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“Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:3)

I’ve heard it my whole life, but really, what does that even mean?

One of my hobbies is looking up words in the Hebrew and Greek…sounds crazy, I know. But I find it to be so exciting to get a clearer picture of what Jesus and the other speakers in the Bible may have been saying as opposed to what I naturally perceive a word or verse to mean.  So this is some of what I gleaned:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

In other words, happiness belongs to those who know that they have lack in the deepest places of their souls.  A lack that no amount of education, security, or status can fill.  Desperate for intervention from a greater source of meaning and supply.  Happy  are those who humbly see their need for God.

Jesus told his disciples that these people will be truly happy because they are the ones who will eagerly give themselves up for the truth of Christ. 

Those who are “poor in spirit” are the ones who will be open and able to receive the goodness that never lacks in heaven.

Am I aware of my own lack?  Is there room in my heart to receive, or am I already quite full, quite content with myself, my stuff, my ability, my sufficiency?  

Am I blind to my own need?

When we come to God with such humility, we don’t stay in our lack, we experience Him to be our provision.  Heaven’s goodness in our everyday reality.

“…For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

In our lack, He offers great abundance from the place where there is no lack, no want, no need.  He meets our humble need with extravagant grace that flows like a rush of water from His throne of unceasing provision.

We bow low before His throne, sinners.  Grateful.

He lifts us up to sit at His right hand, co-heirs with Christ.  Gracious.

He calls us His own and sends us out with a new identity, a consuming passion, a fierce wind of love that compels us forward, inspiring us to live as lights, to bring the reality of heaven to earth.

All the healing, restoration, joy, reconciliation, fullness, hope, peace, fascination, creativity, wonder, and love that you can begin to imagine…that’s God’s intent for us now, that’s the post-resurrection reality that He invites us into. (1 Cor. 15:4)

As N.T. Wright says so well, our lives are to be signposts that point to heaven, reflecting images of who He is, what He is like, beckoning the world to be made right with this good God.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Theirs is the kingdom of God.”

Happy are those who know their lack.  They will abandon themselves to receive what cannot be taken, what cannot be shaken, what will last forever.  The kingdom of heaven.  Not to keep to themselves, but that it may be established on the earth, that Jesus’ prayer would be answered in and through our lives.   (Mtt 6:10)