This past Tuesday night, we talked about the first "blessed" statement in Jesus' Sermon on the mountain: "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." There is so much packed into those few words.
For one, we have to adjust our idea of what "blessed" means in this culture (and church culture) because we all tend to gravitate towards this idea that, "we get stuff because God likes us" when we're "blessed." So we unpacked that word-- that it maybe is a little less about what Bruno Mars is talking about in 24 Karat Magic and it's a whole lot more of being looked at favorably from God's perspective.
We talked about the idea of "poor in spirit"-- and, yes, although there are "holier than thou people" rampant in Christianity, we're not called to be like that AT ALL. In fact, we're called to bring--cough, cough-- NOTHING to the table when it comes to God. We are "spiritually bankrupt," which means that we have nothing that we can hang our hats on to say, "Hey God, look at how awesome I am when it comes to moral stuff." Nope. We cannot do that. And Jesus, when He gave this message in history, is saying that, if want to experience all of the "blessed-ness" of being a part of what He's up to in the world RIGHT NOW (present tense), we should take an inventory of where we really stand-- which is bankrupt. Because, if we start from that posture of humility and dependence, we are ready to receive God's lifting-us-up and enablement.
God's riches start with our bankruptcy.