And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:10 ESV
Biology was and is my favorite subject. I loved learning about the different plants, animals, cells, and fungi in the world, especially how we as humans fit into it all. This world belongs to our Creator and everything in it He made it with a purpose—except mosquitos….I’m not sure of their purpose other than to feed bats and dragonflies…but that’s another subject.
As a biologist, I have taught many classes on the six different kingdoms of biology. Starting from the smallest single-cell kingdoms like Archaebacteria and Eubacteria up to the largest multi-celled kingdoms of plants and animals—from the mosquito to the Blue whale. These kingdoms represent every life form on this planet.
The largest being the animal kingdom, which includes humans.
Amongst all the kingdoms we learn about, the most important one we will ever know is God’s. He created His Kingdom, and appointed Jesus as King, to represent and usher all humans into it. Because we can’t see this awesome place God has for us, many people decide to build their own out of their dissatisfaction.
One way the enemy entices us is through our profession. We may be a secular business, a Christian ministry, or even an author—trying to build a personal kingdom of followers to buy our products and embrace our vision. Our kingdom and brand adopt our name.
You are the customer. Everyone we know—from people we worship with to friends and family become potential clients and/or purchasers.
We become the king of our kingdom.
This is what others teach us to do.
Now, I’m not saying we are trying to usurp God’s Kingdom and authority. But, it is easy to get caught up in our own kingdom building.
Even the Pharisees had problems with this. They weren’t all bad either. We see in Luke 17:20:
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.Luke 17:20 ESV
What does that mean?
One rabbi said, “When a person committed himself daily to love God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, (by saying the Shema) he had “received upon himself the kingdom of heaven.” (https://engediresourcecenter.com/2019/09/04/what-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven/)
For us, the Kingdom of Heaven/God is in our hearts when we make the Lord- King of all we are and do. The Kingdom of Heaven lives in us!For us, the Kingdom of Heaven is in our hearts when we make Jesus, King of all we are and do. #ThisSideofHeaven #BlessedarethePoorinSpirit #VineWords @DPavlantos Click To Tweet
In Matthew 5, we learn what type of people make up His kingdom.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:3 ESV
The phrase Blessed are translates in Hebrew as O the blessedness of or The gladness of. This is not a condition of the person who is poor in spirit, but the reality of the person.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
The Hebrew term means to “crouch like a helpless beggar.” (https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Brit_Chadashah/Beatitudes/beatitudes.html)
This represents a person in absolute need of God to take care of them. This is humility at its best.
A person who is poor in spirit is the opposite of worldly thinking—independent, proud, with an “I have it all-I need nothing” attitude.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus begins with the poor in spirit in the Beatitudes?
Without the knowledge and understanding that we are nothing more than helpless beggars, we will never be peacemakers, we will never mourn, never be humble, or hunger and thirst for His righteousness….get the picture?
But that is only in this world. In the Heavenly places, God will esteem the humble, poor in spirit, peacemakers, persecuted, and the compassionate. God loves these traits in us.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.James 4:10 ESV
O the gladness of being poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.Matt. 5:3 ESV
It is a blessing as well as a state of gladness to recognize we are poor in spirit. We will have the Kingdom of Heaven living within us until the day Jesus takes us to Heaven to live with Him forever!
Do you think of yourself as a beggar before the Lord, totally dependent on Him for your needs?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for supplying all our needs. Help us to understand that we are nothing and have nothing without you. You are everything we need in life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: The Poor in Spirit by Stephanie Pavlantos. All rights reserved
Meet our Contributor:
Stephanie Pavlantos is an award-winning writer who is passionate about getting people into God’s Word. She has taught Bible studies for over fifteen years, speaking at ladies’ retreats, at her church, and over the internet.
Her book, Jewels of Hebrews (Mount Zion Ridge Press), won third place at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, and an Honorable Mention at the Florida Christian Writers Conference.
She is an ordained minister, holding credentials since 2019.
Stephanie is the president of the Hudson, Ohio chapter of Word Weavers.
She is a regular speaker at PJ Net TV http://pjnet.tv
Stephanie is a senior editor, social media director, Bible study, and devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More She is a co-editor, co-compiler, and contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Stephanie works for the Besorah Institute for Judeo-Christian Studies in the Student Services department, as well as teaching their online classes. She holds weekly Zoom Bible studies, covering topics such as the Jewish roots of Christianity; the Four Covenants; and other themes.
She is published in Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Charisma Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Faith Beyond Fear. Stephanie is a contributing author to Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (Lighthouse Bible Studies).
Married for twenty-seven years, she and her husband Mike have three children: Matthew, Alexandria, and Michael. Stephanie has adopted animals of all kinds, including dogs, ducks, goats, sheep, and chickens.
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