Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? – James 2:5
1 Corinthians 1:25-28
25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
A Materials Recycling Facility or MRF (pronounced like ‘Murph’) is a solid-waste management plant that processes recyclable materials to sell to manufacturers as raw materials for new products.
Once the materials have been sorted, they are melted, shredded, or pulped to prepare for recycling. Glass is often pulverized and melted into new glass objects. Shredding is used to prepare plastic, metal, and paper for processing, and pulping converts paper products into slurry that can be made again into paper. Processed materials are then shipped to facilities that use recycled goods for manufacturing.
Recycling began in the 1800s in America. But it is actually nothing new. Believe it or not, the Father has been in the recycling business for thousands of years. He reclaims and repurposes worn, sullied, debauched, and unwanted humanity.
He takes the used and abused, rejected and cast off, things the world considers foolish and powerless, the despised and those counted as nothing, and recycles them. They become children of the King! In fact, the kingdom of God belongs exclusively to them.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
The Greek word translated as poor is ptochos. It comes from the Greek verb ptosso – to crouch, cower like a beggar. It refers to those who are poor and helpless, in abject poverty, utter helplessness, or complete destitution (Zodhiates).
The poor in spirit, are those who recognize their utter spiritual destitution and need for God. Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. It belongs to those who confess their spiritual bankruptcy (ESV Notes).
Although there may be anguish, sorrow, rejection, mistreatment, weeping, and far more dire conditions in this present world, the children of the King will ultimately be blessed forever because the Father’s kingdom belongs to them. The somewhat distressing conditions are not “good” in and of themselves. However, they make the children of the King aware of their need for the Father. Within each human being, there is a vacuum that the Father alone can fill. The poverty spoken of is the poverty of the spirit.
Those who are poor in spirit are humbled before the Father, knowing their utter impoverishment.
Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.
Being blessed is more than a temporary or circumstantial feeling of happiness. Rather it is a state of well-being that is derived from a personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The poor in spirit, are those who recognize their utter spiritual destitution and need for God. Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. It belongs to those who confess their spiritual bankruptcy (ESV Notes).
The Greek word translated as blessed is makarios which is his. Makarios has the sense of being favored or privileged. When the Father favors us and adopts us as His dear children, we are truly privileged and blessed.
Some modern translations use the term “happy.” But happiness tends to be associated more with feelings. Being blessed is not the feelings of the children of the King but their status and position. Perhaps “favored” is a better thought-for-thought translation. The poor of this beatitude possess the blessedness of being the object of God’s favor (Stein).
REFLECT & PRAY
Children of the King have been given the privilege of having a whole new attitude toward themselves. They were poor and destitute. But now they are rich in faith. They possess wealth more incredible than they could ever imagine.
Father thank You that from eternity past, You had a plan to recycle me for eternity future. Encourage me to yield and recognize that You are the Potter, and I am but the clay.
At the moment we become children of the King, we become heirs of the Kingdom of God. It is our certain hope and expectation for eternity.
Romans 8:17 Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ, we are heirs of God’s glory.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done, we have been made right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person [creation]. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
The Greek term translated as person or creation is ktisis. Ktisis means creation or creature. It refers to God’s creative action forming a person into a “new being” (UBS). The focus is on the Father’s creative power of recycling what we were before Christ to what we are now “in Christ.” The focus is on the remarkable, unimaginable transformation the living God brings. We are forever altered, recycled, and regenerated.
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth (regeneration) and new life through the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word translated as new birth or regeneration is paliggenesia. Paliggenesia comes is derived from palin – again + genesia – birth. Paliggenesia literally means rebirth, renewal, or being born again. Regeneration takes what already exists and starts over. It is the ultimate act of becoming recycled! The old self has been replaced by the new.
The Father recycles all the children of the King. Yet each child of the King is responsible for actualizing this new reality and growing into their new identity day by day.
22 Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.
We begin by recognizing that the Father has recycled each of us. He has repurposed us according to His eternal plan and blueprint.
© Dr. H 2022