"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)
This first of the beatitudes--the opening sentence of Christ's great Sermon on the Mount--is often misinterpreted in affluent America, and made to read something like: "Blessed are those of humble spirit," or "downcast spirit." The word for "poor," however, occurs some 36 times in the New Testament, and always means "poor" in the literal sense--referring specifically to those who are poor financially. That this was the Lord's meaning here is evident from the parallel passage in Luke 6:20: "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." Our text could better be rendered as: "Happy are the poor, in the Spirit!"
Christ, in His first public message, asserted that God had anointed Him "to preach the gospel to the poor" (Luke 4:18). Consider also the rhetorical question of James 2:5: "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?"
These, and many other such admonitions in Scripture, warn us against "the love of money" (1 Timothy 6:10). If God does entrust a measure of wealth to a believer, it is not to be stored up in bank accounts, or used for unneeded luxuries, but first to provide "for those of his own house" (1 Timothy 5:8), and then, also, for the preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14). "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19). For the poor, in Christ, the promise is the Kingdom. HMM