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  • Sam Matthews. K

295. The poor shall be rich.

"Blessed are the poor (Gk: ptōchos means 'a person of few resources' ) in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - (Matthew 5:3) Poverty is never a desirable state to be in yet being "poor in the spirit" seems to be the ideal state to be in to receive from God! Being "poor in the spirit" obviously doesn't mean financial poverty but spiritual poverty, which is the realisation that we have nothing to GIVE TO GOD but ourselves to his service, just as those who are financially poor realise that they have nothing to give others but themselves to their service. God doesn't need our wealth because 'what is rich to man is not rich towards God.' - (Luke 12:21) Rather, God wants us to give ourselves to him first, before giving our offerings to him. So it is said of the Macedonian churches that 'they gave themselves first to the Lord' - (2 Corinthians 8:5) before they gave their offerings to God, despite their extreme poverty because they were rich in faith! 'Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the Kingdom he promised those who love him?' - (James 2:5)

Being "poor in the spirit" is also the realisation that we have to RECEIVE FROM GOD his free gifts. But first we have to give ourselves to God to receive from him and not vice versa (the main items in the preceding statement the other way round)! So he will ask us to give the last of our meagre resources to begin with, as Elijah asked the widow at Zarepath - ( 1 Kings 17:12-13). Those who are "proud in the spirit" think they have much to offer God materially but not themselves! Therefore they are not able to receive grace because 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'. - (Proverbs 3:34) We look to God to receive from him gifts that money cannot buy - faith (Ephesians 2:8), grace (Ephesians 3:7), Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13, Acts 2:38), eternal life (Romans 6:23) ... It takes faith and humility to accept these gifts from God but the "proud in the spirit" reject them because they consider themselves to be rich even without God. So it is written about the Laodicean Church: 'You say, 'I am rich' ; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." - (Revelation 3:17)

The "proud in the spirit" would not give themselves to God and will not inherit anything! But the "poor in the spirit" give themselves to God and will inherit everything! So it is said: "He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty." - (Luke 1:53) Amen.

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