I'm meditating today on poverty.....
The poverty-stricken soul.
Let me explain what this group of words mean to me.
I read this morning, in my devotional time, about the poor in spirit whom Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. My mind and spirit were opened up and I was enlightened to think on this concept in a new, fresh way. And so, I wanted to share with you who read my blog, for this is really the core reason why I blog.
I always thought that Jesus was addressing those who were poor in material possessions in this verse. I thought that those who were poor and needy Christians would receive the Kingdom of Heaven by virtue of their simple, utilitarian lifestyles, because, doesn't it make sense that, if you have less materially, as a Christian, then isn't it easier to be used by God? So went my immature, rather unenlightened reasoning....
Until the Lord caused my eyes to be opened to some truths that He wanted to show me.
Yes, the Lord was talking about the poor, but what did the word "poor" really mean? I wanted to know, so I went on a search.
I looked up Matthew 5:3 in my favorite online concordance and searched out the word "poor". What I found flummoxed me.
The word "poor" in the Greek language is "ptochos". These are the definitions for the word that my concordance gave:
1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms. 2) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches. 3) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end. 4) poor, needy. 5) lacking in everything as respects the spirit....
Helpless, powerless to accomplish an end.
"Poor" comes from the word "ptosso", which means "to crouch".
When I found out where the word "poor" came from, this verse made more sense to me than it ever has before.
To crouch. This brings to my mind an image of a beggar, hunkered down, hunched, dirty, bedraggled, at the end of himself as he crouches at the gates. Utterly forsaken by those around him, with nowhere else to go and completely out of options.
We must first recognize the utter poverty of our own souls before we can have any kind of true relationship with Him. We must first become like this beggar, because it is the poverty-stricken soul that comes crouching, hobbling, to the Gates of Heaven that is the soul most willing, most able, to be molded and shaped and used. It is this kind of soul that Jesus wishes for us to have.
Jesus Christ Himself tells us, in Luke 18:25, that indeed it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into Heaven. I know this verse speaks of the rich young ruler who had all he could ever want or desire materially, but to me, this verse speaks of a soul which has grown fat, lazy and lackadaisical.
And so, I pray that my soul would never grow like the rich young ruler who went away from Jesus that day sad and very troubled in his spirit! May we all be like the beggar, soiled, disarranged, out of order, running broken to Jesus, so that He can clean, arrange, and put into His order our souls.
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