‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 5:3
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Esther 5:9–7:10
Would you know if this is your state or how far you have advanced? Attend to the effects. So far as you are poor in spirit, you will find:
(i) a resignation to the will of God, for you will not only believe that his appointment is best, but you will see everything is better than you deserve.
(ii) you will not be easily angry. A knowledge of your own heart will teach you to make allowance for others. And from a sense of your debt of 10,000 talents to God, you will be ready to forgive a few pence to man.
(iii) you will not be over-confident. To be poor in spirit is to be sensible that you are weak, fallible and know but little, and this will keep you diffident of your own judgement.
(iv) you will not aim to stand high in the opinion of others, any more than a beggar will try to pass for a rich man.
(v) especially, you will most gladly renounce your own righteousness and count all things but dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord.
But what do I say? Shall I unchristian all my hearers and myself too? Many, I am afraid, can in no degree stand this trial, but these gracious tempers must be formed in you, if you would be saved. These are the mind that was in Christ, and if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his. What can those who live in pride, anger, peevishness—impatient of the least contradiction—say to this? O may the Lord convince you and stir you to seek for pardon and grace for Jesus’ sake while it is to be found. And those of us who believe have need to be ashamed and humbled into the dust. How much do we feel contrary to these tempers!
FOR MEDITATION: Bless God for an Advocate—admire rich grace and trust to it. If he has begun the work, he will finish. And even now you are blessed, for yours is the kingdom. The kingdom of grace is yours. Grace is glory begun. Glory is grace perfected. Watch, pray and strive for an increase of this poverty of spirit, that your light may shine to the glory of your Father which is in heaven.
SERMON: MATTHEW 5:3 [3/3]