“Blessed are those who are meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Good morning everbody, invite you to take your Bibles this morning. Once again, to Matthew chapter five, verses one through five. And, uh, that video Ben painter put together wrote it. And, uh, he and Melissa lead a number of different things related to financial ministries here. And, uh, I thought that was a great job they did with that Matthew chapter five verses one through five.
And when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountain side and sat down. His disciples, came to him and he began to teach them saying, bless it. Or the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom. Heaven blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted, blessed are the meek for, they will inherit the earth.
We’re going to be looking at verse five this morning, our third beatitude. But before we do, let’s pray. Lord. We gather together many of us in this room, many others joining us, virtually Lord. We all come the result of busy lives, many things that feel out of our control and God, we come to you today and we desire to hear truth.
We believe that this Bible presents truth, that is timeless because it is the message of a timeless eternal God. So Lord teach us from your word. As we seek to understand the values of your kingdom, of living under the reign of Jesus in our individual lives and in our corporate lives together in Jesus name, I pray.
Amen. When I introduce this series that we’re involved in, which is called the upside down life, uh, four weeks ago, I talked about the fact that there are different ways to approach these first view versus called the beatitudes, which are the first part of this, the sermon, the sermon on the mountain by Jesus.
And I mentioned there that, that some of us can look at that. This is just it’s sore. Aphorisms that basically they are pithy statements with a general truth. Like the early bird catches the worm, an Apple a day, keeps the doctor away, or we can look at it in the way that I think they’re intended to be a part of a presentation of a unique shockingly different way of living our lives, living our lives.
Under the gracious reign of Jesus as our King and these beatitudes, these first few verses of the sermon are talking about the values of that way of life. In deep contrast to the world world’s perspective around us, the world of which we are part do life, but the view of values there. Then the second part of the sermon, the larger part.
Is the pattern of life or the practices of that way of life. But here, we’re looking at the values and as been preached last Sunday, he talked about the value being not only poor in spirit, which was the first of those, but the second being Jesus values, those who mourn. And I just wanted to highlight, if you didn’t hear it, just a couple of things as a way of leading into our message this morning that he mentioned.
And he said that those who mourn are those who experienced death or loss, it can be loss of a person. It can be death of a dream. It can be death of a reputation, death of a relationship. If it is for those who tend to have grieved for an known timeline and for all of us who have since loss, it can seem unending.
He talked about how grief is often being in the place of being misunderstood. It feels very alone that it feels like a place where it’s hard to share the burden. Cause it’s hard to explain what’s really going on. And maybe the most challenging in grief is grief as a time where you lack answers, you lack the answers to the questions.
Like, why is this happening? How long will this go on? When will it end? But he also mentioned in this value that Jesus offers things to those who mourn. He offers that this truth, that there is room. For your pain. Secondly, the story is not over third. Your wounds will be the means by which you see the beautifulness and the beautiful in others.
Those who suffer loss, sorrow death are those that find a rich place in Jesus’ kingdom. Mourning is a value. It opens the door to life in Jesus’ kingdom. Today. We’re looking at the third of those values. Bless said, are the meek again, this one stands the world’s value system on its head. And I want to look this morning.
I’m going to try to answer three questions as I go through sort of a two-part outline, who are the meek? Secondly, what is it they receive? And third, practically, just some simple steps at the end. How do we live as the meek? The characteristics of meekness answers. The first of those questions, who are the meek and what does the meek receive in Matthew chapter five?
Verse five, we are reminded that it is the opposite of anger because Matthew chapter five verse five is quoting Psalm 37 and in Psalm 37, we read these words beginning at verse eight in verse eight, we read. Refrain from anger and forsake wrath threatened by yourself. It tends only to evil, but the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
In the context of the passage, it’s obvious that he’s contrasting two ways of life. Two individuals, the individual that is angry. That is given to wrath and the individual that is manifesting a spirit of meekness. We see this throughout the scripture, that meekness is actually the opposite to anger. The anger of course, is the emotional response to perceived mistreatment to be angry is to be in the state of being controlled by that emotional response to anger.
