Blessed Are Series, Part 1: The Poor In Spirit
September 24, 2006
This sermon was presented before the Load, Kentucky, church of Christ, on September 24, 2006. God blesses the poor in spirit, those who are of a contrite (bruised) spirit and a broken heart. The humble prepare their hearts to receive the word of God, and then bring forth fruits of righteousness. Bernie Parsons
Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load, KY, church of Christ on 09-24-2006
Matthew 5:1: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15: Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
The Lord has always valued a poor spirit.
Psalms 34:18: The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalms 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Isaiah 66:2: “For all those things hath mine hand made, and 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.”
Contrite comes from a root word that means to grind or bruise. The Lord loves those who possess a bruised spirit and a broken heart. Otherwise, a man or woman is likely to become proud and haughty, thinking too highly of himself, or herself.
We recently did a study on the subject of charity, and I wish to remind you of this important characteristic of charity:
1 Corinthians 13:4: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5: Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”
It is a fleshly shortcoming to think too highly of oneself.
Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
God warned the ancient Israelites not too think too highly of themselves.
Deuteronomy 8:10: “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
11: Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13: And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14: Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15: Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16: Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
17: And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18: But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”
As James points out, we must always remember that our very life is in the hands of God.
James 4:13: “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15: For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16: But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Boasting and bragging is not a good thing. Without the power of God, we can do nothing. We may only do what He allows. Every good thing that we accomplish, we do so because God gives us the ability and the opportunity.
The poor in spirit—the bruised of spirit and broken of heart—are willing to receive the word of God, whereas the proud rely upon themselves, rather than God.
Luke 4: 14: “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15: And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17: And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20: And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21: And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
The gospel of Jesus Christ heals the brokenhearted and sets the bruised of spirit free. The words of the Lord lift the dashed spirit and mend the torn heart.
Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
12: As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
13: As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
14: Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”
The words of the Lord are refreshing to the obedient, reproving dishonest ways, mending that which is broken, and guiding the humble to his eternal destiny.
Acts 3:18: “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20: And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22: For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23: And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24: Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25: Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26: Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”
Matthew 4:12: “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13: And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16: The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17: From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Repentance is the casting away of selfishness, the divesting of pride and self-reliance. When the heart turns from the darkness of sin to receive the wonderful words of life that emanate from Almighty God, fertile soil is tilled and planted. The humbled heart produces fruits of righteousness.
Matthew 13:18: “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20: But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21: Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22: He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23: But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
As John the Baptizer told the Pharisees and Sadducees who crowded around him:
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” Matthew 3:8.
Matthew 7:16: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
The apostle Paul told the Philippian Christians in:
Philippians 1:9: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11: Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
Brothers and sisters, children of the Lord, always bring forth from your contrite spirits and broken hearts the good fruits of righteousness that come from our heavenly Father.
James 3:17: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18: And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
The blind see the beautiful truths of God blossoming like sweet summer flowers; the deaf hear the words of God dripping down like honey to their starved souls; the bruised and captive spirit soars on the healing wings of the Son of God; and the broken hearts, freed from sin and guilt, are lovingly stitched into a patchwork quilt of forgiveness and mercy.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”