When you hear the word “kingdom,” what do you think of? I think of the books I loved to read growing up about kings and queens ruling from a beautiful palace and princesses falling in love with princes. Visions of luxury, opulence, and jewels pop into my head. But is this the type of kingdom Jesus was referring to?

This section of the Sermon on the Mount — known as The Beatitudes — lists the character traits Christ-followers should have. As you read through the “blessed are” passages, something interesting becomes apparent. These traits are the exact opposite of the traits the world values.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? The Greek word used here is ptochos, which means complete poverty — someone who can’t financially make it on their own.

If we are poor in spirit, we are completely and wholly dependent on God. We recognize our flaws and sinful tendencies, and how we can do nothing without the Lord.

James 4:6 says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Today’s verse has a lot to do with humility. Being poor in spirit means that we humble ourselves, surrendering completely to God’s will.

By practicing a daily dependence on Him, we will become poor in spirit. And if we are poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven — which is infinitely better than any kingdom on earth or from a storybook — will be forever ours.

Lord, help me to have humility and recognize my dependence on you. I want the kingdom of heaven to be mine. Amen.

Go Deeper — Consider the word “kingdom” as Jesus uses it in The Beatitudes and spend some time meditating on what it really means.

Tags: Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5
Photo Credit: Buzz Zhang