Monday, June 24, 2013

Matthew 5:3

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
 
Devotional
Notice that the Lord Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit. Why? Because the poor in spirit know they have nothing to approve them before God. And that is the essential attitude that opens the door of God's grace to every repentant and believing sinner. Because one's heart is already desperately open to it, and seeking for it. (In regards to this consider David's prayer in Psalm 38, or Jesus' parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. Or His justifying the repentant sinner who sought the mercies of God, over the self justifying priest who felt no need to do so in Luke 18:9-14.) And so Jesus says it is the poor in spirit to whom the Kingdom of heaven belongs. Whereas the proud in spirit no nothing of their own sinfulness, much less their own need for God through His Son Jesus Christ our Savior. And so whether consciously or subconsciously they live their lives independent of God, not seeing their own need for God, nor wanting Him to be their God. For if anyone can honestly look at one's own person and conduct and feel satisfied about themselves then they have not understood the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, nor the Scriptures of God. For the Scriptures do not justify man, the Scriptures justify God alone (consider Rom 3:19-28).

Now this does not mean that they do not have some knowledge of God. For sadly a person can have much "religion" and yet have very little true relational knowledge of God, as Jesus said of scribes and Pharisees who honored Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (Matt 15:8-9). And so whether Jews or Christians people can have a form of the knowledge of God and yet not have come into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. For neither church attendance, nor Bible study, nor Christian service makes someone a Christian. Same with "signing off" on a doctrinal treatise. Though these things are good and have their place in the Christian's life, they are not what makes a person a Christian. What makes a person a Christian is being reborn by the Spirit of God. And this only happens when one sees their need for the Lord Jesus Christ and repenting of their sins and all their own efforts to save themselves they turn to Him in faith and believe or trust in Him alone to save them from their sins, by what He has done by suffering Crucifixion death to atone for all our sins (John 3:16). That is what makes a person a Christian, and thus opens the door to the Kingdom of heaven to them, when they repent and believe in the Lord Jesus as testified to in the Scriptures; that He suffered unto death for all our sins transgressions, and that He rose again from the dead for our justification. So that by His Spirit He can impart His life (that is new and everlasting life) into everyone of us who believes in Him, who opens their hearts to receive Him as Lord and Savior. He will come into you and make His home with you the moment you do (John 1:12; Rev. 3:20). For God does not draw near the proud in spirit who think they have no need of repentance. Rather God is always near to the brokenhearted, and saves such who have a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18). As Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17 Therefore by a simple prayer of faith you can receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior, and thus become a child of God, just as the Bible Promises: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." John 1:12

Therefore simply pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I know that I have sinned and that I can neither save myself, nor change myself. Therefore I'm going to trust You to do for me what I can't. Because I believe the Gospel, the Good News of God, that You willingly suffered death on a cross to both save me from my sins and transgressions, but also transform me by the renewing of Your Spirit within me. Therefore I now invite You Jesus into my heart and life to be My Lord and Savior so that You might not only save me from wrath and judgment, but also change me here and now for an eternity with You. I pray this in Your Name Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

 Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982

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