Anger is a response. It’s a response to not receiving what I expected. What I perceive would be just for me to receive the word. Meekness is actually the word. It wasn’t a word used a lot by the Greeks because they didn’t admire the quality. It actually is the word that refers to the teaming of, of an animal, particularly of a horse that is often used in their writings where a horse horse is trained and brought it to the control of the rider or the, or the, the Coachman, uh, the basically to be meek is to be tamed.
Now, what is tamed? Well, I believe what it’s saying is tamed. Is our natural response to being wronged. So how, how does this work when it says that, that we tame our anger? That what transpires, well, let me try to just play it out this way. Anger is typically something beneath the, the, the anger. That we have is a sense of entitlement that I believe that I have a right to certain treatment.
I believe that I am entitled to it. I am owed it, but the issue in the kingdom of Jesus is that we yielded our rights to Jesus as our King, as our Lord, that when he purchased us. And that’s what it says throughout the scripture, he purchased us. We belong to him. We have yielded those rights and interest in ourselves to him and his care.
There is then no place in his kingdom ultimately to say, I’m owed certain treatment. I’m owed space to do what I want. I’m owed the right to be appreciated for my efforts. I’m owed the right to do what makes me feel good. Entitlement generated anger is a deeply held value in our world today, but it is not a value commended in the kingdom of Jesus.
It is in stark contrast. Jesus says, I want to tame that anger, that sense of entitlement driven anger. I want to bring it under control. I want to manifest something else in its place, but our world is driven by the perspectives. Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tread on me. I deserve a break today. It gives people permission to be vitriolic in their communication.
It gives people permissive permission to be dismissive of those who have different convictions. Beliefs are members of different tribes. But Jesus’ kingdom values, the meek, it honors those who have tamed their anger, not their convictions and beliefs, but it teams us so that we are not controlled by a spirit of anger that demands that blasts, that belittles others.
Now, I just want to say this I, somewhere in here, I wanted in certain, this notice I’m going to do it now. I’m not saying that we should overlook injustice, but I am saying that our spirit in facing injustice is dramatically important. It’s what this whole beatitude is about. The second quality of, of meekness.
Is that it comes across as gentleness and an inner stillness. Matthew chapter 21 uses the word meekness, uh, as Matthew again, talks about it. And there he describes Jesus coming in, uh, at the triumphant inch or after the triumphant entry. Actually he’s talking about, see, your King is coming to you, meek and riding on a donkey.
That the whole idea is to show a contrast. He is not coming as a warrior with an iron fist. He is not coming as a typical near Eastern King. His goal is not to intimidate and threaten. He comes on a donkey, not on a, on a war stallion and he comes in meekness under control. It is the utter contrast of the frothing at the mouth butt-kicking chest pumping war, Lord, that they were expecting to come and deliver them from Rome.
He came with all of that under control with a spirit and a demeanor of gentleness. Meekness is not perceived by as a strength by the Greeks typically. I would suggest it is not perceived as a strength, typically in our culture and our world as well. We don’t honor people that are bullies, hopefully, but we do tend to value people that are powerful and pushy.
Whether it’s a talk show host, who’s, quick-witted able to cut down people to their size abled and willing to mock and insult others. Or even sometimes when it’s a preacher who speaks about unregenerate people in a way that is, that is disdainful, that the Lord is saying that we are to respond with a spirit that has been tamed.
We don’t diminish our convictions. We don’t, we don’t cast aside our concern for injustices, but our demeanor, our spirit is foundationally different. As members of Jesus’ kingdom. It’s why in Ephesians chapter four, verse two, Paul says it this way. Be completely humble and be patient bearing with one another.
He says, don’t weaponize your convictions. He says, don’t be partly humble and meek be completely humbled and teamed. Holds your convictions, but don’t weaponize them into destructive, insulting belittling, harmful things. Make this comes across as gentleness, rising from an inner stillness. The third characteristic of meekness is meekness is a quality.
The spirit of God produces in the children of God. It’s interesting. The word meekness is one of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians five 23. The more you let the spirit be in control of your life. The more you will manifest the spirit of meekness, the taming of anger, regardless of your personality, you can be a type, a, a type, a choleric personality as some of us are, and this’ll be a struggle in your life, but it is a struggle that Jesus wants to win.
