Thank God for giving us a new start in 2024. At the beginning of the year, what scripture is a good reminder for us? Thank God for his guidance. The Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel may be one of the important passages.
The Beatitudes are at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to understand the Old Testament commandments from the New Testament perspective. But Jesus overturned everyone's worldview, values, and outlook on life with the Beatitudes.
Let us review the meaning of the first blessing.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The meaning of "poor in spirit" is to have nothing at all in the spirit, to be so lacking in the soul that it is like bankruptcy. If we imagine that our bank deposits are zero, we have nothing in terms of money. Poor in spirit is describing such a situation. But in the spiritual sense, it means a person who knows that he has nothing, who understands that he has nothing to boast of, who has nothing to offer, who admits that he is a hopeless sinner. We are utterly sinful in the presence of the holy God. This is a person's recognition, understanding, and acknowledgment of his true self. Only such a person is truly "poor in spirit". Such a person knows that he cannot be saved by his completely fallen self, that he needs a holy God who is willing to save him with love, to actively help him, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Such a person is valued and pleased by God, and God will not despise the one who is sorrowful for his sin. God will surely welcome these people into his kingdom, and sit with them at his table, so the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
At the beginning of the year, if we start with this attitude, we believe that God will bless us and let us be closer to him. Being with God is the greatest blessing in itself.
Although it is a very short passage, it can already be our goal for this year. Let us recognise our own sinfulness, knowing that we need Christ's salvation. Having this "poor in spirit" attitude is the beginning of our blessing. May the Lord help us, let us yearn for God, yearn to be close to him, do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.