Blessed are the Meek

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

INTRODUCTION.

We’re studying the characteristics of those who belong to the King and to his kingdom.

At the outset, meekness is the by-product of self-emptying (poverty of spirit) and self-humiliation (mourning or sorrow over one’s sinfulness). When you realize that you are not only nothing without God, but are also a sinner deserving of eternal punishment, the result will be a broken and contrite heart which can no longer afford to boast before God or to be arrogant towards others. You therefore don’t mind being last instead of being first; being the servant of all instead of being the ruler of all. In other words, the gospel makes you meek.

The values of the Kingdom are the opposite of the world’s. The world says, “Be aggressive, fulfill yourself, look out for number one, and you will be successful.” Christ says, “Be meek, deny yourself, be the servant of all, and you will inherit the earth. The last shall be the first.

1. WHAT MEEKNESS ISN’T

(A) It isn’t weakness. It doesn’t mean you’ll simply be a doormat to be trampled upon by others. Jesus Christ was meek and lowly in heart, but he drove the moneychangers out of his Father’s house.

(B) It isn’t softness. It doesn’t mean you’ll just keep quiet and won’t stand up to wrongdoers. Jesus was meek but he wasn’t spineless. He had the moral backbone to stand up for truth and rebuke wrongdoers.

2. WHAT MEEKNESS IS.

(A) It is strength under control.

The Greek word for meek is used for animals that have been domesticated, e.g., a horse that has been broken (Prov. 16:32; Prov. 19:11; Prov. 16:32). So a meek person is strong but he knows how to submit to God’s control.

(B) It is submission to God’s will (James 1:19-21).

“The meek are those who humble themselves before God, because they acknowledge their utter dependence upon Him. In consequence, they are gentle in their dealings with others.” (R.V.G. Tasker)

(C) It is gentleness to others (Prov. 15:1; Gal. 6:1-2).

(D) Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23)

3. EXAMPLES OF MEEKNESS

(A) Moses (Numbers 12:3). When Aaron and Miriam confronted him, instead of being angry he allowed the Lord to vindicate him.

(B) Jesus (Matt. 11:29; 1 Peter 2:23; Luke 22:42).

4. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO INHERIT THE EARTH.

(A) It means satisfaction and contentment with what we have at present (Ps. 37:11) (Ps. 22:26 KJV). You only truly possess what you are satisfied with. Because their spirits are subdued before God, they are contented with what they have (Heb. 13:5). They know that God will provide for all their needs (Phil. 4:19). And because they belong to God who owns everything, everything belongs to them. Therefore, they trust him to give them their portion in due time (Ps. 145:15, 16; 1 Cor 3:21-22; 2 Cor. 6:10).

(B) It means reigning in the world to come (Rev. 22:3-5; Matt. 19:28)

PRAYER

Lord, instead of always asserting myself, help me to be meek and lowly and self-denying like you because only then will I possess the things that truly matter: love, joy, peace, contentment in you! Amen.

Blessed are those who mourn (2)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

Who else are those who mourn?

Those who suffer for Jesus’ sake (John 16:20, 22, 33). For now we weep because in this world we will have tribulation (Rom. 8:36; 1 Pet. 4:12)

And what is their comfort?

The promises of Christ (John 16:20, 22, 33; Heb. 13:5, 6).

The presence of the peace-giving Spirit (John 14:26, 27).

The participation of the brethren (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

The parousia (Second Coming) of Christ (Rev. 21:4).

Let us not be overwhelmed by sorrow because we not only have spiritual comforts now, we have eternal comfort ahead of us.

(1 Thess. 4:13-18)

Audio Link: https://youtu.be/n4yRjYMw7Uo

Blessed are those who mourn (part 1)

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

INTRODUCTION

We continue to study the characteristics of those people who belong to the kingdom, one of which is their spiritual mourning, because they are a people whose hearts have been broken by a recognition of their sinfulness before God and have therefore become contrite (humble, repentant). It is comforting to know that God takes account of our tears (Psalm 56:8).

  1. WHO ARE THESE WHO MOURN?

They are those who sorrow over their sins and who suffer for Jesus’ sake. For now, we take up only the first one.

A) They realize how much they’ve grieved God by their sins (Psalm 51:4).

B) They feel the pain they’ve inflicted upon themselves (and others) as a result of their sins (Psalm 32:3-4; Jeremiah 2:19).

C) They also weep tears of conviction because of God’s love for them in Christ in spite of their sins. It was my sins that nailed Christ to the cross and I grieve at the sight of him on the cross, but at the same time I rejoice that he loves me so much so as to die for the forgiveness of my sins (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 5:8).