And you may say, well, you know, I, I didn’t really relate to this last message about morning. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve been pretty successful. I don’t, I don’t. I and the poor in spirit. Yeah, but anger. Yeah, I got it. Well, this one’s for you. This one’s about taming ourselves by the spirit of God.
Meekness has incredible influence. He says here, the meek shall inherit the earth. There’s two ways. We see this incredible influence of meekness. First of all, it’s on you yourself. He says in Matthew five, five, blessed are the meek for, they will inherit the earth. This is a direct quote from Psalm 37, where he says the meek will inherit the earth or the land actually in Psalm 37, it says five times.
They will inherit the land it’s in contrast to, he says, and the evil will be cut off. The land is basically the, the synonym for the Israelites of, of God’s blessing. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to get a portion of ground, but the idea is they are going to hint inherent and prosper.
As a matter of fact, Psalm 37 verse 11, here’s the whole verse. It says the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. It’s another way of saying meekness wins meet this results in what anger and, and domination does not result in. It re it, it results in peacefulness it results in, in finding satisfaction.
And he says, this is the result on the, on the individual. Now, Peter, the apostle said more about the influence of, of, of meekness than anybody else in his writings. And it’s striking because this was an absolute issue for Peter, right? I mean this, there they are in the garden and Jesus is, is, is, is apparently being arrested and this is wrong, the ultimate wrong.
So how does Jesus respond? How does Peter? Well, he responds in the way that, uh, when a fish and tries to be a warrior and he brings out a sword that he’s probably never used in violence in his life and swings and probably is trying to cut the guy’s head off, but just gets his ear. He responds.
With vitriol with a way of retaliating, he didn’t show meekness. Jesus did in the garden, but later it would be Peter who would be talking about the benefits of meekness, not only in his own life, but in the life of others. This we’ll see in just a second, as we look at his letter. But Peter, when he identifies himself in, in, in writing his letter says this in second Peter chapter one, verse one, he said, I am an apostle of Jesus Christ.
And then he says this and I am his slave. I’m a sent one. I I’m I’m, I’m a, uh, the one who is sent with a mission, that’s my role. But as far as my position, I’m a slave, not a servant, not at the . I’m a, I’m a doula. I’m a slave, a cent, 1 cent. I’m an apostle man. He was sent with the mission, a slave man that he had voluntarily recognized that he no longer had ownership of his own life, that he no longer had rights to claim.
Peter had become a man. Growing in meekness, who was yielding his entitlements, as he saw himself belonging to Christ, he talks then in his letter about the influence of meekness, not only on oneself, but on others. Here’s what he says in second, Peter first, Peter chapter three. And Peter argued there that our power as believers is not in fighting with the world’s weapons of mockery or harshness or power or anger or overpowering by our wills.
He says this in second, in first, Peter chapter three, he’s talking about women in the church. Number of them had come to Jesus, but apparently many of their husbands had not embraced the faith. And so he says this. He says some do not obey the word. They may be one without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct and then verse four.
So let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a, in the word gentle is actually the word meek, a meek and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. Number of years ago, Marian and I were friends with. A couple, uh, Jim and Becky Hamilton, they were older than us.
And they had had a number of years of ministry. We were early on going out in our ministry and, uh, they were called to minister among native Americans on a couple of different reservations. And they had been ministering for a number of years. And one of the things they found, it was a fairly male dominated culture.
And. Many of the women who had been brought to Jesus had husbands that were harsh in their treatment, uh, were dominating. Number of them had, had had alcohol struggles and they were trying to help these women’s know how to live and, and their greatest desire to see their husbands come to Jesus. And, and they studied this passage and Jim and Becky Hamilton actually put a training program together that they used with wives whose husbands were not believers.
And they taught them this and they, and they talked about the spirit of meekness and they taught about th they taught in a way that they were not telling these women, you know, just be, uh, let your husband brow beat. You, let them dominate. You let no. What they did was say have an inner strength. Which causes you to not need to retaliate and to fight, but to have a strength where you are contending yourself, you are not dependent on your husband’s view of you, that you are so content and centered in Jesus, that you respond to your husbands with an inner strength of self-control and gentleness.
