Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.

What is meekness?
According to the dictionary, meekness is Quietness, gentleness, humble, submissiveness. The greek work used (since the new testament was written in greek) is Praus which means easy, mild or gentle. It means controlled, having strength but using it for the right reasons – like a gentle breeze instead of a tornado – the wind has the strength, but the gentle breeze is better since it doesn’t destroy. It involves not living for yourself, but being selfless. Not violent and not always going on about what you deserve, but instead giving to others what they need or what will benefit them. Meekness is humility, and realising that every moment of life we have is a gift from God that we should use to follow him. Its reliance on him, not ourselves.

What was meek about Jesus? He was God, yet was born as a man, in a stable, with shepherds alone to proclaim his coming. He died willingly for us even though we are the ones who deserved it – humbly and submissive to God, not standing up for his own rights, even though he out of everyone had rights (He was perfect, he created everything, etc). Luke 22:42 - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Why are the meek blessed?
They submit to God, give up living their own way. They repent and believe and therefore are saved à obey God. Blessed means God’s favour, and the only ones who truly have Gods favour are christians, since we have been forgiven for our sin.

How does this flow on from mourning or poor in spirit?
Well, the person who is poor in spirit knows they are sinful and can’t save themselves. They then mourn because they realise they are powerless and deserve God’s wrath, and the meek person is humble before God, knowing he doesn’t deserve grace, even though in Jesus there is forgiveness and mercy. Meekness is about choosing to follow God instead of being rebellious and living our own way – it isn’t just a ‘who cares’ attitude, its actively giving yourself to obeying God. Its realising that there is absolutely nothing good in us, nothing we can do to please God, that we have nothing to offer and we sin and miss the mark. Then its submission to God: giving our lives to follow him through faith.

Why can we turn to God? Jesus. He is God, but he came to earth as a man. He died, took our place since we deserve death. We sin, and God is perfect, so we deserve his wrath (death and hell). Jesus took God's wrath on himself (he could because he was perfect) so that we can be forgiven, completely and utterly guiltless in God's sight.
How do we turn to God? Repentance + faith.

Is Meekness weakness?
No. The meek person has strength, they just decide not to use it for the benefit of others. In terms of saving ourselves, we are weak, and meekness is turning to God in that situation and being humble enough to give up our own ways. But in a more general sense, meekness is having wisdom and humility to help others instead of putting yourself first.

How can we be doing that in our lives?
-       Stand up for God’s word, but listen to others.
-       Helping people out in class if they need help,
-       giving up stuff for someone else – e.g. being ready to give up your spot in the line for food if someone else wants it,
-       not complaining.
We don’t do these things out of shyness or cowardice, but we do them because it’s not about us, it’s about God and how we can serve him.
-       If someone was disobeying God, the meek person would rebuke them – so it isn’t weakness.
Its defending and looking after others, even if it costs you.
-       Say someone was bullying someone, even if it was a person you don’t like, meekness is about standing up for that person, even if it means getting bullied yourself and even if you don’t like that person.

Inherit the earth? What does that mean?
Psalm 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land 
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Eternal life, the ‘new earth’ – heaven eternally, God’s presence. What a wonderful blessing! To be in God’s presence eternally! Not just that but in Jesus we are adopted as God’s children, we are made part of his family – when we deserved his wrath and destruction from him. God is so merciful! It’s foolish to ignore him. Revelations 21

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