Verse: Matthew 5:1-3
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5 introduces one of the most important sermons in Jesus’ life on earth. People from all walks of life usually know small pieces about the Sermon on the Mount for its profound teachings. This sermon lays down the model of Christian living.

The sermon starts off with the first Beatitude – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To be poor in spirit means to recognize our need for God. It is to understand that we are not self-sufficient and to have a deep-rooted need for God in our lives. If you are poor in spirit, you will not only inherit the kingdom of God when you pass away and go to heaven. You will also experience the presence of God in your daily life on earth.

I believe it is a hard lesson to learn to be truly poor in spirit. Often, like being poor in wealth, you have to experience what it is like to be without, to truly appreciate everything what you have. A friend of mine shared with me this past week a saying from their family – “God can only fill cups that are empty – so take trials and hardships as a chance for God to fill you up with Him”. It does not feel good to have a poor spirit or an empty cup, but it provides an opportunity for God’s grace to overflow.

If you come to God with your empty cup, you will experience the kingdom of heaven. God wants to bring you comfort, love, peace, and mercy. He wants to use you to help His people. God wants to show you His power through healings, reconciliation, and transformation. He wants to give you a hope that is worth living for. But to experience the Kingdom of Heaven, you must first humbly come before Him with a heart that is poor in spirit.

God, I pray that we get to know you more. I know my own heart can get filled with hurt, resentment, and I can easily blame You for all that is wrong in my life. But I pray that your humility fills my heart instead. I pray that we can come before you with hearts that have a real need for You. Help us to be poor in spirit so that we may experience the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Author: Joanna Martin