Matthew – Day 19 – Poor in Spirit
lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.
“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”
Continue trying to memorize “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12). See if you can get Matthew 5:1-3 memorized. We will add a verse each day over the next week.
Today we are going to look closely at Matthew 5:3.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Poor in spirit means not thinking more of yourself than you should. In Day 18, we said that we must realize that God is supreme. We read Psalm 111:10 which stated that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” We must start at a place where we recognize that our opinion doesn’t count. What He says is truth, and we form our beliefs from His words.
Pride is probably one of Satan’s best tools. From the very beginning, he has used the temptation of making us desire to be God or be like God. Read Genesis 3:4 (out loud). Throughout the history of mankind, we have made ourselves bigger than we actually are. We have though of ourselves as the center of the universe.
On Day 12, we talked about Alexander the Great conquering great areas of land. As he did this, he spread Hellenism. Hellenism put man at the center of the universe through the theater (entertainment about man), the arena (sports and the fitness of man’s body), the gymnasium (schools and man’s knowledge), and the temple (worship of man-made gods).
Pride continued to be a problem with religious people during Jesus’ time. One of the things that Jesus spoke strongly against the Pharisees for was their pride.
Read Luke 11:43 (out loud).
The Pharisees thought that they had all the answers. They expected special treatment because of their superior level of religious living. They thought they were bigger than they actually were.
When God looks down on us, pride must look so ridiculous. He gives us everything we have: our bodies, our lives, our ability to think, our talents, and our opportunities. He provides all that we need and much of what we want, and we are CRAZY and think (and actually BELIEVE!) that we have done it. We somehow convince ourselves that we are independent of Him. We disrespect Him, we ignore Him, and we put almost everything before Him, and yet, He keeps on giving.
We cannot begin to grow spiritually until we recognize that we are not God. We cannot grow without becoming humble – poor in spirit. God desires for every word we speak and every action we carry out to be done with a humble heart. This is the way of Christ and the example He set for us.
Read Philippians 2:5-8 (out loud).
We have created a false sense of pride based on our knowledge, our abilities, our possessions, our power, our popularity. Do you struggle with pride? Pray that the LORD will show you how to be poor in spirit.
Ray Vander Laan – That the World May Know
Ray Vander Laan On the Life and Ministry of the Messiah, Lesson 4, “Korazin/Mount of Beatitudes: No Greater Love” and “Herod the Great”
Stephen Willis’ Discipleship Materials