Today's Word of Encouragement

Meek, Not Weak

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

     Meekness is often thought of as weakness in American culture. It conjures up images of a frail, bookwormish, bespectacled, 90 pound weakling who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach. Biblically, nothing could be further from the truth.
     Scripture tells us Moses was meek, in fact, the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3). Moses was not a weak man. Neither was Jesus, but He was meek as well (Matthew 11:29; 21:5). So, what is meekness and why is it a virtue of those who follow Jesus?
     Biblical meekness is a gentle spirit, a mild disposition, an humble attitude. It is power under control. It is strength disciplined. Meekness has a two-fold application: 1) meekness toward God, and 2) meekness toward others. We have seen the example of meekness toward God in the first two Beatitudes - recognition of our spiritual poverty and conviction of sin. Now we must consider meekness toward others.
     Jesus demonstrated meekness when He stood up to Annas, the High Priest, and insisted (John 18:23), If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me? He was not angry, contentious, or arrogant in His response to Annas. But He did stand His ground against injustice.
     Another great example of meekness is seen in the Apostles Peter and John when they were called before the elders and commanded not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:1-18). Their response was, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (vv. 19-20). Like Jesus, Peter and John did not demand their rights, act arrogantly or with contempt; they did not flip out in a rage or threaten with divine retribution. They simply responded with the truth.
     What is the reward for this Christian virtue? They shall inherit the earth. It is the promise to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:1-6) and in the new earth He will create after the heavens and the earth pass away (Revelation 21:1-7). Until that time the Christian church will continue to live in a world dominated by Satan's power and influence. But God has not left us alone here. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us.
     "Father, in a world that applauds self-assertiveness, contentiousness, and debate, may the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control dominate my mind, heart, and spirit. Help me turn away the anger of others with a kind word, and an arrogant attitude with a gentle spirit. Give me courage and boldness to stand for Your truth, but to do so in love and under Your Spirit's control." Amen.

Pastor Martin

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