Starting today in this post, I’d like to take us to a familiar place in Scripture. In Matthew 5:1-10 we have 8 statements made by Jesus. We call them “The Beatitudes.” Statements of blessings. The technical term for these statements is “Aphorism.” An aphorism is a short terse statement of truth. As seen in Matthew 5, these statements are made without any further explanation or teaching. They are meant to be a lesson in and of themselves that the hearers should be able to understand, given they try to understand. Jesus began His sermon with these aphorisms. They carry with them key lessons that we are to learn if we are to be part of His kingdom. These eight sayings cover everything we are to be as followers of Jesus. It is important for us to study them often. Let’s look at the first two today.
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
These two statements go hand-in-hand. They speak about the heart. The heart that is humble and willing to admit they have sinned. It is seeing God as the Truth-Giver and accepting the awful reality that we have sinned against Him. Our souls are lost and going to hell. We need a savior. God is that savior. We cannot be saved from our sins without Him. When we are poor in spirit and mourn in our spirit, we come to God pleading for His forgiveness. He shows us that He is merciful. Loving. Patient. And He allows us to come to Him for that mercy, love, and patience. We understand that we are not worthy of God’s grace. Because of His amazing grace we are extremely humbled. But He lifts us up in His love.
Those who are poor in spirit and mourn have the hearts that God is looking for. Look at Isaiah 66:2, “This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My Word.” A contrite heart is one that is sorry for what they have done, a heart that feels the guilt of sin. God gives grace to those who humbly come to Him confessing their guilt. David explained this of God in Psalm 51:17 when he was expressing his repentance for his sin: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” David mentioned a broken spirit. Think about this: Has your heart been broken because you sinned? Do we really feel the guilt that comes with sin? We need to. And when we feel that guilt of sin, we can then go to God and He will replace that guilty feeling with the feeling of being forgiven.
Today, tomorrow, every day let’s realize how awesome God’s love is. Let’s not take sin lightly. Do not sin. But if you do, know that God is willing to forgive. If you sin, you need to be humble enough to realize how you sinned against God, broke His heart, and brought punishment on yourself. But then, with those feelings in your heart, go to God knowing that He is merciful and gracious. If you humble yourself before Him, He will lift you up. We go to God bowed down in shame. But He puts His hand on our shoulder and raises us up in His mercy. What an awesome God we serve!
Let’s make sure we keep our hearts tender so that if we sin we will feel its pain. Let’s keep ourselves humble to feel God’s comfort. Be poor in spirit. Mourn over sin. But afterwards, you can rejoice in salvation! God be praised.