Watchman Daily Devotional: If You Are Poor in Spirit, Certain Characteristics Will Mark Your Life


Being poor in spirit.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3-4).

If you are spiritually poor, some characteristics will follow you throughout your life.

Puritan writer Thomas Watson identified seven indicators of spiritual poverty (The Beatitudes [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1971], pp. 45–48):

In Psalm 131:2, it says, "Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me." When you are poor in spirit, you will focus not on yourself, but on honoring God and serving others.

According to 2 Corinthians 3:18, believers are "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, [and] are transformation into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." When you are low in spirit, the wonders of Christ fascinate you. To be like him is your ultimate ambition.

You'll never complain. If you are impoverished in spirit, you accept God's sovereignty over your circumstances, understanding that you deserve nothing. However, the higher your necessities, the more generously He provides.

You'll recognize the good in others. A person who is poor in spirit realizes his own flaws while appreciating others' qualities.

You will spend time praying. Beggars tend to beg. As a result, you will always be in God's presence, seeking His strength and blessing.

You will accept Christ on His terms—those who are impoverished in spirit will give up anything to please Christ, but the arrogant sinner seeks only to add Christ to his sinful existence.

You'll praise and thank God. When you are poor in spirit, you will be overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving for the miracle of God's grace, which He bestows upon you through Christ (Eph. 1:6).

Do these principles guide your life? If so, you are spiritually poor, and the kingdom of heaven belongs to you (Matthew 5:3). If not, you must ask God for forgiveness and begin to live as His humble child.

Prayer suggestions

Ask the Holy Spirit to probe your heart for any attitudes or motives that displease Him. Seek His grace in changing them.

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