Presence Devotional #7

Blessed are the poor in spirit

David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care


Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5: 3


When a teacher wants to say something super important to his students he will ask them to come close and sit and listen to what he has to say. Jesus climbed a mountain near Galilee and invited only his disciples to come close, sit down and listen to some radical teaching.

It is a known fact we recall the words at the start and finish of a message more than anything else. A teacher will make sure the important words are spoken first. Jesus started his “Sermon on the Mount” with a critically important statement for his disciples; “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” It formed the basis for how his disciples were to relate to Jesus and inherit his kingdom.

It was bath time for 5 year old Sam Tailor and he was muddy! So off to the bathroom he went, kicking and screaming with his mother insisting he have a good soak and scrub. The bath taps were turned on – nice and warm, not too hot. After some fuss he eventually gets into the bath.

“Sit down in the bath, Sam, and don’t splash water on the floor. Anyone would think you were being bathed in acid the way you are screaming and squirming.” Sam’s mum gets exasperated but perseveres with the washing …then hears the phone and tells Sam to sit and soak for a little while she gets the phone. Sam sits and plays with the toys … but soon decides the bath is not full enough and needs more water so he turns the taps on full. Soon the bath is full and water is lapping at the top. Panic starts to set in as he realises mum will be mad if he splashes water on the floor. He tries desperately to turn the taps off only to turn them on more and water flows over the edge onto the floor – flooding the tiles and mat and out onto the carpet. He starts yelling “mum” … but no response … then he stands up and yells at the top of his voice, “SOMEONE HELP THE CHILD!” Mum comes running!

This is the essence of being poor in spirit; standing waist deep in trouble, not being able to stop the flow of ‘stuff,’ out of control and yelling with all our hearts, “HELP ME, GOD”! God is so attracted to us when we are desperate for him and his help – even if it’s because we made bad decisions or feel totally out of control. It may be a sheer choice of humility to admit we need Jesus, but whatever it takes we have to start from a position of total dependence to engage with God. The opposite is also true; why would God come to help us and be with us if we are “rich” (self-sufficient) and had no need of Him?

Reflective Questions

  1. Why is being poor of spirit such a foreign concept to us in the age of success?
  2. How can we practice the spirit of “Help Me God” in our everyday life?
  3. How desperate are you to inherit the kingdom of God – are you prepared to give up everything to know Jesus more?