How can we be sincerely and consistently poor in spirit?
How are we supposed to actually do all this? How can we be genuinely and continuously so poor in spirit, trusting in God, and sacrificially generous with our money? It’s more than not easy – it’s impossible. Jesus tells us it’s impossible, in the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 18, from verse 18.
Read Luke 18:18. The man wants to be in the kingdom, and wants to know what he must do to get in. Because we understand grace, this question should be a red flag. We know it’s the wrong question: “How can I work my way to heaven?”
Read Luke 18:19. Jesus is trying to help him, and reminds him that noone is good, no-one is righteous.
Read Luke 18:20-21. When Jesus presented him with the law, which nobody can keep, the ruler responded with spiritual pride. He trusts in himself, that he is righteous. He should have responded like the tax collector, and beat his breast and said, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Instead, he says, “I’m not a sinner. The law: I’ve done that since I was a kid.”
Read Luke 18:22-23. The rich young ruler was trying to serve God and money, so Jesus told him to get rid of the money. But he chose the money.
Read 18:24-27. Jesus makes a massive statement here. Just like it is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it is humanly impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. But there’s good news: What is impossible with men is possible with God.
It is God who changes hearts. God removes the heart of stone, and replaces it with a heart of flesh. You and I are rich, by the standards of the world today, and by the standards of history. Only God can change our hearts, by his grace, so that our reliance and worship of our wealth can be overcome, and that we can truly become poor in spirit, and trust solely on God for our salvation, and for everyone else, and enter the kingdom of God.
Do you want to be blessed by God and enter his kingdom?
- Be Poor in Spirit: Confess that you have no moral or spiritual worth to bring to God
- Trust God for mercy in Jesus Christ, like a child trusts his father, and ask him to save you.
- Be Obedient. Walk in the good works that God has prepared for you, being generous with the money God has given you.
- Stay Poor in Spirit and Be Humble. Never forget or cease to acknowledge that you are his unworthy servant.
“The joy of the humble does not reside in being deserving, but in receiving mercy.”