Read stories from listeners of TWR Women of Hope.
Sep20FriSeptember 20, 2019 By the TWR Canada Women's Ministry Team
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Often when we think about poverty, we think of not having the resources necessary for survival; we think of the daily struggle to meet the most basic needs. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN) adds another observation: “Poverty is not only a deprivation of economic or material resources but a violation of human dignity.”
Here they recognize the impact of poverty on people as individuals; they are making it more personal. Human dignity is indeed attacked by poverty, and that is something that needs to be addressed. While these observations are not wrong, Jesus takes yet another view. In Matthew 5:3 he tells us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (ESV)
While we most often think of poverty as negative, this understanding addresses something different. What does Jesus mean?
Jesus is talking about spiritual poverty, not material possessions. He is concerned that we understand and embrace our need to be “poor in spirit.” Pastor and author J.D. Greear says it like this:
“Poverty of spirit means we embrace daily dependence on God for all that we need. It means that we don’t feel that we have sufficient resources in ourselves to face life’s challenges. It has less to do with being monetarily rich or poor and is more about whether we embrace daily dependence on God for all that we need.”
We recognize that we have nothing apart from God that can be used as spiritual currency; our own works or resources will not save us. Being poor in spirit occurs when we see ourselves in comparison to a holy God. It occurs when we see our dependency on God and completely embrace it. It is at this point that we come to Christ, recognizing that only he can give us the riches our soul desires.
This is the fundamental characteristic of everyone who believes and truly seeks Christ: their awareness of their “poverty of spirit.” At TWR Women of Hope, this is the core of everything we do. We share the gospel, introducing Christ to women (and men). It is here when they recognize who they are in comparison to who God is and embrace being poor in spirit. This is where a life-transforming relationship with Christ begins. But it doesn’t stop there. This dependency on Christ allows them to grow spiritually and become more Christ-like.
As we at TWR Women of Hope pray, teach and minister, women are recognizing they are poor in spirit and are finding their sufficiency in Christ. And they are growing spiritually to reflect him, all by the grace of God. Thank you for helping us share this message. What a wonderful Saviour we serve!