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::Devotional:: ‘Becoming Kingdom People”

July 6, 2009
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit..."

The scriptures show us, in Matthew 5, that Jesus began his first major sermon with the word “Blessed” and followed with teaching those in attendance the character traits of his followers, those who would indeed accept him as Lord and Savior, those who would become his people; kingdom people.

Many of you will recognize Matthew 5 as part of the sermon on the mount and others of you may even identify this chapter with what is commonly referred to as the “beatitudes” or “blessings”.  Recently  I read a sermon by Charles Spurgeon on Matthew 5 and he likened the beatitudes to a staircase.  On one hand you have a believer who begins to ascend the staircase to a more christ-like character and on the other hand that man descends the staircase to a less self-centered character.  This is the process of becoming kingdom people through Christ-like character.

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.  His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rigtheousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of rigtheousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’  Matthew 5:1-11 NIV

When the world teaches us self-sufficiency, Jesus proclaims a poor sprit, a brokeness over our sinfulness that drives us to him for salvation.  When the world teaches us that we need to look within ourselves to find truth and happiness, Jesus proclaims a comfort that he will deliver to us after we search within and find only a broken spirit.  When the world teaches us pride and self-gratification, Jesus proclaims a meek attitude of humility before the only one who is able to save us from our sinfulness.  When the world teaches us immorality and sinfulness, Jesus proclaims a desire for righteousness that only He can fill.

As we come to the foot of the cross, broken over our sins and mourning over our hoplessness, crying out for the mercy of Jesus and the righteousness he can cover us with, we have become clay in the potter’s hands.  As Jesus begins to mold us, we begin to look more like him and less like our old sinful selves.  We begin to look like kingdom people with a perspective for eternity.

John McArthur says:

When someone comes on those terms, the Lord makes him merciful, pure in heart, and a peacemaker. Then because of what he is, people will persecute him, revile him, and say false things about him. But he will rejoice, because he’s a citizen of the Kingdom.

Often times I have seen the beatitudes taught in children’s sunday school classes as it is so fundamental to the faith and to the behavior of a believer.  However, the Lord has shown me that the beatitudes are much deeper than I had ever known before and deserve much deeper study and consideration.

Becoming kingdom people is an on going process that must endure many obstacles along the way, but I am thankful that the scriptures assure me that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

Click here to read through Charles Spurgeons’ sermon titled: “The Beatitudes”
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