Happy Friday!! It’s going to be an amazing weekend! My husband and I are getting away, just the two of us, to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. 🙂 Actually, our anniversary date is July 24th, but he will be in San Francisco for business all next week, so this weekend is ours! Praise God!
I did it again. I couldn’t help myself, I read ahead in my devotional today and stopped on July 21st, which really spoke to me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” (Matthew 5:3).
I don’t know about you, but I have read the Beatitudes several times and have been inspired and encouraged by the blessings listed by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ message, to a large group of potential followers, is what it really means to follow Him and be a part of God’s kingdom. Of course, living up to these standards is possible only through faith in Jesus, the son of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is where Chamber’s devotional titled, “The Doorway to the Kingdom” really kicked Matthew 5:3 into a whole new way of thinking for me:
“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit…'” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “‘Lord, I cannot even begin to do it'” (Chambers, July 21, emphasis mine).
Friends, I am humbled to say that at times I have left several things at the altar of God and taken back portions of them to help them move along, without trusting God’s provision and timing. Anyone else like me?!
*I’ve taken a job when I didn’t have peace in my Spirit. Guess what? The job wasn’t right for me, but God was faithful in working it out for my good in spite of the fact that I was the one that put myself there in the first place!
*Another time, my Spirit let me know that a friendship of mine was not on the healthy side anymore and that I should take a step back and re-evaluate with prayer. But, I rationalized that we had been friends a very long time, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Feelings were hurt, trust was broken, and the friendship was severed in a wearisome way. Clearly, the Holy Spirit was trying to take a different path that would have ended in a more positive way, but I failed to heed the warning.
Those are two examples of how “poor” I really am and how much I need Jesus every day to begin to do everything He created me to be: submitted to Him, relying on Him and His timing, and allowing Him to accomplish His work in me.
“Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work” (Chambers, July 21).
Are you poor? I am! I desperately need Jesus every day to “make me what He teaches me to be” (Chambers). With perseverance and the Holy Spirit, I move forward like the Apostle Paul, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).
Thank you Jesus for all that You do and all that You are!
Chambers. Oswald. “My Utmost For His Highest.” July 21st, “The Doorway to the Kingdom.” Discovery House Publishing. Updated edition, 1992.
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
Images: “Sermon on the Mount.” Wikipedia
“Happy 25th Anniversary.” e-cards.com