And Jim and Becky told us the story of one husband after another. Looking at his wife and seeing a woman who had not become a weak woman, but who had become a woman of strength who is able to, to not find her identity in her husband. And so she, you know, and of course, first Peter is saying, don’t let your adorning be the outward, trying to please everybody by your looks.
Let it be the beauty of a spirit that is strong inside that is able to control one’s anger. And he talked about, it was a beautiful illustration just of the influence that meekness can have. Peter goes on to say this in chapter three later in chapter three, in verse 16, 15 and 16 talks about meekness.
Again, he says this in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason, for the hope that is in you. You do it with meekness and respect. Having a good content so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Peter’s argument is one of the most powerful forms of evangelism is a spirit that is tamed where we are not angry people. Where we are not known as believers that yeah, they’re, they’re the angry ones. They’re the ones that are, that, that, that are divisive. That no, it’s, it’s spirit where, where there’s a gentle spirit.
There’s a compassionate spirit. There’s a humble spirit. There’s a chained spirit. So how do we have this? Well, Jesus, just some practical suggestions for you. Um, I’m on the last part now I want to put some shoes to this second page, basically. How do we have a meek spirit in a rage filled world seven quick things.
Number one, focus on maintain a quiet restful spirit. You won’t do that without being in the word you just want. It is the way the spirit of God brings us under his influence. The spirit of God uses the word of God. That’s just the way he’s designed. You say, well, how can that be? Um, why don’t we need to read a book every day.
You’ll have to talk to the Lord about this one day. He designed it, that it is by meditating on his scripture, that the spirit renews our minds and renews our inner life. If you’re not doing the reading through John thing and you thought, well, I missed my chance or I’m doing something else, but now I would sorta like to get involved.
I’ll tell you right where we are this week. If you started this week, the middle of this week. In John chapter 12, you would be right on schedule with two things. Number one, John chapter 12 is the beginning of the final week of Jesus’ life. John 12 to 21 is, is seven days of activity. You can pick up at the beginning of passion week this week.
Number two, if you start reading in John chapter 12 and do your 10 verses, that’s what we’re doing, where we’re copying 10 verses a day under, under pastor Mike’s plan. Basically. You will complete chapter 21, which is the story of the resurrection right on Easter Sunday. So it’s perfect time if you’re looking for a place to, to get in the scripture and get some practical way of being brought under God’s influence, that could be a way number two, make sure you are only doing what God has told you to do.
Years ago, my wife shared a verse with me when we were wrestling. Uh, you know, what should we do? And I CA I had a million ideas. I need to do this. We need to get this started. I mean, and she quoted first Peter chapter two, where it says this, that we are to serve in the strength we’re given. It’s talking about believers.
It’s a verse. We coat to each other all the time now, and it’s come from her. But the verse is basically a principle for us to remember. That if God doesn’t give us the strength to do something, we better not be doing it because what we do in our strength is going to burn, right? I mean, it’s not, you mean by that?
The judgment. See if you don’t know what that means. The, the idea is it’s, it’s a waste. We have to learn to say no, there’s, there’s so many options that you have as an individual. And so many more options that you have as a family. You have to say, Lord, we’re going to do what you give us the strength to do with a spirit of quietness.
But if we’re agitated all the time, we’re upset all the time. Maybe we’re just doing and more than we should be doing. And of course, pandemic gave a lot of us a chance to sort of reboot well in your reboot. Don’t just add everything back that you had before. Maybe. It’s a time to say, Lord, what have you given us strength to do?
Make sure you’re only doing what God has told you to do. Number three, remember that anything done in anger could be better done without it, for those of us that that are of a personality that tends to be initiatory and likes to be in charge. That’s hard to believe, right? Yeah. You just feel like why just sometimes you just gotta muscle your way through.
And that was a real convicting statement that I, I actually had an, it sounds like a very simple statement was one I really had to embrace. There is no situation I’m in that is better done when I do it with anger. Disciplining children, whatever it is, there is nothing that is done better with anger.
Number three, number four, always make things right with those. You have sinned against to have to apologize for your anger, tends to minimize how often you want to use it. Practical thing, but, and keep short accounts. We’re going to see that later in Matthew five, where you’re just going to say, if your brother has something against you before come to worship, make it right.