  1. HOW ARE THEY COMFORTED?

They are comforted by a sense of God’s grace and forgiveness (Psalm 30:5, 11; Psalm 32:1, 5; Luke 15:7, 10).

PRAYER: Lord, we are sorry for our many sins. Thank you for your forgiveness which you’ve given us in Christ Jesus. In him we have the comfort of complete pardon and eternal life. Amen.

Arson

“How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness . . . set on fire by hell.” (James 3:5-6)

The wicked tongue of a stranger
pierces my unprotected heart.
His senseless vain remarks
are set aflame by hell.

Today the world can see and hear
what used to be so private.
Bold and brash they are because
they are anonymous.

They’re like the arsonist who sets
the sleepy town ablaze.
The fire is there for all to see,
but not the enemy.

And that’s the state our world is in;
the very air’s unsafe.
The fires are burning all around
while demons run amok.

Copyright 2020 | Dennis M. Cortes | All rights reserved.

Photo by Dawn Armfield on Unsplash

What Does Humility Look Like?

Philippians 2:5-11

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

More

Facebook

“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)

Estranged from happy thoughts
the sensitive are,
because engrossed with Facebook
they are.
Delete your social media!
Gouge your eyes out!
See,
I told you reading is
a better thing
than liking your friend’s post.

Copyright 2020. Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Christian Unity

Philippians 2:1–4

[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)

INTRODUCTION:

If we really want to advance the gospel, we must be united (Phil. 1:5). Division harms the body of Christ and hinders the gospel (1 Cor. 3:3). However, unity cannot be imposed from the outside; it must come from within. That is why Paul appeals to the heart.

1. MOTIVES TO UNITY

A) Consolation in Christ (John 17:21)
B) Comfort of love (John 13:34-35)
C) Fellowship of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13)
D) Affection and Mercy (Luke 6:36)
E) The joy of our ministers

2. MEANS TO UNITY

A) We have to renew our minds. Unity of mind, purpose, and love. (Rom. 12:2; Amos 3:3) Renewal of the mind leads to transformation of life. We all have to become spiritually minded if we are to be united in love and purpose (1 Cor. 2:14-3:3).

B) We have to avoid selfish ambition. Jesus Christ himself did not hang on to his privileges as God, but humbled himself. He was born in a manger, he worked as a humble carpenter, he ministered as an itinerant preacher who was dependent on others for support (Luke 8:1-3), and he died on a cross intended for criminals.

C) We have to consider others better than ourselves. Jesus himself – the Master! – washed his disciples’ feet.

D) We have to be interested in other people’s concerns. Such was Jesus. He was interested in all kinds of people.

APPLICATION

  1. In what ways have I been selfish recently?
  2. What steps should I take in order to become more interested in others rather than just in myself?

PRAYER

Lord, please forgive me for the many times I’ve been selfish and divisive. Help me to love people, especially my fellow Christians, and to be interested in them. Amen

(Photo by Wylly Suhendra on Unsplash)

Songwriter

I force myself to write a song;
I find it hard to write.
What will it take to make it strong?
I strive with all my might.

And even if there’s no one else
To listen to my song,
I’d never give up on my gift.
To do so would be wrong.

Success is not the only goal
That one can have in life.
At least, I’ve made the effort;
At least, at least, I’ve tried.

And when my days have quickly passed,
And I have no more voice,
I’ll still feel gladness at the last,
Although my eyes are moist.

Copyright 2020 Dennis Cortes

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Rain

Believe the raindrops from above;
There is a Providence that cares.
Lovingkindness watches o’er us,
Watering plants and trees and grass.

The earth drinks in the pouring rain;
The skies are happy to oblige.
The gifts of heaven, daily given,
Are free. Receive – and more besides!

2020 Copyright Dennis Cortes

Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

Temptation

I totter on the steep cliff’s edge.
The roaring waves like music
Beckon to me: “Hurl thyself
Onto the waiting rocks!”

Ne’er have Jaws been so alluring;
Flames leap up the watery pit.
Devils’ heartbeats are expecting:
”Come on down! Come, lift thy feet!”

(I think it’s a good idea to write a poem every time I write a devotional. That way I get to hit two birds with one stone. I also think it would be a good idea to sometimes explain what I’ve written. For example, the poem above is not an encouragement to end one’s life. It’s a picture of temptation. I wanted to capture horrific aspects of temptation: seduction, destruction, enticement, hellishness, etc. It’s serious and demonic and not something to treat lightly. And yes, giving in to temptation is akin to suicide.)

Photo by Lane Smith on Unsplash

Copyright Dennis Cortes 2020