Blessed are the Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

INTRODUCTION

One of the chief characteristics of God’s children is their disposition to make peace. After all, the Holy Spirit lives in their hearts and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. Of course, this peace doesn’t mean “appeasement”. This isn’t “peace at all costs.” This peace is allied with divine love, which includes love for God, his kingdom, and his righteousness. Interestingly, Jesus also said he came not to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34)! By that he means, devotion to him who is the Prince of Peace inevitably brings persecution from those who oppose his peaceful reign and his gospel of peace. Continue reading “Blessed are the Peacemakers”

Blessed are the Merciful

“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MERCY AND GRACE?

The previous beatitudes have to do with our attitude or relationship towards God. The beatitudes that follow have to do with our actions towards others resulting from our right attitudes towards God.

Mercy is compassion towards others who are in a miserable state. Grace, on the other hand, is generosity to the undeserving. Grace views the unworthiness of the recipient. Mercy views the misery of the recipient. Grace has to do with cleansing the guilt of the person. Mercy has to do with alleviating the miserable condition of the person. Continue reading “Blessed are the Merciful”

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.