July 2019

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 08:59 Be the first to comment!

"Being poor in spirit ..."

Last month I wrote about the Sermon on the Mount. I continue with that theme once more. Of all the virtues Jesus commended in the part known as the Beatitudes it is significant that the first is humility, being poor in spirit (Matt5:3) that underlies all the others. You cannot mourn (v4) without appreciating how inadequate you are to handle life in your own strength. That is humility.

You cannot be meek (v5) unless you have needed gentleness yourself. Knowing that need is humility. You cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness (v6) if you proudly think of yourself as already righteous. Longing to fill that spiritual appetite needs humility. In one of Jesus’ parables a humble tax collector prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” He went away justified, unlike a proud Pharisee who boasted of his righteousness (Luke 18:13)

You cannot be merciful (Matt 5:7) without recognising your own need for mercy. Jesus said that it is the person who is forgiven much who loves much. (Luke 7:47) To confess your sin and ask God and others forgiveness takes humility. You cannot be pure in heart (Matt 5:8) if your heart is filled with pride. God promises to exalt the humble not the proud (James 4:10)

You cannot be a peacemaker (Matt 5:9) if you believe that you are always right. To admit your own fallibility takes humility. Peace results when both warring parties move toward each other. Finally, identifying with Jesus no matter what the reaction of others (v 10-12) demands a certain death to yourself and a giving up of your own rights.

With every blessing,

Garry.

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