Summary: The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to Be Like Jesus #3
✎ A professional football team was preparing for the annual draft. As the coaches talked about possible picks the head coach was asked, “What kind of player are we looking for? Do we want the guy that gets knocked downs and gets back up, the guy that gets knocked down at gets up and gets knocked down again and stays down, or the guy that get’s knocked down and gets up every time?” The head coach responded, “We don’t want any of those guys; we want the guy that’s knocking everybody down.” Simple strategy; maybe the Browns should try that in the upcoming draft?
If we were to summarize the unwritten rule of American life from professional football to the elementary playground–from big business to the kids lemonade stand, what would it would be? Many would agree, “THE STRONG RULE THE WEAK.” Putting it another way the rule says, “LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER 1,” or my all time favorite, “THE ONE WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS.”
✎ We live in a day when people push to get their way, where people push for power; they use power lingo and power plays; and they wear power clothes. Did you know there are even power table manners. The queen of courtesy Maribel Stewart says, “manners can take you where your money can’t.” For $6,000 you can attend one of her seminars and learn to eat your way to the top. Here are a few examples of what Stewart calls power failures; things not to do if you are having a power lunch or dinner.
> Never tuck your napkin into your collar.
> Never leave a lipstick mark on the rim of a glass. (Especially if you’re a gentleman.)
> Never mash or stir your food.
> Never haggle over the bill.
> Never, ever hand your plate to the water.
> Never read the menu like a Bible. You aren’t there to eat, but to do business.
> Never stoop down to retrieve dropped silver.
In fact another rule for American life might say, “NEVER STOOP FOR ANYTHING.” Never bend over to pick up anything. Never place yourself below others. Never give up your rights. Never let somebody else win. The world says, “IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY, NEVER IN ANY WAY APPEAR TO BE WEAK.”
This morning we continue with a series of messages called, “The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to be like Jesus.” What are two things we should remember about the beatitudes? When you read these opening verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount what two things should we hear Him saying?
1. These are the “BE-ATTITUDES,” the building blocks, the attitudes, characteristics and qualities essential to being Christlike. Theses are not eight unrelated statements. Instead the beatitudes show us how we are to live our lives just like Jesus. You may remember I said God loves you just the way you are, but He doesn’t want to leave you that way. God wants you to be like Jesus. The beatitudes show us how to be like Him.
2. These are essential qualities of joy or what I have called PARADOXICAL STATEMENTS OF JOY. If you want to have real happiness not dependant upon your circumstances you need to put the beatitudes into practice in your life. Nine times Jesus repeats the statement “BLESSED.” You are most happy, most joyful when live your life like Jesus. Why? God responds with His grace and favor: the poor in spirit receive the kingdom of God; those who mourn are comforted. You are the recipient of joy the world cannot give–a joy the world cannot take away!
We come today to Jesus’ third paradoxical statement of joy.
As we turn our attention to the third beatitude, we’re going to answer 3 questions: What? So What? And Now What? (By the way anytime your listening to a sermon you ought to be able to answer those questions.)
+ Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (NIV)
Some of us need to slow down and read that one again. Did Jesus say what I think He said? Blessed are the meek?
Let’s be honest. None of us like the idea of being meek; who wants to be a door mat for people to walk all over? Remember the American rules for life? Meekness flies in the face of the way we think we should live.
The dictionary defines meekness as “having or expressing feeling of humility.” If you are meek then you are humble, unassuming and unpretentious. Meekness is also defined as being “easily managed or handled.” It is to be gentle, mild, tame or docile. Anyone want to be like that?
Put plain and simple for many of us meekness means WEAKNESS. If we are weak then we are vulnerable. Blessed are the meek; how can that be? This is a paradox we don’t easily understand! How many of you have already figured out that our idea of meekness is not what Jesus had in mind? Jesus did not say, “Blessed are the weak.”