Lesson #1: I Know I Can’t

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Listen to today’s Daily Text

daily text logoMarch 22, 2016

Matthew 5:1-3

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

CONSIDER THIS

First, get the scene and setting in your mind’s eye.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:

Remember that scene just a few daily texts back when Satan took Jesus up on a “very high mountain,” to offer him the kingdoms of the world in exchange for his worship? Here Jesus takes his disciples up on a mountain side to offer them the Kingdom of God in exchange for their obedience. He doesn’t do so in the form of a “deal.” Instead, he begins to teach them.

Lesson #1: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Wow! Just wow. Is this how we are going to take the hill—poor in spirit—really, Jesus? Those are the kids that don’t get picked. So you aren’t going for the ones who “think they can.” Instead, you are after the ones who know they can’t. The secret to can do thinking is a can’t do spirit? Is that it? It just doesn’t make sense, Jesus.

Then again, maybe you are trying to teach me that most everything I learned from the world’s classroom is wrong. Sure, it can get me through life. It can make me wealthy and successful and even popular. The problem, if I’m hearing you right, is it can’t get me into your kingdom. And I think what you are getting at is I have to choose. I can choose the kingdom of the world I’m building or the kingdom of God you are building. I think what you are telling me is there’s not really any middle ground—and what I want to be middle ground is really just another version of the kingdom of the world.

And so it begins. I must unlearn all the ways of human strength and worldly power in order to learn my own powerlessness. It just seems so wrong, Jesus, but then I look around and it’s clear the world’s way is not working. The best I can tell, the kingdom of heaven is nothing less than the realized possibilities of God. If this is the kingdom that has come near, as you said, then repentance looks like the path leading to “poor in spirit.” How do I get there? Could it really as simple as just following you? Maybe it takes me becoming poor in spirit in order to know the strength of your Holy Spirit. Maybe I can never really know the power of your ability until I know the depth of my inability. Maybe I can never know the dynamic of divine power until I truly understand the desperation of human weakness.

It’s outside of my comfort zone, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Daily Text Facebook 3-22-16

THE QUESTIONS

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “not even close,” where do you rate yourself on the poverty of spirit scale?

2. How does becoming poor in spirit cut against the grain of all you have learned in life? How do you see poverty of spirit at work in the life of Jesus?

3. Are you ready to take a deeper step of trust in Jesus as your teacher? How will you signal that to him?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.  jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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