February 19 Lent Devotional

The Poor In Spirit Who Mourn
February 19, 2021
By Pastor Lesly Broadbent

Matthew 5:3-4
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Our culture tells us, “Happiness comes when you reach the top.” We are told that the one with the most toys wins the game of life. We are told that success, accomplishments, and a comfortable life create a sense of pleasure. And to be sure, there are some truths to what we are told. It feels good to be at the top. We seem to be more at ease when we enjoy the things of comfort. But the problem comes when those things of wealth, (financial, emotional, spiritual, and physical wealth) become the primary goals of our lives.

Time and again Jesus turns the world upside down. He does with this beatitude. The joyful are those who recognize their happiness is not dependent upon their accomplishments, power, goodness, prestige, or possessions. The joyful are those who recognize their moral failings, their sinfulness, and their total dependence upon God.

But it’s hard to admit our poverty of spirit. We will do almost anything to avoid such a confrontation. We add disclaimers even to our confessions: “I’ve sinned, but who hasn’t?” Or, “I know I’m not perfect, but, after all, who is?” But it is only in truly recognizing our poverty of spirit that we get on our way to the wealth of God’s blessings. Only when we admit that we are poor nothing else can be done for us or in us by God.

When we look at those who are poor in spirit dressed in their rags of self-denial we tend to think we are quite adequately dressed in our high self-esteem, our pride, our arrogance, and our pretense. But we deceive ourselves for it is in our pride, our arrogance, and our pretense that we find ourselves in true poverty, not blessed by God, but distant from God.
So join us this Sunday in worship at First Church as we examine more closely how we are to be poor in spirit, how we can experience spiritual poverty, and how we can move from pride to repentance.
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