"The poor in spirit are blessed,"The poor" here comes from the Greek "πτωχός " [ptō-kho's]. Biblically it is used as 'lacking in anything' and 'destitute of wealth, influence, position and honour', 'poor, needy' and even 'helpless, powerless to accomplish an end'.
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
It's use also includes 'lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches'.
Fun right? Well, I wouldn't be so sure that's the way it is used in this particular instance.
First and foremost, the word ptōchos is listed on Blue Letter Bible as having a Biblical usage of being "reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms".
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" [Luke 11:13]
Personally, I think these other words of Jesus help to make this come together.
He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13
Sinful man is not just destitute of spirit. We are DEAD of spirit and it is the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Christ Himself, who brings us life.
Having said that, let's bring it all back to selfish little me.
Lately I haven't been feeling good, but that's not to say that I've been feeling sick. (At least not in the physical sense anyway.)
I have good, God fearing Jesus loving times where I look at the world and people and my heart is just so 'right'; but lately I've also been having more times where my heart is just empty a lot more than I like. (As if there are ever those times that, at least in hindsight, we really 'like' them.)
I have a struggle with a critical spirit for which I depend on Christ, and lately that critical spirit seems almost as if it is rearing it's ugly head any chance it gets.
I have my high times floating on cloud nine and praying happily; then I have some low time in the same day, unable to recall that joy of seeking God with my life from only a few hours before.
No surprise that I haven't been devoting as much time to prayer as I'd like, or that time spent in the Word has been almost non-existent. Last Monday my application from Titus 1:3 was to work on this, but that was of course a week ago and I have made little headway in taking back control of my schedule (from my easily distracted busy-busy-work-work-work oriented self, who hasn't been keeping to a more rapid pace to get things done lately in my downer state) and practicing prudence in the mornings and a measure of control to do only what I should do, and not whatever things pop up that I am capable of doing from moment to moment.
I have been trying to devote what free time I have to finishing my last required reading as soon as possible, because you know, "If I can just finish it sooner rather than later I will then have PLENTY of time to read the Bible and pray and do everything without worrying and stressing about finishing it and getting on to the 'next thing to get done'.
(Sarcasm warning) And forget that getting it done now to free up time and eliminating one distraction for later means that the time I should be spending in the Word has been taking hit after crippling hit. ("The Great Omission" actually happens to be a really great book which I would recommend and even encourage everyone to read [not part of the sarcasm; really, it's great.])
As a matter of fact, something that I really need to think about was mentioned, that whereas most people 'work to live' we North Americans 'live to work'.
Anyway, to get back on track with this little rabbit trail that has slowly been making it's way to the application God actually led me to before sitting down to type. . .
In one of Pastor Joe Focht's audio teachings he mentioned how in many cases a new Christian who is still riddled with problems may be walking more fully in the Spirit than a mature Christian who has by then 'gotten everything down' and knows 'the right things to do'.
A new Christian doesn't know anything yet, and may still look a lot like the world, but the thing is that they may very well have, through Christ, ceased being an alcoholic and getting into fights just two weeks before and loving every new thing they learn, whereas the older, more 'mature' Christian may very well be refusing and ignoring the Holy Spirit as they are convicted on better managing their time or being a better husband or wife, even if only in some small and particular way.
Well, awhile back some of you may remember an IBS, or two, maybe even three that had mentioned my eating habits and near obsession with sweets.
So far I've been failing/blatantly refusing what I believe to be the conviction of the Holy Spirit about taking better care of my body through my diet SPECTACULARLY, and I intend to do something about this.
Written February 6, 2012