Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
Being poor in spirit must be very important and valuable, if it means to have a place prepared for us at the feast in the kingdom of God and to ultimately take possession of the kingdom of heaven itself!
What does poor in spirit actually mean? How can we know if we are poor in spirit?
Here are some characteristics of someone who is poor in spirit:
1. Always lowly in his own eyes. He does not exalt himself; he is not proud. Even though he may be considered insignificant by others, he sees it all as God’s will and rejoices that he is allowed to share in the sufferings of Christ.
2. Loves to do all his work in the hidden and does not receive honor from men.
3. Loves to occupy the lowest place, not because he desires to be more esteemed, but because he thinks that this is precisely the place that it is suitable for him.
4. Reserved in his conduct – neither aggressive nor demanding.
5. Loves to give up his advantages for the benefit of others.
6. Does not seek to be anything great, whether it is on an earthly or a spiritual level; his only desire is to do God’s will from moment to moment.
7. Does not seek to gain influence with people, yet his entire longing is that people might come under the influence of God.
8. Time is precious to him – he has none to waste; yet he is calm and is never led to do anything in haste.
9. Sanctifies himself so that others, by his example, can sanctify themselves in truth.
10. Denies himself so that his life may not be an offense to others in any way. \
11. Satisfied with the cross God gives him to bear, and he does not complain when others bother him.
12. Does not draw back in the sufferings of Christ, so that after he himself has been tested, he can be of help to others.
13. Just as happy wherever God puts him – whether it is among the teeming masses or in a solitary place – because he meets God in each place by doing His will.
14. Places great value on the fact that wherever he is or has been, others should find only the truth, be it in spiritual or in earthly things.
15. His love compels him to contribute to the others’ good; he feels that he is indebted to everyone. His life evolves as the life of a servant, and he is more than willing to bear the others’ burdens.
16. Never dreams about great things, but rather takes heed to the small things. No work is insignificant, and no one is too small to be served.
17. He does not discriminate and is a servant to all. Therefore, he goes just as willingly to where sorrow prevails as to where joy is overflowing.
18. Lives his life for the purpose of laying it down as a sacrifice.
19. Willingly steps on thorns if only he can refresh the others in their sufferings by doing so.
20. His ear is open to God’s voice, not just to enjoy it in self-satisfaction, but in order to do what he has heard.
This is an edited version of an article that was first published in Norwegian in BCC's periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”) in December 1912 with the title, “Not in word, but in deed and in truth.”