On Earth as it is in Heaven
For theirs is the kingdom.
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;
the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
“Happy are those who are persecuted
because they do what God requires;
the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” Matthew 5:3,10
The Sermon on the Mount is the first ‘sermon’ we hear from Jesus. It is his inaugural moment, his first public speech. he starts with what has become known as the Beatitudes, the supreme blessings that Jesus speaks over the crowd, us included. Twice within those beatitudes Jesus declares that to some belong the kingdom of heaven: to the poor in spirit and to those who are persecuted because of righteousness.
Dallas Willard refers to these two groups of people as the spiritually bankrupt (poor in spirit) and the spiritually deprived (persecuted). (Divine Conspiracy) I like to think of these two people groups as the forlorn and the forsaken.
Forlorn sounds so depressing, does it not?
All is lost – it’s hopeless! What am I going to do!?
Forsaken, likewise, sounds depressing, does it not?
Pushed beyond our limits we feel like we are all alone.
The Message, written by Eugene Peterson, says this about the poor in spirit: “You’re blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule [in your life].” And about the ones who are persecuted, he says, “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
These observations beg us to ponder, “How much of God is there in me?” and "How deep am I into God’s kingdom?”.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we wish to be blessed by you. We wish for more of you in our lives. We ask that we might learn to go deeper into your kingdom. Amen
- Pastor Dale