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Blessed Are The Meek

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you, when men shall revile and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."  Matthew 5:1-12
We are looking at the greatest sermon ever preached by the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.  It does not get any better than this!  Let us not forget that this sermon was preached to the Lord's disciples.  It is a message that describes the Christian and his/her character.  Let us put it like this:

Character + Conduct = Influence

It begins with who we are, character.  It then proceeds to the result, which is, conduct.  From there it issues in influence in other people's lives.  We can see this in verses 14 and 16.  Listen to it and see all three (Character, Conduct, Influence) come into view.
"Ye are the light of world.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14,16
Did you see it?

You ARE the light...  Character.
Let your light so SHINE before men, that they may see your good works... Conduct.
And GLORIFY your Father which is in heaven.  Influence.
I think we can all see that our lives are going to have an effect on the ungodly.  So much depends upon our reaction to the working of the Spirit in us and how we allow Him to shape us and make us into a vessel He can use.  As we continually yield, cooperate, and bend to His leading our lives speak louder and louder and then what we say carries weight, credibility, and balance.   It says that our good works will influence them in such a way as to make them glorify GOD!  Not us!  So, my lifestyle, my works are to be done in such as way as to make them think of my FATHER!  This means how I live should not draw attention to how good I am, but to how good HE is!  In the book of Acts chapter 4:13 it states that "when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus."
The heart condition INSIDE of us will show itself OUTSIDE of us and affect those BESIDE us.

The beatitude we are dealing with today is the third in a list of eight.  Blessed are the meek...  The first three beatitudes are as follows:

BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT...
BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN...
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK...
In the first of these three we take a look at ourselves.  We examine ourselves.  We see our weaknesses, our sinfulness, our selfishness, and pride.  In the second, we mourn over what we saw, and we abhor, or hate it.  In the third beatitude, it gets a bit more difficult.  Why?  Because it is here, we begin to add other people to the mix.  Did you see that?  The first two are affecting just us, personally.  The next one BRINGS IN OTHERS.  It is a logical conclusion that after I have seen myself in the sight of God as nothing but a sinner, empty handed and without hope, that I say with Isaiah, "Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips...for mine eyes have SEEN the King!"   I CANNOT LIVE THIS CHRISTIAN LIFE!  I am helpless.  Seeing that my righteousness is nothing but FILTHY RAGS, I then mourn over that.  I cry out with Paul, "O wretched man that I am!"
Now, that is the just the way it is.  Have you gone through that?  If you are like me or anyone else who has had an encounter with the living God, you will know that I speak the truth.  So, I say, "I am sinful, I am wretched, I am undone."  This is as it should be.
However, to say all that to myself, about myself is one thing.  But when someone else comes along and chimes in with:  "Yes, that's right Jerry, you ARE wretched!  You ARE no good!  You ARE sinful!"  My self-preservation kicks in and I instinctively say, "HEY, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" or, "WAIT A MINUTE, RIGHT THERE, YOU!" or even, "YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME THAT WAY!" 
Do you see what we are facing?  Listen, my friend, we are new creatures in Christ.  We belong to another realm.  It's called the Kingdom of God.  We are no longer what we once were.  And our desire is to reach others with this gospel which can set them free from sin and death.  I can see my own sin, and worthlessness, etc.  I can face it and be honest with myself about myself.  But let me ask you, is it difficult to have other people say the same things about us without us resenting it?  I always prefer to say honest things about myself to myself rather than to have others agree with me!  This is what we are facing in this beatitude.  So far, I have been looking at myself, only.  But now, other people are thrown into the mix and THEY are looking at me!  The problem is, they are agreeing with me!  So, what is meekness?
Meekness is an absence of the spirit or attitude of retaliation.  It is a quality of the Christian.  It is generated by the Spirit of God.  It is not just "being nice".  That can be just biological.  As if to say some animals are nicer than others.  No, a meek person is so because they have become poor in spirit and have mourned over their sinfulness.  They now apply that in the way they relate to others.  They don't retaliate when someone comes along and expresses how "bad" we are.  I like to say it this way.  When someone comes up to me and says, "You're no good, you lousy person", I turn and say, "Actually, I am worse than what you say.  You don't know the half of it.  You see, God knows how bad I really am, and He loves me anyway; He died for me anyway; He forgives me anyway!   So, honestly, there's nothing you can say to me or about me that's worse than what God already knows!"     Woo!  How great is that?   Listen, this takes the pressure off.  This is a liberating truth!  BLESSED ARE THE MEEK!
Meekness is connected in the Bible to lowliness.

