“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
It was Billy’s turn to read his verse during morning devotions. The Phillips family was reading in the book of Matthew, chapter 5. Billy read verse 3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Dad,” he asked, “What does ‘blessed’ mean?”
“It means ‘happy’.”
Happy are the poor in spirit? That didn’t make much sense to Billy. “What would a poor person have to be happy about?” he asked.
His father answered thoughtfully. “The verse doesn’t just say a poor person is happy. It says those who are poor in spirit are happy because they will live in the kingdom of heaven.”
“Oh. But what does it mean for a person to be poor in spirit, then?”
“It means a person is not proud,” answered Billy’s dad. “There is an old saying about proud people that goes something like this, ‘He’s full of his wee self.’ A proud person is ‘filled up’ with himself. He doesn’t have room for others, especially not room for the Lord. All he thinks about is himself. All he cares about is himself.
Then Billy’s mother chimed in: “You know what it means to be poor, don’t you, Billy?”
“Sure I do, Mom. I think it would be hard to be both poor and happy at once. Being poor means you don’t have much of anything.”
“That’s right. In this case, unlike the case of the prideful person, a person who is poor in spirit doesn’t have much of himself. Instead, he has room in his life for the Lord and others. If we realize we are nothing great in ourselves and that we need Je-sus to forgive our sins and help us do what is right and make the right decisions in life, then we are people who are poor in spirit. The proud person doesn’t think that way. He thinks he is good enough by himself and doesn’t need God or anyone else. He has all he wants as long as he has his pride.”
Billy nodded his head slowly. “So…the person who doesn’t think he is good enough by himself is the one who will come to Jesus and get saved from his sins, and then he will know he is going to heaven. And that’s why he’s happy?” “Right,” said Dad. “On the other hand, a proud-hearted person doesn’t want to admit he needs the Lord. But the Lord is the only Way to go to heaven. So a proud person doesn’t have heaven to look forward to one day. After he dies, his pride and everything that used to make him happy will die, too. But a person who is poor in spirit can be happy now and happy for-ever in heaven.”
“Wow!” exclaimed Billy. “Sometimes it really is good to be ‘poor,’ isn’t it?”
“It sure is, Billy. It sure is.”
God blesses those who know they need Him.
» Am I poor in spirit?
» Do I know I need Jesus to save me and help me live my life?
» Am I able to be happy now, knowing I will live in heaven forever?