Good morning, Church! Our message today is the first in Johns series on the beatitudes and we will be discussing the first of these: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3, NRSV). As John will talk about, poverty of spirit is a strange thing to wrap our heads around, and there are many things that this phrase could possibly mean. So, as we delve into the nature of this type of poverty this morning, let us seek to know more fully God’s will for our lives, and let us come willing to set aside our pride, net worth, and self-interest so as to enter into a deeper relationship with the ruler of the kingdom of heaven.
New Wine – Hillsong Worship
Graves Into Gardens – Elevation Worship
“As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions” (Mark 10:17-22, NRSV)
Let You Go – United Pursuit
Take a Moment – United Pursuit
“Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”” (Mark 10:23-27, NRSV).
Come Alive – Hillsong Worship
In Mark’s telling of Jesus meeting the rich man, the dismayed disciples ask the question “Then who can be saved?” The wealth that Jesus is talking about is not simply money, property, or net-worth; many of the disciples are not monetarily rich, nor are the majority of people that the disciples would come across in their travels. Jesus is not suggesting that being broke is our ideal state of being, and believing this misses the point of this encounter. To be poor in spirit, to acknowledge our lacking and leave room for God’s everything, is the type of poverty that we are called too. We are invited to partake in the fullness of life with Jesus Christ, but we cannot enjoy this gift when we are consumed with the things that currently comprise our life. However, Jesus says that to take hold of this gift of life: “for mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Fortunately, we have assistance in the process of letting go and God has a vested interest in us relinquishing our earthly things so that we can enjoy the promise of life with the fulness of Christ.
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on our YouTube channel, our website, and now as a podcast on Spotify, iTunes, and a few other platforms too! If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, don’t forget that all of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. We also have a newsletter that talks about more ways to connect and worship with us as a community in Christ, so if you would like to connect with us in that way there is more information about how you can do that on our website. Thanks, and God bless!