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

Matthew 5:3

I am not sure we think enough about the Beatitudes. Jesus gave us these truths as the foundation of His kingdom in our lives, in the world, and forever. I love the name, “Beatitudes,” because these eight principles are not just something we are to hear like a lecture. They are what we are to become.

The first of the Beatitudes given us by Jesus is, “Poverty of Spirit. Are you poor in spirit? All of the Beatitudes are counterintuitive. They go against all human thinking. But I think this first one is the most alien to our thoughts about spirituality. The point is, you are not going to make it on your own. Jesus is saying you are blessed if you are spiritually deficient, because He provides what you lack.

Let me give you a picture of deficiency. Can you imagine being in a boating accident? Maybe you were going out of a bay into the ocean when your boat overturns. As you are thrown free of the boat you realize some things you had not fully understood when you were still in the boat. The water is colder than you ever imagined. And The ocean is bigger than it looked before. You could never swim to a distant shore, which you can't even see from the water. You wouldn't even know which way to swim. You go into panic mode, kicking your feet and flailing your arms. Your panic increases as you realize you can't keep this up much longer.

Then from nowhere it seems, a Navy SEAL appears. He couldn't have got there this quickly had he not been on watch when your boat went down. As he approaches, you are still kicking and whipping your arms about. Your fist actually blacks one of his eyes or bloodies his nose. But he speaks words of hope to you. “Calm down. You will never be able to save yourself.” If he were not there those would not be hopeful words. But those words force you to relax in his arms. And he begins drawing you with his confident strokes toward the shore.

You are actually blessed by the fact that you could never save yourself. Jesus came to save you. Your weakness is a blessing because you have a Savior. And the fact that you could never save yourself helps you rest in His arms.

Unity in the church is a God thing.



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