Matthew 11:29 says, "For I am meek and lowly in heart..."

Ephesians 4:1,2 says, "Walk worthy with all lowliness and meekness..."
Meekness is connected to gentleness.

II Corinthians 10:1 says, "I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ..."

Titus 3:2 says, "Speak evil of no man, but be gentle, showing meekness to all men..."

Meekness is not being lenient or easy.  Eli in the Old Testament was lenient and easy on his boys and would not restrain them.  Something Eli paid dearly for.
Meekness is connected to guidance and teaching.

Psalm 25:9 says, "The meek will he guide in judgment.  The meek will He teach His way."
We can see that meekness and teachability go together.  One is teachable and submissive when one is meek.  We see meekness in many examples of men and women in the Bible.
For instance, when we look at Moses, we see that he was the meekest man on the whole earth at that time.  What great possibilities Moses had waiting for him in Pharaoh's court.  He was next in line for the throne!  Yet when He came to see who he really was, that he was a Hebrew and not an Egyptian and that his people were in bondage, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.  In fact, the Bible tells us that he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.  He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt and he forsook the entire enterprise and chose not to assert himself but to humble and take the position of one who was nothing; totally bankrupt without the Lord.  When the children of Israel murmured against him and wanted to overthrow his position, he took it to the Lord.  He did not retaliate against them.  He prayed.  He does not defend himself but humbles himself.  This is meekness.
David was being hunted by King Saul.  David had a chance to kill Saul in a cave and receive the throne.  Yet he does not take the advantage.  What about us?  When someone is in our power, do we take the opportunity?  David did not, for he knew that Saul was God's appointed king and he would not lay a hand on him.  He repaid evil with good.  Do we? 
In Acts 7, when Stephen was being stoned, he also did not retaliate.  He looked up and said, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."  Wow!  Could you and I do that?  Do you always want to see others suffer for what they did to you?  Are you sensitive about yourself?  Are you finding that you are always on the defensive?  Do you swim in self-pity?  John Bunyan said, "He that is down, need fear no fall."  That's great stuff!  Always remember that we are to overcome evil with good.  Always remember that a man who is meek needs no one else to satisfy him.  That's why Jesus said, "the meek shall inherit the earth."  The meek person knows that in Christ he/she has all things right now IN HIM!  It's what Paul said in Philippians 4:11. "I have learned that in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content."  
Ah, but then there is Jesus.  On the cross Jesus cried, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  He holds nothing over their heads.  He didn't hold my sins or your sins over our heads, did He?  Not at all!  He didn't say, "Look what you did to me.  I will withhold forgiveness from you till you can make up for that!"  No, "He humbled himself and bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we should live in righteousness, by whose stripes we are healed."  
              "Christ left us an example to follow…Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously."  I Peter 2:21,23
Since He did that for me, I now have no need to harbor any bitterness in my heart nor an unforgiving spirit towards those who have done me wrong.  Why?  Because the Bible says that you have been set free in Jesus and He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!  Someone is reading this and is harboring in your heart a spirit of unforgiveness.  This has not been dealt with and now a root of bitterness has sprung up and is choking your spiritual life right out of you.  You feel like you spiritually cannot breathe.  It's keeping you up at night.  But there is hope right here!  Right now!  If you were ever going to make a mistake, always err on the side of mercy.  Let it go!  Forgive!  It's not worth it to keep hanging on to it.  You only hurt yourself.  But, pastor, you have no idea what they did to me.  Maybe, maybe not.  But then, we have no idea what the Jews and the Romans did to Jesus, either.  We have no idea what our sins have done to Jesus.  Yet, He forgave them, and He will forgive us if we ask.
I am reminded of a great woman of faith, Corrie Ten Boom, who was placed in a German concentration camp in World War II.  What they did to her, and her family cannot be described without tears.  Yet when she was released, she had a difficult time forgiving her captors.  This was such a strain on her relationship with the Lord, that she finally went to see her pastor.  The pastor took Corrie to the bell tower of the church.  He began to pull intensely on the rope thereby sending out a sound that could be heard in the town.  He kept pulling the rope.  The bell kept ringing.  Then, he let go of the rope.  However, the bell continued to sound but then slowed in its ringing.  First ding, then dong.  Then ding, then, dong.  Slower and slower swung the bell and farther apart were the rings until at last it came to a stop and rang no more.  The pastor told her that as long as he held on to the rope, it continued to ring.  As long as Corrie held on to the rope of unforgiveness, it too, continued to sound and create agony within her heart.  But when he let loose the rope, even though the bell continued to ring, it slowed its pace and its rings were farther apart until finally there was no sound.  "Corrie," he said, "you must let go of the rope."   Someone reading this needs to let go of the rope and give it to Jesus.  Yes, it may ding once in a while, but refuse to touch that rope and continue to look to the Lord Jesus.  As you do, you will come to see that Jesus has taken that unforgiveness and given you something better in its place.  His divine presence!  Really?  Yes.  For His presence acts as an anesthesia.  It's like going to the dentist and getting a shot to numb your tooth.  You do not feel the pain.  His presence is like that.  In His presence is fullness of joy!  My pastor used to say, "Lord, give me the anesthesia of your presence, and you can cut out of me anything you want."  The same goes for you, my friend.  That includes the temptation to retaliate.  It includes the root of bitterness that is giving you a spiritual toothache and infecting your spiritual countenance.   Let go of the rope.  Give it to Jesus.  He will exchange your pain for His presence!  In that presence you will receive spiritual food, a piece of bread, that will nourish your heart and prepare you to receive and experience more meekness.  Listen to this verse in Exodus.
"Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times."  Exodus 25:30
Whoa!  Did you see that?  There is what is called the bread of His Presence!  Have you had your bread today?  You will get it in His Presence.  It will feed you, sustain you, and satisfy you.  And when you spend time in the secret place, you will come out of it with a new meekness that now puts God between you and your problems rather than bitterness.  No more is it a spirit of retaliation, but a new resolve in you that says, "it doesn’t matter what happens to me anymore, it only matters that God is glorified in my life."
This is meekness.  This is the fruit of the Spirit.  This is Christianity.
Type your new text here.

