Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Power of Spiritual Poverty--by Linden Malki

"Blessed are the poor in spirit.." seems like an odd kind of blessing!

The truth of  this statement has to do with the desires of the heart. We usually do not want to be poor! But one of the paradoxes of the Gospel is we need to have a spirit that is not obsessed with what the world values . "For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it, but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What them, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life?" (Matthew 16:25-26)

The most influential people in the history of the Church have been ones who gave up the world for a life of worldly poverty but spiritual service. The first ones that comes to mind are the first followers of Jesus, who walked out of their previous lives to tell of what they experienced and learned about Jesus.

There have been many since who have recognized the power of the spirit of God, accepted earthly poverty and brought God's riches to our needy world. We see people like St Francis of Assisi, who walked away from family wealth and spent his life serving, teaching and discipling others to a life of radical service.

There is George Muller, the subject of a new book "Delighted with God", which tells the story of a man who demonstrated the power of faith. Starting in Bristol, England, in the 1830's, he established 117 schools and cared for over 10,000 orphans--without ever asking anyone for money but depending totally on God to provide the finances necessary.

In our own times, Mother Teresa was moved by the plight of the poor and homeless of India, and later in other parts of the world, and not only ministered personally to those in need but trained and discipled others to follow. In fact, we find in most stories of radically selfless followers of Jesus, they not only served hands-on themselves but also  developed followers who worked with them and carried on the work.

Not all of us are called to totally drop out of our lives in this way, but we are all called to recognize our own spiritual poverty and learn to live through God's spiritual strength wherever He calls us.

Where is your treasure?

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