Blessed: a study of the beatitudes: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
God talked about the poor in spirit in many different ways: “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2). “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18). “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:17). “The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” (Isaiah 57:15)
Something To Talk About:
- Happiness and satisfaction are found in experiencing God: Think about your life, or more specifically your day, and make a list of things that make you happy. Now, what if all those things were stripped away from you, could you still be happy? Probably not. True happiness cannot be found apart from God because life apart from Him is never contended and is always concerned. Our God is eternal, His purpose is perfect, and we are forever His. We find pleasure in the God who made us, gives us all things, and works all things for our good. Yes, we delight in the gifts He gives us, but what makes these gifts so special is not the thing given but the One who gives it. Even if the gift is taken away through troubling circumstances, the Giver remains forever with us. To find true happiness you must look to the Lord Jesus, find beauty in His character, fall in love with His work, and stand in awe at what He has done for you and the future you have in Him. Real joy and happiness are found in Him.
- Poor in spirit: a deep sense of spiritual helplessness: Where do you feel helpless? Remember those places in which you felt helpless in the past and God intervened. We really can trust God who is never helpless or without resources. The saying goes that God helps those who help themselves. There is some truth to that. But what do you do when you can’t do anything? How do you help yourself when you have no strength left? Where do you turn when you simply don’t have the resources to meet the needs you have? The Bible says that God helps those who can’t help themselves and know it. We all feel helpless at times, and for good reason—we are helpless. There are so many problems and needs in our lives for which we have no remedy, so many mountains that are too big to climb, and so many challenges that we can’t meet. A feeling of helplessness is a rational response to reality. That is why we need to be dependent on God.
- What kind of person or what kind of character comes to mind when you think of someone “poor in spirit”? What other qualities do they possess?
- Describe a time when you felt especially poor in spirit—a time when you were keenly aware of your need for God. How did He meet you?
- As believers in Christ – are we rich or poor? What would be the attitudes/actions of a “poor though-rich” person compared to a “rich-though-poor” person?
- What things do we try to include in our spiritual net worth balance sheet?
- Did this week’s sermon change how you view being poor in spirit?
- One commentary provided this insight into being “poor in spirit”. “This describes those who are humble before God. They have nothing to contribute and have come to the King as helpless and hopeless sinners. There is no arrogance in them, no self-righteousness, no self-sufficiency. They are free from their own pretensions and therefore are free for God…they can do nothing of their own power, possessions or merit to gain entrance.” Based on this insight, why is there a natural inclination to think we have some standing before God, rather than to acknowledge our spiritually bankrupt condition?
- What do the following scriptures say about developing a “poor in spirit” character? 2 Corinthians 6:8-10; 1 Timothy 6:17; James 2:5; and Revelation 3:17-18
- What part of the message resonated with you? What would you do differently this week as a result of this week’s sermon?
Take one thing home with you:
One of the most amazing passages in the Bible is Philippians 2:6-8, in which Paul demonstrates the humility of Christ. The apostle Paul described it this way: “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
These are probably the strongest verses about humility in the New Testament, and they demonstrate that Jesus’ behavior has always been marked by humility.
When Paul wrote that Jesus existed in the “form” of God, he meant that Jesus wasn’t just a component of God, nor was He a symbol of God. In reality, He was God. As the eternal God Himself, Jesus possessed the splendor, glory, and power of God.
Jesus practiced mind-blowing, unfathomable humility. Think about it for a second. God becomes a man. He goes from heaven to earth. He goes from a throne to a manger. He goes from riches to poverty.