Beyond the Weekend

July 6 | Poverty

July 6, 2021


“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5

Read: Matthew 5:3
Matthew 5


Poverty was a way of life in the time of Jesus. Very few people were rich. Most had to eke out a living and may have found themselves begging from time to time. Being poor meant not having enough. Jesus uses this image to describe how spiritual poverty is a feeling of inadequacy that God blesses. We all understand the feeling of not having enough when we lose our job, wonder how we are going to pay a bill, don’t make the team or get dumped from a relationship.

The prophet Isaiah felt spiritually inadequate when he had a vision of God on his throne. “Woe to me!” [he] cried. “I am ruined!” It was crystal clear that compared to God’s holiness, Isaiah brought nothing (Isaiah 6:1-5) That’s exactly how Jesus says we should see ourselves. “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3a) means when compared to God—we know we come up short.

Jewish religious leaders taught following the rules made you acceptable to God. We often think the same way and build a religious resume by going to church, volunteering and following rules. Like Isaiah, we can never do enough or be good enough on our own compared to God. We have God’s blessing when we recognize our religious resume falls short of his glory.


It can be easy to think we need to earn our way into God’s favor. In your journal, list the things you are tempted to put on your religious resume. Once you are done writing the list, cross it all off. At the bottom, write, “I bring nothing. Jesus brings everything.” Write a prayer to God thanking him for Jesus’s death on the cross for you.


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Romans 15.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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