Unexpected Joy: His poverty becomes my spiritual wealth

Last week we considered Jesus’ poverty of spirit as reflected in 2 Corinthians 8:9,

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Although we give every effort, it is impossible to fully fathom the expanse of, “he emptied himself.”

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7

Our Christmas series, Unexpected Joy, investigates the first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

As unbelievable as it is for Jesus to empty himself through poverty of spirit, it is awe inspiring to know He provided the opportunity for you and me to inherit the kingdom of God.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It boggles the mind to know that people as spiritually poor as you and I can possess the kingdom of heaven. Ephesians 4:17-19

  • Futility of their minds
  • Darkened in their understanding
  • Alienated from the life of God
  • Hardness of heart
  • Given up to sensuality
  • Greedy to practice every kind of impurity

Consider the truthfulness of our poverty of spirit in Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:1-3

  • Dead in trespasses and sins
  • Following the course of this world
  • Following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience
  • Lived in the passions of our flesh
  • Carrying out the desires of the body and the mind
  • Were by nature children of wrath

How does God exchange all of this hopelessness into possessing the kingdom of heaven?

But God! Ephesians 2:4

  • Being rich in mercy
  • Because of the great love with which he loved us
    • EVEN when we were dead in our trespasses
    • Made us alive together with Christ
  • By grace you have been saved
    • And raised us up with him and seated us with him the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
    • So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved (given the kingdom of heaven) through faith. 2:8

This faith is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  2:9

Jesus’ emptying is my filling!  His emptiness is my fullness.  His poverty is my spiritual wealth.  His death is my life. His wounds cleanse my transgression. His bruises remove my iniquity.  His chastisement is my peace. His stripes are my healing.  His nails broke my chains.  His broken body re-members mine.  His crown of thorns becomes my crown of righteousness.  His cross is my redemption.  His fasting is my feasting.  His manger is the forerunner for my mansion.  His anguish of soul is my peace of mind.  His “it is finished” is my brand-new beginning.  His “He is not here, for he is risen,” is my confidence in resurrection life.  His curse is my blessing.  His “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” is my “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” His ascension into heaven is my reception of the Holy Spirit.

In my poverty of spirit, I place faith in the only One (Jesus) who is spiritually rich and by grace He takes my spiritual poverty and gives me His spiritual riches.  UNEXPECTED JOY!