Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
Keith began a series of messages on the Beatitudes this morning. I have heard a lot of sermons (I am reluctant to use the word sermon, but in good writing you shouldn’t use the same descriptive term in a paragraph twice, so I am calling his message a sermon), and I have read hundreds more. This morning I was privileged to hear the best lecture (although he did not lecture us) on Matthew 5:3 I have ever heard.
The main point of the message was “When you are at the end of your rope you are in the condition in which you can experience the blessing of all that God’s kingdom offers.” Kingdom living is not for the sweet by-and-by. Kingdom living is a blessing God tenders in the awful now-and-now!
For most of us coming to a place of crisis -- or the end of our rope -- is a place we want to avoid or get out of as soon as possible. Think of how many times you have wriggled out of a desperate situation, oblivious to God’s offer. Think about how many times you have given into resignation only to limp along in your own strength. Think about how much all of us disdain the thought of being seen as helpless, dependent, or weak.
Yet Jesus said that those are the very conditions necessary if we are to find the happiness that kingdom living alone provides. Remember that Jesus delivered His radical message soon after He emerged from the temptation in the wilderness. Most of you know that at the end of that 40 day fast -- Satan tried to seduce the Son of God to abandon the spiritual for the earthly.
The Deceiver offered Christ popularity, prestige, and power! Everything He would need for immediate relief from life at the end of the rope. Praise be to God that like Jesus, we, too, find the life and relief of God -- at the end of our rope!