by Dennis Marquardt

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The Richest Poverty (1 of 8)
Dennis Marquardt
Matthew 5:3; Luke 18:9-14

Have you ever met someone who is deliriously happy about being poor? Probably not! Two things that don't seem to go together is poverty and shear joy. What is it then that Jesus meant when He stated that, "happy are those who are poor in spirit"?

Poverty means emptiness, depression, unhappiness, starvation, struggles, disease, etc. When one is impoverished he or she is in a position of no power, no influence, and no authority. It is not just the loss of things; it is the loss of power and significance in the natural world.

Yet, Jesus uses this picture of poverty to explain that the greatest joy can only come to those who are "poor in spirit." How can this be?

PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that unless we are willing to accept our spiritual poverty, to recognize that we are completely empty, we cannot be filled with God's richest blessings. But for those who come empty, they leave filled, and full of joy.

I. HAPPY & POOR Matt. 5:3

A. Power of Poverty 5:3a

1. It is not material poverty that Jesus is talking about, but poverty of the spirit.

a. Those who realize that they have no way to save themselves.

b. Those who realize that their own righteousness is nothing but filthy rags.

c. Only this recognition of abject poverty can bring us to Christ in the right way.

2. The word translated here; "poor" comes from the Greek word "ptochos" (there are two words in Greek for "poor," one is "penes" which means a lack of worldly goods, a man who is struggling to make ends meet, and the other which is used here is "ptochos" which means "abject poverty," a man who is not just struggling but near death with nothing.)

3. What is Jesus' point? How can this man of abject poverty be"happy"?

a. Jesus knows that this kind of poverty takes everything away from a man, everything that we would trust in, or le ...

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