Sunday, March 23, 2008

Poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3
The preacher's sermon on the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount hit home this morning. He said when you try to understand the what it means to be blessed, don't think in terms of a common English translation of the word.

That word, happiness, indicates a feeling that comes from within ourselves. The Old English root , hap, refers to "one's luck or lot" or "an occurrence, happening or accident," according to We are happy because (presumably) good things happen to us.

We often feel happy in reaction to the events that shape our lives, unlike being blessed, which occurs because we give our complete trust to God.

The key, the preacher emphasised, to understanding the Beatitudes is to learn the true meaning of the Greek word for blessed. Although the word can be translated as happy, you get a deeper sense of its true meaning from the context of the passage.

Being blessed doesn't come from within ourselves, but from without -- from God. We are blessed because we come to God as one who's "poor in spirit." A man in such a state realizes the he's helpless to provide for his spiritual well being. He understands that he must put his complete trust in God.

A happiness that's derived from the events that shape our lives -- like being poor or rich -- mean nothing. God means everything to the poor in spirit.

This deep yearning to learn about the things of God -- a poverty that longs to be filled with His blessings -- is designed to help an man put his complete trust in God. Only those who're so blessed can inherit the Kingdom Go Heaven.

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