The Road to Happiness-Matt. 5:5
Intro: Home Improvement-more power
Similar to my experience with power tools.
Power tools scare me.
Too much power for me to control and feel safe.
Today talk about power, power under control.
-Read Matt. 5:3-5
Being poor in spirit causes us to turn away from ourselves in mourning and then turn to God, submit to him in meekness.
Look at that today
God blesses those who are meek.
Matt. 5:5 is almost a direct quote from Psalm 37:11 “But the meek shall inherit the land.”
Should have been the first clue to the Jews that Christ was not going to be the political deliverer/political Messiah that they were expecting. Preaching to a people who were living under continual oppression, longing for deliverance, freedom for the Messiah to come, throw out the Romans and establish His kingdom then and there.
Christ says “the meek shall inherit the land.” Not the powerful, not the mighty, the meek.
What did he mean? What is meekness?
I always had a hard time understanding-why
In our culture we tend to think of meek as weak, timid but that is not the biblical definition-look at two of the people the bible refers to as being meek-Moses and Jesus. Neither of these men are weak or timid. So as we look at meekness, we need to start by redefining it so that we can understand it in a biblical context-visual example help set the tone-Atticus finch clip
Meekness is power under control.
Literal meaning-Power under control-Atticus could have become like some action hero and thrown Ewill through the window and most people watching would have cheered, but we know that in holding his tounge and his fists he did the right thing. He had the power to throttle Ewill, some would even go so far as to say, he had the right to do that, but he kept that power under control, so as to do the right thing and walk away.
Few illustrations to help make this clearer:
Illustrations of power under control
From the natural world
Greek word for meek-praus-used by the Greeks to describe a soothing medicine, or a soft breeze, also a horse or other animal that had been broken by a trainer so that they could do useful work
Each of those cases capture the essence of meekness
-power under control
A Medicine that is to strong will harm rather than cure
-a wind out of control destroys-hurricane or tornado
-all of that incredible natural raw power that the horse has is useless until it is broken is brought under the control of the trainer.
Other places this word is translated-humble or gentle
So meekness is not exercising our “rights” and doing something because we can or because we have the power or the right to, but rather meekness is humbly serving others, it is allowing God’s power to flow through us as we serve Him by serving others because we understand who we are (poor in spirit/mourn) and we know that the only reason we are not hopelessly lost is because of Christ & his sacrifice.
Illustrations of Meekness From Scripture
-Abraham-Genesis 13-Abraham willingly gave Lot whatever land he wanted, thus giving up his rights and prerogatives for the sake of his nephew, for the sake of harmony between their households, and for the sake of their testimony before the Cannanite and Perizzite who were dwelling then in the land.
-Joseph-Genesis 37, 42-46-Joseph was abused by his brothers and sold into slavery. When he became second only to Pharoh in Egypt, he was in a position to take revenge on his brothers. But he had only forgiveness and love for them. In meekness Joseph understood that it was God’s place to judge and his to forgive. He had tremendous power, but submitted to God.
-Moses-Exodus 2, 5-12, 32, Numbers 12:3-Moses killed an Egyptian; faced up to Pharaoh to demand the release of the Israelites, smashed the 10 Commandments at the sight of the golden calf. But he was called “very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” (Num. 12:3). Moses vented his anger against those who harmed and enslaved his people and who rebelled against God, but he did not vent his anger against those who abused him or demand personal rights and privileges.
-Paul-Phil. 4:13-Paul was the most educated of the apostles and the one that, as far as we can tell, God used most widely and effectively. Yet he refused to put any confidence in the flesh. He knew that he cold do all things, but only “through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
-Jesus-Our ultimate example-The spirit if meekness is the spirit of Christ, who defended the glory of His Father, but gave Himself in sacrifice for others.
When the temple was being profaned by money changers and sacrifice sellers He threw them out (John 2:14-15). He scathingly and repeatedly denounced the hypocritical and wicked religious leaders; He twice cleansed the temple by force and He fearlessly uttered divine judgment on those who forsook and corrupted God’s word. But He did not once raise a finger or give a single retort in His own defense.
The promise to the meek, to those that live in submission to God and His will, is that they will inherit the earth- be a part of Christ’s earthly messianic Kingdom
When we realize our need for God (poor in spirit) and our sinfulness, (mourn) -our pride is broken, then and only then can we begin to humbly submit ourselves to God and live under His control.
Application-Who is in control of your life? You or God?
quote on meekness I came across that I really appreciated:
Sharon McMahon Moffitt from The Blessed:
“Meekness-it turns out-has little to do with weakness and everything to do with obedience-and knowing where strength comes from.”
“Meekness is not weakness, but meekness does not use it’s power for it’s own defense or selfish purposes. Meekness is power completely surrendered to God’s control.” -John MacArthur
What do you fight for, what do you stand up for?
Do you fight for you rights, do you exercise your power to get what you want?
Or do you fight for the rights of others, do you submit yourself, your will, your desires to God?
If being poor in spirit is realizing our dependence on God, meekness is when our pride is broken, we give up our rights, we trust God, do what He has called us to do, put others first and trust that God will care for us.
But meekness is also standing up for the rights of others, for the poor, the oppressed, standing against injustice, standing for what God has called us to do as believers, as a church. In submission to Him following His leading.