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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven

For the next three mornings, I'd like for our morning devotional to center
on the opening words of the greatest sermon ever preached--the Sermon on the
Mount, in Matthew 5.

In the beloved Sermon on the Mount, the perfect presenter of truth began His
sermon with what has been dubbed "the be attitudes." Others have called it,
"the attitudes that should be." Both are accurate, but I'm calling them
"heavenly attitudes" because they are the attitudes that heaven requires of
those who wear the name Christian.

Let's look at just three of those heavenly attitudes this morning, and three
more each day for the next two days.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven"
(5:3).

This is so fundamental. To have this quality of life, we must empty
ourselves. The word "poor" here is the Greek word ptochoi and describes one
who has been beaten to his knees by life. Contextually, this is one who
realizes that he is nothing without Christ (i.e. Paul—Rm. 12:3,16; 11:20;
Gal. 2:20). To be poor in spirit is to be without pride, self-assurance and
self-reliance in relation to the spiritual qualities of life. The result of
poverty of spirit is that we are compelled to turn to God's spiritual
resources.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (5:4).

What a contrast. The world places priority on the enjoyment of life, and
living life to its fullest. Its whole philosophy is to seek physical
pleasure. This is referring to a spiritual condition and attitude toward
life. So, what type of mourning is the Lord talking about here? It is not
despair, depression, or even disappointment in life. To mourn is to possess
the attitude of the Publican—"God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Lk. 18:13).
The mourners Christ has in mind are those who grieve over their sin.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (5:5).

This is the opposite of the world's ideologies— strength, aggressiveness,
and power. Meekness is a mental attitude and the expression of that attitude
in my relationship with God and others. Those who are meek are those who
trust in the Lord, who delight in the Lord, who commit their ways to the
Lord, and who are still, restful, before the Lord (cf. Psa. 37:3-7,10-11).

I hope your attitudes today are heavenly, and that you have a great day!

For previous devotionals, visit www.NeilRichey.com.

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