We continue our journey through the beatitudes by reflecting on what it means to be poor in spirit.
The spiritual dimension of poverty is a humble dependence on God. It is knowing deep down that we are so spiritually poor that we have nothing to bargain with to gain God’s favor and love.
Even 2000 years after it was first taught by Jesus, the “Sermon on the Mount” is still revolutionary; it is a revolution not against the powers that be, but a revolution of the heart and mind. It represents what John Stott calls a manifesto, albeit a condensed one, for a “Christian counter-culture” that illustrates the way of life in the Kingdom of God. The same Kingdom Jesus was proclaiming in chapter 4 saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” v.17.
After having meditated on and journeyed through the Lord’s prayer for the past seven months, the concluding words of the Lord’s Prayer remind us that it all starts and ends with God’s glory and His Sovereignty. And it is when God stops being the center of our lives that things start to fall apart.
Every moment in life, whether a hardship or a blessing, can bring temptation. Hardship may tempt us to fear, lose hope, doubt the love of God, or be estranged from Him, while a time of blessing may tempt us to become boastful, conceited and self-sufficient.
In a culture of shame and honor, like ours, that leaves little room for restoration and redemption we tend to overlook the forgiveness that we have freely received from God when relating to others.
Bread is the essence of life—it’s what sustains us every day. As we ask God to give us our daily bread, we not only acknowledge our dependency on Him for life’s necessities, we also declare that He is everything we need.
Last month, we prayed for God’s name to be Hallowed, to be made holy. Recognizing the awesome holiness of God should lead to a disposition of our hearts and minds that naturally creates in us a desire to see the manifestation of His Kingdom.
This month we are focusing on the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be thy name”. There are two thoughts that I would like to reflect on.
Echoed through the ages, the first two words of the prayer Jesus taught us introduces a paradigm shift in the way humanity perceives its relationship with the divine. The basis of our relationship is not “commercial” anymore (I give therefore I receive in return) but that of a new reality: Adoption.