Mark 10: 17-27, Romans 8:3, Ephesians 2:8-9, Genesis 17: 15-17, Luke 5:8, 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9, Luke 17: 20-21, Philippians 3:8,
Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Sacred Delights

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Call to Worship:



Psalm 96: 1-10 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

We have a special worship this morning with several who will be leading us in praise. Let us stand and let us sing to the Lord a new song from our hearts this morning; let us praise His name. Let us declare the Lord reigns in this world and our hearts! 



Today we continue in our series Sacred Delights further exploring the Beatitudes taught by Jesus and specifically looking at the verses, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 


In our culture, we might not equate blessing with the word poor naturally. But as we look at little closer, Jesus has something deeper He wants us to learn; that of performing and stacking up self-made achievements is not the way to God’s heart or a sure ticket into heaven. It’s also not the path for lasting joy or peace in our daily living. In fact, the “I can do it all by myself” attitude is exhausting and isolating. 


How many of you grew up being told and believing, “If you want something done right…. You have to do it yourself.”  Or “the only one I can really count on in this world is…. Me.”  Or “You have to go out in the world and make a ….. name for yourself.” 


This kind of mentality doesn’t leave a lot of room for God to work in our lives, because we’re too busy running the show and keeping track of all our accomplishments. We’ll look at a man who lived like this. He was quite wealthy; had the best of all that money could buy and was used to being the one giving the orders. Even with all he had, he had a burning question in his heart he needed an answer for. I want you to listen to how he asks his question, to whom he asks, and how he responds to the answer. 


Maybe you’ll hear your own question in his? Maybe you’ll recognize his response? Maybe there will be a stirring in your heart to respond to the truth being shared. 


Mark 10: 17-27 NIV

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

This rich ruler wanted a quick answer showing him what the payment would be; he could cover it. Notice his question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

But Jesus said, what you want isn’t for sale; it’s a gift.

You don’t need a resume to impress, you need a Redeemer to ransom you from death. You don’t need some slick system; you need a Savior and you can’t buy that. You cannot buy your way into Heaven. 

No one can. Not the right rituals, not the right doctrine, not the right devotion, not abiding by the Law-it can’t and it won’t happen. It’s impossible to gain salvation on your own. 

It wasn’t ever really about the money for the rich man; Jesus was addressing his heart. It was about a mentality and lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It was the pomp that came with all his possessions and honors. It was the enlarged ego Jesus was addressing, believing he could conquer all things all on his own. 

This could be those who are highly educated, the strong, the good-looking, the popular, the religious…or anyone who thinks their own power qualifies them for God’s kingdom. With man this is impossible…

  • Self-Sufficiency Does Not Save.


Moms-since it is Mother’s Day-I invite you to hear this message deep in your heart today. It applies to all of us here, and as moms, we tend to try to take on the world and have this false idea that we are supposed to be able to balance 20 spinning plates perfectly and we’re shocked and discouraged when one drops; we’re completely defeated when multiple drop and crash to the ground. We’re never meant to do this on our own. We’re never meant to be a one-woman show, because we were designed to be filled with God’s power through Christ. When we operate completely in our own strength, we wind up depleted, sapped of all strength, overwhelmed, and maybe even wondering what happened to our life. We wonder why we no longer have joy? We are used up and the well has gone dry; we come to a place of being broken or poor in spirit. 


But here is the great news-Jesus says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for THEIRS is the kingdom of Heaven. This is where we are supposed to be all along; not completely drained and ready to collapse, but aware of our great and DAILY need for our Savior. He says when you get this, you My beloved are blessed, because I am going to fill you with everything you need to live in joy and peace, and I will replenish your strength. I will guide you in wise counsel. I will fill you with patience and grace. I will give you rest each night and quiet your mind as you trust in Me. Blessed are you My love, for My kingdom is within you. 


The rich ruler didn’t get this: 

Mark 10: 22-23 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”


Everything he did on his own; all he accumulated on his own…to just let it go? He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do it because he didn’t see the greater blessing of having his identity secure in Christ; having that peace that Jesus had fulfilled everything and he could simply rest in His finished work. That greater is it to praise the name of Jesus than to strive to make a name for self. He couldn’t grasp it, so he walked away. 


Watching this confused the disciples on who would ever qualify to enter heaven.                                                 Mark 10: 26-27 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”


Jesus was teaching that’s the point- no one can earn their salvation because every human will fall short. Even though that rich ruler abided by many of the laws, he had a heart issue and held on to money, power, and status more than God. We all have heart issues. 


Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,  God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

Striving to abide by the law won’t save us, because we will weaken in our flesh. We won’t uphold it. Only Jesus fulfilled the law and His righteousness is imparted to us as we believe in Him. 


Ephesians 2: 8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


Grace is what saves us; because of our response of faith in Jesus. Why? So we can’t earn our way to Heaven. This gives no one a leg up on someone else. This means that the privileged have no greater opportunity to buy up all the seats. This means we can’t go around saying, “Look what I did!” “I saved myself!” 


God’s economy is not about self-sufficiency. It is about surrender and becoming poor in spirit, so we truly see our need for our Savior-not just for eternity-but in the here and now. 


