Gardendale Nazarene

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Archives for July 2014 | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

The Poor in Spirit

If you are like me, you read the quote above and your mind quickly flashes a picture of someone who is homeless. Knowing the quote came from Mother Teresa, your mind might flash to a picture of the poor in Calcutta. As we prepare for worship this week, I’d like for you to take time and rethink the term ‘poor’.

‘Poor’ simply defined means lacking. Economically, it refers to someone who lacks sufficient economic means to live at a comfortable level. I think this quote is pushing us to think of the disguises those who are lacking might take. Who in your life is lacking all that God has promised them? Poor is much deeper than economics. Are you lacking trust in your Lord?

A verse that comes to my mind is Matthew 5:3, “Wonderful news for the poor in spirit! The kingdom of heaven is yours” (The Kingdom NT). What if we use the term ‘lacking’ instead of poor? “Wonderful news for those who are lacking in spirit! The kingdom of heaven is yours.” I think we could all use that wonderful news.

This verse is one of the Beatitudes. Matthew’s gospel has been said to declare the ‘Upside-Down Kingdom’. The kingdom that Jesus is proclaiming is one that turns the world upside down- or from God’s prospective, one that turns the world right-side-up. N.T. Wright states, “[The Beatitudes] are a summons to live in the present in the way that will make sense in God’s promised future; because that future has arrived in the present in Jesus of Nazareth.”

My question for you today is this, “Who are the poor among you?” Remember, as Mother Teresa challenged you- the poor have some interesting disguises! Once you identify the one who is ‘lacking’ in spirit, do they know the promise of Jesus in Matthew 5:3? Here is the hard question, “How is God going to use you to proclaim His Kingdom to this person?”

If you spend time thinking about this, it will make you a little nervous. Take heart, if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then you know you are not alone in proclaiming His Kingdom.


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