The Gospel speaks of an upside-down kingdom where beggars are blessed and the meek inherit the earth.
And while Christianity was founded on such principles, many believers find great difficulty in living out this way of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Today we live in a “selfie” society and a #blessed culture, but Christ’s call for his followers to be poor in spirit has not changed. But what does it actually mean to be poor in spirit?—I’ve always wondered that, and maybe you have too. Of all the Beatitudes, this is one of the most confusing, misunderstood and sometimes ignored.
As some of you know, I’ve spent the last five years exploring a concept that I call “spiritual entitlement,” as well as its converse. I’ve read lots of books and spent hours doing online research trying to learn what some smart theologians have said on the subject. I’ve watched the news and compared current events to historical trends. I’ve pored over the Scriptures in detail, trying to understand this humble posture and why it pleases God. If Christ’s poverty of spirit lead Him to the Cross; what does it means for us to take up our own crosses to follow him in the midst of everyday life?
The more research I did, the more I realized was that this topic was of far greater scope, depth and gravity than I had originally thought. First, it presents an equal challenge for believers around the world—from all generations, political affiliations, and socioeconomic demographics. Next, I noticed that while several Christian thought leaders have published general studies on the Sermon on the Mount, very few have done a specific and comprehensive study on the concept of what it really means to be “poor in spirit,” or what it means to exhibit an “unentitled spirit,” as like to call it.
In 2014, I began to blog about it—but it quickly became clear to me that it would require much more than a blog to serve the topic justice. A few months ago, I wrote and published my first article on the subject (see excerpt below)—and I am so excited to officially and publicly announce that I have begun writing a [BOOK]!
If you would like to support me in this endeavor, I would SO appreciate it if you could take just a few moments of your time to subscribe to this blog and follow my Unentitled Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter pages. And if you are an eager overachiever, you could even help me spread the word by forwarding the link to share with friends who might be interested!
“Unentitled to Heaven”
“It was easy to imagine myself an orphan when my world was small and my life was simple. But today I have a husband, a dog, a car, and a house—and insurance policies to protect me from the loss of all but the dog. And while I’ve taken countless measures to preserve my physical wealth, what provisions am I willing to make to avoid becoming rich in spirit?”
What treasured thoughts of self-regard am I storing up in the high places of my heart—ones so precious I might be unwilling to forsake if the Son of God were to bid me go and follow Him? You see, it’s far easier to number ourselves among the good, the righteous, and the holy and say, “Thank God I am not like that sinner,” than to count ourselves their chief. Yet we must decide once and for all whether we really believe Christ has come for the hopelessly ill and not for the self-medicated or the well-insured—for those who’ve raised their white flag in complete and utter humiliation, not those who’ve placed their welcome mat before a whitewashed tomb.
If anything, Jesus’ ministry on earth should tell us something about the kind of people to whom God opens His door—and those for whom the door will remain shut. Christ’s salvation leaves not one ounce of our own self-respect to be salvaged. And if there is no way to lessen the scandal of His grace towards us, then there is no yardstick to measure the distance it can stretch to cover the sins of another. We must be careful, then, not to act as gatekeepers of His kingdom, beautiful in all our forms of godliness yet denying the power made perfect in weakness. And once we stop standing by the door like guards, we can finally sit down at the table as guests of His wedding feast.”
Continue reading at https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/faith-works/unentitled-to-heaven
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