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Monday, July 23, 2012

Poor in Spirit

Genesis 18:27 - Abraham answered and said, "Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Genesis 32:10 - I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Exodus 4:10 - But Moses said to the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue." Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 1 Kings 3:7 - And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. Job 42:5-6 - I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Isaiah 6:5 - And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" John 1:26-27 - 26 John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." Luke 5:8 - But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 - I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. And my good friend Piper has this to say: What then is poverty of spirit? It is a sense of powerlessness in ourselves. It is a sense of spiritual bankruptcy and helplessness before God. It is a sense of moral uncleanness before God. It is a sense of personal unworthiness before God. It is a sense that if there is to be any life or joy or usefulness, it will have to be all of God and all of grace. The reason I say it is a SENSE of powerlessness and a SENSE of bankruptcy and a SENSE of uncleanness and a SENSE of unworthiness, is that, objectively speaking, everybody is poor in spirit. Everybody, whether they sense it or not, is powerless without God and bankrupt and helpless and unclean and unworthy before God. But not everybody is "blessed". When Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," he does not mean everybody. He means those who feel it. That is why it is so appropriate to take the first and second beatitudes together. "Blessed are those who mourn," clarifies the subjective side of being poor in spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit who mourn. Blessed are the people who feel keenly their inadequacies and their guilt and their failures and their helplessness and their unworthiness and their emptiness -- who don't try to hide these things under a cloak of self-sufficiency, but who are honest about them and grieved and driven to the grace of God. It would help me to see some verses where we are shown to be stong in spirit. I still hold to my point that being poor in spirit has to do with seeing our utter hopelessness with out God. By always being poor we have to keep comming back to him for handout. That is why we end up being rich. We never reach a point where we are rich aside from Christ. We have a God that gives to us richly. We are blessed because of that. But the moment I think of myself as rich, I stop comming to God and asking. I must remain poor. There is a blessing in being poor in spirit. That blessing is that I have to keep asking God for grace. What could make me more rich than that. I think this is an I am weak but he is strong thing.

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