME TO ACKNOWLEDGE. EVERY MAN AND WOMEN IS BORN SPIRITUALLY IMPOVERISHED WITH NO HOPE OF REDEEMING OURSELVES. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER WE ARE ABLE TO HUMBLE OURSELVES RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE OUR SPIRITUAL POVERTY.

VI) GOD’S PROMISES TO THOSE WHO ARE HUMBLE AND POOR IN SPIRIT

* Mat 11:29, 30 (KJV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

* Isa 57:15 (KJV) For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

* Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

* Isa 66:2 (KJV) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

 

Your Support is Greatly Apreciated

Speak Your Mind

*