“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
The first word Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount was the word HAPPY! The Greek word for bless is “makarios,” or happy. And we are happy, Jesus said, when we are poor in spirit. This means depending humbly on God instead of on myself. This lesson looks at five ways to do with that: 1) I depend on God’s wisdom, not mine; 2) I depend on God’s strength, not mine; 3) I depend on God’s timing, not mine; 4) I depend on God’s defense, not mine; and 5) I depend on God’s wealth, not mine. Let’s talk it over.
Open your group with a prayer. This is only a guide – select the points you want to discuss.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Do not be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, respect the Lord and turn your back on evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7 (NLT)
1. Our lives are blessed when we depend on God’s wisdom and not our own. We must acknowledge spiritual helplessness. Depending on ourselves leads to flopped, failed endeavors, resulting in painful, wasted time. Is there a time you thought whatever you did was right, but it ended so wrong? What might you have done differently, according to Proverbs 3:5-7?
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall not be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; and he is my shelter!” Psalm 62:5-7 (TEV)
2. Our lives are blessed when we depend on God to be our shield and defender. We demonstrate enormous maturity by being silent before our accusers. Everyone experiences being misunderstood, criticized, judged, and naturally we want to defend ourselves. Discuss the five metaphors in Psalm 62:5-7. What are they? What do we gain by running to God instead of relying on ourselves?
“And my God will supply all my needs from his abundant wealth because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.” Philippians 4:19
3. Financial worries are one of the greatest sources of anxiety. Share a time when you faced a serious shortage and God supplied your need. Are you there right now? How can you depend on God’s wealth and not your own?