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Be Poor in Spirit

Rev Enoch Thompson | JANUARY 21, 2023 | MATTHEW 5:3

KEY VERSE: Matt 5:3 (NIV)

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


In the next few days, we will be working our way through the eight beatitudes that the Lord Jesus gave in the sermon on the mount. The beatitudes show the character that the citizens of the Kingdom, believers in and followers of the Lord Jesus, have to show.

The Old Testament begins with the threat of an impending curse that could come upon the nation of Israel:

"⁵See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. ⁶He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." (Mal 4:5-6 NIV).

The Lord Jesus Christ begins His ministry by pronouncing blessings, to show that, as the carol writer says “He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.”

God intends for humanity to live in His abundant blessings, but the Fall into sin has erased the blessing and made us cursed or unhappy. The Old Testament stressed the curse and its consequences, so when Israel was to enter Canaan the curses were recited (please read Deut. 27:12-26). Because the ministry of Christ in the New Testament was to restore the original blessing, Christ in this first sermon declares the blessings associated with Kingdom citizenship and Kingdom living (Matthew 5:3-10).

In the first beatitude, the Lord Jesus teaches us “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV). The Lord does not praise material poverty by this teaching. He intends to communicate to His disciples that Kingdom citizens are people who acknowledge that in the light of Heaven’s evaluation, they are insignificant, bankrupt, deficient and of no value. It is the admission of our guilt as sinners, and our dying need of a Saviour, and the sustaining grace of God for us to live the God-kind of life.

There are materially poor people who are proud, and even reject God’s offer of free salvation in Christ. Such people are far away from the Kingdom of God. Truly happy people (blessed) are such as accept the verdict of God that,

“²³for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ²⁴and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Rom 3:23-24 NIV).

Till one accepts the verdict of God that we are sinners from birth, and deserving only of an eternity in Hell, and that we humbly accept the free offer of new life in Jesus Christ, we are proud opposers of God and can never live the truly blessed life.


Acknowledge the truth of your spiritual bankruptcy and accept God’s loving free salvation in Christ. You will be a blessed person indeed.


Dear God, I am a sinner from my mother’s womb, and I need your life to truly live. Come into my heart and help me to live as a true citizen of your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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