  • God’s Delight is in Surrender, Not Conquest.


Let’s look at a few other examples briefly who had been used to doing things on their own or maybe for some time thought they had a better plan than God. See if you might relate to any of these. 


First, we have Abraham and Sarah. God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations. They were already older and yet they believed. Sarah started planning for this baby, all excited, and year after year went by, her excitement began to change into concern, which changed into doubting and questioning God’s plans. She took matters into her own hands because she wasn’t getting any younger and came up with a new plan. She had her maidservant carry Abraham’s child and thought that would be the plan and all would be fulfilled. She didn’t think about the fallout that would happen bringing another woman into the mix. It wasn’t pretty and there was much drama between her and Hagar. 

But low and behold, as Sarah was ready to give up in despair over her foiled plan and just call it quits on this promise being fulfilled, God spoke and says you will have a son. 25 years had passed from the time God first spoke this to Abraham. 

Genesis 17: 15-17    15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

God loves to do the absurd; the impossible! When they gave in and they were at their weakest, God showed up and blessed them immeasurably with the kingdom of heaven. Isaac was born a year later. 

When Simon Peter an expert fisherman had been out fishing all night without any success; beaten down, tired, and no doubt annoyed suddenly is told by a jubilant teacher to push the boats back out to fish again…he is less than pleased. He likely has a comment on the tip of his tongue about what he would really like to do and what he thinks he knows that Simon wouldn’t know better in regards to fishing. But something inside him concedes and out they go. He reluctantly throws the net in just waiting to say, “I told you so…” and before he can finish that thought he’s about pulled in as he’s holding the line to the net. He catches a big grin on Jesus’ face as he glances over and wonders what is going on. Jesus and John come quickly to help and they call over the other boat because the weight of the fish filling the net is about ready to topple their boat. Jesus is having the best time watching all the pandemonium. 

Then Peter knew who Jesus was and He also saw his own heart and recognized his own nature. 

Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 

This was the only response Peter could come up with knowing who was in his presence and what was in his heart. But it’s this very awareness of our own condition; our own heart that Jesus wants us to see. This is surrender from striving to do and be all in this world on our own and see our great need for Him. That’s why He came, not to condemn us in this sinful condition, but to save us! To give us new life! 

Saul who became Paul is a perfect example of a new life in Christ! He was the religious elite, pompous in every way. Highly educated, one of the Pharisees and a zealot against Christians. He persecuted them and was bent on taking down every one of them if he could. Until he was stopped in his tracks and blinded by the Lord Himself. Jesus sent him to look within his heart for 3 days-blinded to the world around him. He could only reflect within and it wasn’t a very pretty sight. Instead of slaying him dead on the spot, Jesus showed mercy and gave him a new name, Paul, and a new purpose to go to the lost and share the message of salvation. He gave him a new heart and he filled him with a love Paul could not resist. It was knowing this love that compelled him to completely change how he lived and who he lived for. 

His life was not without great challenges and hardship. Paul would ask for God to take it away to make things easier or lighter and this was God’s response to Paul.

2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God doesn’t want us strong in our own power, because we take the glory. He will allow trials and hardships in our lives and in those times when we are feeling inadequate and weak. He says just rest in me because now watch the perfection of My power at work. I will do what you cannot.  


  • Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.


These followers learned what it means blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom is not some faraway place, it is within us, for Christ is within us. 

Luke 17: 20-21 NKJV20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Paul shared this truth later in his ministry about what was most valuable to him. It wasn’t all prestige or accolades, or even all the personal knowledge he stored up that became his great treasure: 

Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

The rich ruler who strived to make a name for himself; wasn’t even named in the Bible. Those who surrendered their plans and their heart to God, recognizing their desperate state on their own, were given new names and a new purpose. God’s kingdom is not of this world, nor are we measured by God according to the standards of this world. We are simply loved fully as His children and invited to surrender from self-sufficiency and see the great blessing in walking with our Savior. 

Conclusion: God’s delight is born in destitution and surrender rather than personal achievement. Those who call on the name of Jesus and Him only- are given new names and new life! Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom in heaven!  

Let’s pray





Mother’s Day Blessing: 

"Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of motherhood. Today, we celebrate the loving sacrifice of mothers, both biological and spiritual, who nurture and guide us in Your ways. Bless them with joy, strength, and love to continue their selfless devotion. May they feel deeply appreciated and honored not just today, but every day. Grant them the strength to face the daily challenges with courage and the wisdom to guide their children towards a life of faith and service. Encourage them when they are weary and inspire them when they feel overwhelmed. Fill their hearts with laughter and joy. Surround them with love from family and friends. Let them know their value and worth in Your eyes and ours.  Bless them with Your peace and love, now and forever.  We also ask for Your comforting presence for those who are missing their moms today-fill their hearts overflowing with memories of the special way she loved them and may Your joy rise within for having known that love. In Jesus’ name, Amen."

We have a special video for our moms and some gifts our children will help hand out to moms. If you are a mom here today or take on the role of mother to some please raise your hand-we would love to bless you. 


Final Blessing: Ephesians 3: 20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)