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Jesus said, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). There has been a great deal of misunderstanding about what meekness is. Meekness is not weakness. One who always let’s others run him down or run him over is not meek; he’s a coward! Meekness, as Jesus views it, carries with it the idea of submissiveness to God’s word and will. There are those who hear the word of God and rebel against what they heard, and there are those who hear the word of God and obey it. This is meekness! James wrote, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul” (Jms. 1:21). One who is meek is one who humbly submits to the word and will of God. My favorite example of one who was very meek is the apostle Paul. Someone says, “no way! Paul was dashing and daring, he was someone who traveled fearlessly around the world facing persecution and trials for the cause of Christ.” Remember, however, meekness is NOT weakness! Paul certainly was not a weak individual, but he was extremely meek. He wrote to the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). That is the very essence of meekness! Think about a wild Mustang. A Mustang is considered to be one of the fastest, strongest, and most energetic horses alive. One can envision a wild Mustang running free against the wind in the wild open fields doing as he wishes without any restraints. I want you now to envision that same Mustang being caught by man and harnessed. He is taken to the stable and someone works with him for days until he is “broken.” This mustang is now tame. However, does this mean that he is now weak? Does the fact that he is now tame mean that he has lost his strength, health, speed and vigor? Certainly not! The apostle Paul lived his life killing Christians, then he lived his life converting Christians. He went from maliciousness to meekness. We saw him use great zeal, traveling from city to city imprisoning and killing children of God. We read his own testimony about how he persecuted them in a ceaseless, persistent and energetic way. But yet, when Paul became a Christian himself, he didn’t lose that zeal and that energy. He used just as much strength and energy and traveling time- if not more- making Christians, as he did massacring Christians. What was the difference? He became meek. When one becomes meek, he doesn’t snuff out his strength and energy, he simply redirects it towards serving God through Christ. I’ve said many times that the church would grow with much more rapidity in our modern world if more Christians would serve Christ as zealously as they once served sin when they were children of the Devil. There are many who served their drinking and partying and wild times with a great amount of zeal and energy. Then they become Christians and take a seat in the pew and do nothing much to speak of. This is NOT meekness! Meekness, as Jesus taught it, is the idea of harnessing strength and energy and redirecting it toward service to Christ. Just as that mustang’s energy was redirected, not lost, but redirected toward constructive things; just as Paul’s energy and strength was redirected, not lost, but redirected, toward constructive things, sinners today need to have their strength and energy redirected, not lost, but redirected toward serving God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment the reward for being meek; for being submissive to the will and word of God. The Meek shall inherit the earth. There has been a great deal of conjecture as to what Jesus meant by this statement. I think we need to eliminate two false ideas regarding this reward. First of all, Jesus is not teaching that the meek person will become extremely rich materially. He is not using physical riches as an incentive to submit to the will and word of God. In fact, Jesus taught just the opposite. He said, among other things related to materialism, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal...” (Matt. 6:19). Paul taught Christians to set their minds on things above, not on things of the earth (Col. 3:1-3). Secondly, Jesus is not teaching that those who are meek will live forever on paradise on earth, as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” declare. One does not forfeit his entrance into heaven by becoming meek! Many places teach that the faithful child of God has heaven to look forward to, not eternal existence on this earth. The “Witnesses” are very inconsistent on this point. They believe that ONLY 144,000 are going to heaven. My question is: Were those 144,000 meek? The “Witnesses” admit that they were. Well, if they were, in what sense do they inherit the earth? After all, they are going to heaven, while the meek live forever in paradise on earth! It’s nonsensical. I’ve always understood this reward as contentment. Those who serve God faithfully, by becoming meek, will inherit the earth in the sense that their true desires are heaven centered, not earth centered. Having this attitude, they consider themselves rich regardless of their monetary state. They are content with the things they have on this earth because they know that they have so much more coming to them when they pass into eternity. (This knowledge comes from submitting to the will and word of God - meekness). It is in this sense that they inherit the earth. Meekness is related to the first two beatitudes. One recognizes his spiritual poverty, realizes that he is a sinner before God, then mourns over his sin because he realizes that sin hurts himself, others, and most especially, God. This leads him to want to remedy the situation, to get forgiveness of sin! This is done by humbly submitting to the will and word of God - Meekness! Are you striving for meekness?
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