In Luke chapter 16 we read of the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus was a beggar who was placed outside the home of the rich man each day to beg. All he desired was the crumbs that fell from the table of the rich man. It would appear that those crumbs were what sustained his life and without them he would die, which eventually did happen.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus opened up His discourse on the character of Christians by telling us that “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” This is the basic attitude of those who would follow God, the way He desires.
First we need to realize that we are made of both spirit and flesh. The physical body would of course be flesh, but that which was imparted to us at our creation is spirit. Scripture teaches that these two battle against one another and we have input as to which will win out. Jesus says in Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The physical things of this world do nothing to prepare us for eternity, so we must focus on the spiritual things if we desire a home with God one day.
The idea of being poor in spirit means that we realize that our spiritual survival rests in a greater being than ourselves. We must understand that we are sinners and that as a result of our sins we have been separated from God. Being poor in spirit results in a desire to seek God, realizing He and only He can provide the spiritual food that will result in our spiritual survival.
We mustn’t forget the reward to the poor in spirit! If we are poor in spirit God promises we will have a home in the Kingdom of Heaven. Most of us will say that we desire to go to Heaven but if we don’t find ourselves as “poor in spirit” we will be sorely disappointed. Won’t you do a self-evaluation on your spiritual condition? It is a matter of “spiritual life or death!”
Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter