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Humility from the Beginning

Jesus began His public ministry by teaching about humility. He sits down in front of a crowd of people and says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).” Poor in spirit is another way of saying “humble.” He’s saying that the poor in spirit, the spiritually bankrupt, and the dependent will receive the kingdom of heaven.  What’s the kingdom of heaven?

The kingdom of heaven requires repentance for entry. Earlier in Matthew Jesus says, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Matthew 3:2 and 4:17)

The kingdom of heaven, as we read above, is the destiny of the poor in spirit.

The kingdom of heaven is also for those who are persecuted (Matthew 5:10).

The kingdom of heaven is Jesus’ kingdom and it takes repentance, dependence (poor in spirit) and perseverance (in spite of persecution) to get there—all qualities of a humble person who is completely setting aside themselves, their needs, and their wants in favor of what God wants. Truly humble people willingly stop clinging to the prideful things the world worships and instead have an attitude of emptying themselves, serving others and dying (self)  for Jesus.

William Barclay wrote, “Humility is of supreme importance in the realm of the spirit. The man who is proudly self-sufficient cannot find God; the man who is humble enough to know his need will find the way open to God’s Presence.”[1]

The humble person will receive the kingdom of heaven.

We can’t miss the point that Jesus started His teaching on the Kingdom by teaching on humility.  It’s that important! It’s the path to His kingdom. It’s the path to serving people and without it, we’re only seeking our own agendas and ways, instead of being all we can be for Jesus.

Andrew Murray reminds us, “The very first words of His proclamation of the kingdom of heaven reveal the open gate through which we enter.  The poor, who have nothing in themselves, to them the kingdom comes. The meek [Matthew 5:5], who seek nothing in themselves, theirs the earth shall be. The blessings of heaven and earth are for the lowly. For the heavenly and the earthly life, humility is the secret blessing.”[2]

Are you interested in the secret blessing from God? Make humility a continued desire in your prayers. Devote yourself to God’s interests and not only those things that serve you. Then, with humility of spirit, enjoy the kingdom of heaven, here and eternally.

[1] William Barclay, Parables of Jesus, (Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 1999), 214

[2] Andrew Murray, Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, (New York, Anson D. F. Randolph *& Co., 1937), 42

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