Christians speak of a having a heart for God. We talk of King David, and of his failures and his victories. But most of all we remember that he had a heart for God. We seek the way of the prophets. We thirst to know and drink from that most pure form of personal relationship. We create and abide by rules and regulations. We set ourselves to walk in faith. We struggle with who has it right and where is the truth. We bind up dreams and hope into the single effort of finding within ourselves a pure heart that is worthy to gain a single touch from the Master.

In a previous article (Christianity and the Law: Living by Faith, Avoiding the Curse), I wrote that the law of Christianity is faith, not obedience. This is an absolute truth, yet the bible is a book of balance, filled with checks and counterpoints and measures of wisdom that are not bound in secular understandings. In scripture, two things that seem counter authoritative may indeed each carry a full truth. [In some future article, I will examine and explain this principle].

Every man must read the word of God with a purposeful heart, intent upon finding a rational stability yet fully open to the unknown of spiritual mysteries. To do less, is to end up living in constant confusion, blind ignorance, or with a sense of spiritual failure.

We know that "…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind," (2 Tim. 1:7). Now this term "sound mind" refers to self-control, meaning that though we live and walk in grace through faith, there is now within us a power to do the right that our Creator God expects of us. From the workings of a new heart arises a new form of obedience. It is an obedience that is grounded in love, and has not the slightest resemblance to the secular notions of personal gain through personal deeds. It is not through labor that we acquire that sought after touch, but through faith the touch comes and births forth a desire to be obedient to Jesus our Lord.

With this article, I begin a series that will illustrate how it can be that a Christian may walk a life of obedience while yet living and believing in faith alone.

Matthew 5:3:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".

Having ascended up into a mountain, Jesus seated himself, as was frequent to his schooling methods, and then began to teach what is commonly called "the sermon on the mountain". I count this an excellent beginning for a Christian discussion of bible balance. Let us examine the verse.

To be blessed is to be happy. This is a believer's inner state of mind and heart. Through troubles may yet abound, though screams of fear and anguish may rage within the body, the soul, and the spirit; there exist within every true child of God a certain sense of rightness in that we know that something which was once unconditionally wrong has now, and for evermore, been make absolutely right.

To be poor is to lack something that is the very essence of survival. This is not talking about the American concept of cars and cloths and fancy homes, but rather this is about indispensable needs: food, drink, heat, and companionship. Perhaps you can remember a time when there was little or no eats on the table, or even when there was not so much as a table on which to set food. Or maybe you recall a season when your shoes were too small, and too cold, and too torn; and the winter was icy and deadly, and there was no place for shelter or warmth. If you have never personally endured such a manner of poorness, perchance you can feel the hurt of another: a starving child, a homeless widow, or a broken and aimless beggar.

Now these essentials of which I speak are things needed by the flesh, all save companionship, which is an emotional need. A man may afford all manner of physical comforts, yet the needs of the emotions and of the spirit may be left unfulfilled. So as a reflection of what means bible balance, it is not a false statement to say that a rich man can be a poor man.

As a Christian, there is one sense of poor that I strife always to remember (and so too should you, if indeed you are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ). I would to never forget the time when I saw that my heart was empty. I do not have an exact date or place; neither do I need such physical supports. I do have an exact knowledge. There was a moment in eternity unknown, God knows, in which the Holy Spirit awakened my temporal senses to the fact that my spirit was alone. I came to see and to realize that there is within every human being a naked wound that cannot be healed through physical or emotional means, not by the touch of mother or father, wife or child, and neither friends nor enemies. Indeed, only the indwelling of Jesus Christ, when his spirit and our spirit become one, can bring an end to the aloneness of the human spirit. For God created us, and only when in him can we be complete.

This is what it means to be poor in spirit: we understand the emptiness within and more that we come to terms with its cause. Sin separates man from God. Pride is the greatest measure of sin for in pride resides all disobedience (yes, think balance). It blinds our spiritual eyes and prevents us from seeing the broken state of human existence. Pride makes a man count himself complete even when all that he is within screams of the emptiness and brokenness of an imperfect spirit.

Those who recognize themselves as poor are not ashamed to beg. They know that they are without means. They know that they have nothing of value for trade. And they have abandoned any illusions of entitlement. They are helpless, and they conclude the truth of the matter not as in giving up but rather as in understanding the utter certainty of their plight. Thus the physically poor hold out a corporal hand and plea for their material needs to be met by living flesh, either that of a friend or that of a foe, it making no difference which save that the irresistible need for survival be quenched.

I am not writing of the street beggar, though he too may fit the hurt. Neither do I write of the orphan with all of her sufferings, though she as well may deserve much help. Furthermore, I write not of widows, or the handicapped, or of any other person or entity with a physical lack.

I am writing about those who are completely overwhelmed with spiritual emptiness. I am writing of the exhausted secular, religious, worldly traveler who lies consumed by the components of supernatural heat and cold and thirst, his burned and busted eternal lips unable to draw moisture, his soul and spirit collapsed upon the sands of a mighty wasteland, and in himself no source of power for rising even once. How great is this cry of one who has come to grasp the truth of a broken relationship with God?

Isaiah 66:2:
" For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word".

To be poor in spirit is to recognize the God of creation, acknowledge the deep lacking in self, and to tremble with the overwhelming need to touch and to know and to become a part thereof. When this submission is fully complete, salvation occurs, God's spirit becomes one with our spirit; and an obedience of love becomes the way of a faith filled life.

To these belongs the kingdom of heaven and the entire blessing therein. This is not due to their works, but rather is an answer to their need. As recently stated by my dear friend, Jack Wellman, "holiness is not the way to Jesus, Jesus is the way to holiness".

Fashion World

Home Family

Video Funny

Food & Beverage

Self Improvement

Blog Archive

For Sale
Web hosting for webmasters