“Blest are you poor; the reign of God is yours.” –Luke 6:20

Jesus tells us, His disciples, that we will be happy if we choose to be poor, hungry, weeping, and persecuted. Many people have tried to spiritualize these beatitudes but Jesus’ lifestyle and other passages in the Scriptures contradict that interpretation. Jesus actually meant we should choose material poverty, redemptive suffering, and persecution.

We have devoted almost our whole lives to developing our lifestyle. If we chose a simple lifestyle of material poverty, it would be like throwing our lives away. Nonetheless, Jesus said: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What profit does he show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?” (Lk 9:24-25)

By God’s grace, we can say: “Those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my Wealth and I may be in Him” (Phil 3:7-9).

PRAYER: Father, may my life become progressively more simple each year for the next five years.

PROMISE: “Your own conduct was once of this sort, when these sins were your very life. You must put that aside now: all the anger and quick temper, the malice, the insults, the foul language.” –Col 3:7-8

PRAISE: St. Peter Claver was so moved to reach out to African slaves that he used pictures to bridge the language barrier to teach them about Christ.

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