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Summary: I am strongest when I choose to commit all of my life and will to Christ's care and control.

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Title: The Commitment Choice

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

Thesis: I am strongest when I choose to commit all of my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Lenten Series: Life’s Healing Choices (Saddleback Resources)

Introduction

This past week I noticed an ad that ran several days in the Denver Post. It was a half-a-page, three columns wide, full-length ad. The photo at the top was of a confident and smiling Donald Trump. The ad read: Learn from the Master (in bold print). Beneath the bold print was an invitation to learn from the master’s strategies… the master being “one of the world’s most successful and most admired, real estate investors.”

Beginning today and continuing through Wednesday you may attend a free Trump Real Estate Workshop where Mr. Trump claims he “can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor.” All you need to do is call 1.888.TRUMP-14 or register online at TrumpUniversityDenver.com.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the add states: “Donald Trump will not appear at the event.”

“The Donald” is known as a business magnate, socialite, author and television personality. His extravagant lifestyle and outspoken manner have made him a celebrity for many years... and who has not caught glimpses of his bravado on his NBC Reality Show, The Apprentice? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump)

Do you think Donald Trump would characterize himself as a “meek” man? Do you think he would in any way think meekness to be a quality he would want to extol in his adverts?

Certainly Mr. Trump is a hugely gifted and powerful man with a great deal of charisma. I in no way wish to denigrate his character or his business acumen. But because he is such a public figure and a large one at that, he is an easy target when it comes to making comparisons or contrasts.

On one hand we have the self-proclaimed Master and mogul of real estate investments like the Trump World Tower, Trump Place, Trump Intl. Hotel and Tower, Trump’s prime Manhattan properties, resort hotels and casinos across the world. Then on the other hand we have the “meek.”

There was another one many refer to as “Master” who said of himself, “Come all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and I will give you rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

It was this Master of whom Paul spoke of as the meek and gentle Christ in II Corinthians 10:1.

The Master of meekness and gentleness taught us that to be meek was to be in a blessed place.

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

Just what does it meant to be a meek person?

I want to begin by saying, meekness, as Jesus used the term, does not mean what we think it means. Meekness is in reality – Strength.

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

When we think of someone being a meek person we think of them as having a milk-toast personality. We think of them as spineless and subservient. We think of them as “gentle as a lamb” souls without the wit or wherewithal to take care of themselves. We think of meek people as lacking in spirit.

The dictionary defines meekness like this: “Meekness is enduring injury with patience and without resentment: mild (2) deficient in spirit and courage: submissive (3) not violent or strong: moderate.” (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition)

According to Webster, to be meek is to be mild-mannered, submissive and weak.

But Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Surely Jesus was not extolling the virtues of being mild-mannered, subservient and weak.

The word Jesus used and the word translated “meek” is the Greek word, “praos” in the adjective form and “praotes” in the noun form.

Meekness is one of those words that seems to take several words to capture its meaning.

In the latest Smithsonian Magazine about the northern most reaches of Alaska, the Yupik Eskimos who live there have 100 words for ice, each with a subtle variation. These words have been passed along from generation to generation for over a thousand years. Ice may mean solid ice, slightly bumpy ice, ice blown by the wind and so one… (Welcome to Barrow, Alaska Ground Zero for Climate Change, Bob Reiss, Smithsonian, March 2010, P. 65)

In the classical, secular Greek world of Socrates and Aristotle the word meek could be understood in three ways. Commentator William Barclay believes that there are elements of each of those non-spiritual understandings of the word meek that correlate with the teaching of Jesus as he used the term “meek.”

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