Number five, avoid things that feed your anger years ago. Uh, I read a book by a man named Matthew Henry, and he’s a Puritan. And the book is, is called in quest. Of quietness, meekness and quietness spirit. It’s a typical Puritan type of long title. And, but the first time I read it, I, it, no, no with God I would lead read it at least once a year until he told me not to.
And I did for a number of years. I needed, I needed to keep, but one of the principles that he shared in there that was tremendously helpful with me was he was talking about how do you overcome anger? How do you, how do you, how do you have this spirit of meekness? This, this, the spirit of being teamed. And one of his principles was stop being so curious.
I’m not sure what passage he got that from, but it worked for me. Stop feeling like you have to know everything. Some of you need to stop watching the news song. Some of you need to stop having every one of your teenagers tell you everything they’re doing everywhere and every teenager, and you’re saying amen, but I got other stuff I could get.
I got other stuff I could say to you, but
stop feeling like you have to be on social media all the time. If you find your spirit, then it’s not restful. Get off, give it space, stop being so curious is a part of the quest for meekness and quietness of spirit. Number six, don’t hang with people who have an angry spirit. Proverbs 2224 says this. Make no friendship with an angry with a man given to anger.
No go with the wrathful man, less, you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Um, you know, the people that you interface with that are stirring you up, you know, the people that are angry and, and anger is contagious. And part of a meek spirit is choosing who the Lord would have you be rubbing on your life and influencing your spirit.
And the last thing. Learn to process your own heart by asking the right questions. It’s interesting. The first person that had an anger problem in the Bible is a guy named Cain. And the first question that he was asked was Cain. Why are you so angry? That’s what Jesus said in Genesis. God said in Genesis chapter four, why are you angry?
We have to, you may say one, you know, I’m not a, not an introspective type of person and well, you better learn to ask this question when you’re angry, here’s three vital questions. What do I want, what do I feel like I have a right to, and how would Jesus want me to respond? Don’t start with the third.
Because you first need to own it. You need to know what, what do I want right now? Why am I agitated? Why am I worked up? What right. Am I feeling I’m owed at this moment? That’s causing me to feel all worked up. I had one of those phone calls this week, where it was, uh, pursuing something with my uncle’s estate and I’m the executor.
And so I, I got on a phone call and it was such a simple question. And I got on and I, I w I was directed to the organization and I went and they sent me to five different people. And by the fifth person, I was just beside myself. I thought it was gonna be 10 minutes. It was a 70 minute process. And then, and here’s the open ended.
Oh, You’ve called the wrong office. And so, and I had a chance at that process to respond in the w with one way I wanted to and, and let her know everything that was wrong with her organization. Even though she’s only been on the phone with me for 67 seconds, we have those moments all the time. Right. I, I didn’t, by the way, I should mercifully that.
That was not the way I’ve always responded. What do I do want, what do I feel I deserve? What do I insisted I’m owed and how would Jesus want me to respond? We are called, we are given the privilege of being a part of Jesus’ kingdom and Jesus kingdom values, meekness people that are tamed. Ben did something something last week and I’d like to do it as well in my own way.
And just put a blessing over us because I do agree that this set of beatitudes is not done individuals individualized. It is said, bless it. Are they it’s in the plural. Blessed said are the ones who show meekness? Bless it are the people that operate in a new way. Bless it. As the community that has tamed their anger to their own mistreatments, blessed are the people who see the unjust treatment of others and respond to it without the weapons of violence, fury and insult, but with the Westmans of listening, truth, telling and compassion.
Bless it as the community who rides with their King on steeds of gentleness and kindness and quietness and forgiveness, such a community enters the land of his promises and the enjoyment of his peace and influences others towards such a King and such a kingdom. Lord make us that kind. Of people. I pray regardless of how you have created us with our own wiring.
Our flesh needs to be tamed our propensity for demanding our own rights. Our own perceived entitlements
can only be conquered under the power of your spirit. Lord, let us live in this, this lofty, beautiful place called your kingdom and Merrill lives reflect the spirit of the one who came among us meek and lowly of heart. It whose name? I pray. Amen. We are dismissed. Thanks.