#253 – THE POOR ARE SPIRITUALLY RICH (9/12/20)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:12
I think that many of us are so focussed on how and what we want to change or achieve that we fail to realise and enjoy the wealth of blessing that we already have. We can be like those who miss the beauty of what they are doing because they are distracted by their phones. Let’s meditate on, rest in and celebrate the riches that we have already
Readings and reflections
1. Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Here, Paul lists some of those riches that we have,
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ (Ephesians 1:3-6)
How does Paul describe the type and amount of blessing that you and I have?
Read this section again and notice how Paul keeps repeating that God’s blessings come ‘in Christ’ - as a result of receiving Him.
2. To enter the Kingdom of heaven requires perfect righteousness. Paradoxically, this is only received by those who realise that they are spiritually poor!
“To the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness…Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:5, 7-8)
What were all of us before we came to Jesus?
What has happened to our sin?
What will the Lord never do?
How does one enter into the blessing mentioned here?
Am I distracted and fractured in my thinking? Am I full of regret or fear? Am I walking in an awareness of the blessings I have in Christ?
To memorise this week
This week, why not begin memorising The Beatitudes?!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:12)
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Have you ever been jealous of someone? Why was this?
Introduction - please share in your group
To be a disciple means that we learn from, in order to obey, Jesus. On Sunday, we began to look at the Beatitudes, which is an important section of Jesus' teaching.
Let's read the whole section together,
'Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."' (Matthew 5:1-12)
To be blessed means to be truly happy, and truly rich.
Billy Graham called the Beatitudes the beautiful attitudes. These are attributes that every Christian is to exhibit. As we do so, we will become a city set on a hill for the glory of God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit
This week we will focus on the first Beatitude which reads,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)
To be poor in Spirit is to realise that we are spiritually bankrupt. We realise that we need saving. It's to come to trust in Jesus completely for salvation and transformation. To such belongs 'The Kingdom of heaven' - they become citizens of God's Kingdom and have the certain hope of eternal life.
1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?
2. What might characterise someone who is 'poor in spirit'?
3. To be blessed is to be truly rich; in what ways have Christians been enriched?
4. To be poor in spirit is to rely on Jesus completely for salvation; what texts of scripture would you use to reinforce this idea?
5. To be poor in spirit to to rely on God for transformation (sanctification); what texts of scripture might you use to reinforce this?
Investing and inviting
i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?
ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?
iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our carol service on the 20th?
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