Stop!  Wait!  Be still!  Think!  Meditate!  Respond!

So many times, it is easy to quickly read something and move on to our next activity, never truly focusing on what the Lord is trying to tell us.   I encourage you to take time now to stop and evaluate.  Maybe you need to reread the lesson and pull from it the nuggets of Truth that are there.  Think about how it speaks to you in your situation.  Is the Holy Spirit addressing an area in your life that needs attention?   Since your "heart condition INSIDE of you will show itself OUTSIDE of you and affect those BESIDE you" do you need to go before Jesus in prayer, asking Him to change you, the "inside you," to be more like Him and have a "Jesus" affect on those around you?  Don't wait - ask the Holy Spirit to work and change you now, today.  Ask Him to help you to be a person of meekness.  Maybe you need to let go of a rope of unforgiveness and allow the Lord to begin a new work inside of you.  Don't wait.  Address it now.  Let Him work.  He is able!
Possibly, today, your eyes have been opened to the state of your soul.  You now see yourself as nothing, sinful, lacking, and miserable, a person in need of a Savior.   You do not have to stay this way!  The Lord Jesus Christ knows your condition and He is waiting for you to turn to Him with a heart that confesses its sin, wanting change, and desiring to be a "new creation".  Talk to Him today in prayer.  Tell Him what you have done and ask Him to forgive you and wash you clean.  Jesus Christ died on the cross so many years ago thinking of you, today, at this time.  He bled and died and rose again so that you, today could be forgiven, made clean and set free!  Today is the right time, today is the day of Salvation!  He is waiting for you.  Don't put it off, don't delay for you will never regret a life changing decision made for Jesus.    Praise His name!
Music is a beautiful gift from God!  He uses it to speak to or hearts.  Sometimes the Lord will instruct and comfort us with a song.  Sometimes the songs we sing to Him are prayers - words telling Him what our hearts desire in Him.  Always our songs should be filled with worship and praise to the Lord for He is worthy of it!  

"I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high."  Psalm 7:17
 
Here is a song that is a prayer to the Lord.  Today make it your prayer.

I Surrender All

Judson W. Van DeVenter
1.  All To Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live. (Refrain)

2.  All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain)

3.  All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine. (Refrain)

4.  All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain)

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

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