THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 5-8-05

LESSON TITLE: "THE CHRISTIAN BEATITUDES: BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH"

WELCOME

The Apostle Paul once proclaimed, "God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us," Romans 5:8! Praise be to God for this wondrous truth, that Jesus Christ died for us, to offer us salvation, although we were not worthy of such!

Thanks for joining us today in this time of Worship before God. And how enjoyable it is to worship our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word, just as He has commanded us through the Bible. Won't you do your part this morning to see that our worship together is done in His way, according to His Will, that we may truly glorify our creator?

Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!

(PRAYER)

Well, it's time to join in our songs of praise. This hymn reminds us of the many things which bring joy to the life of a Christian. So won't you do your part as we sing together the first song of the morning - its name, "There Is Sunshine In My Soul."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

How many of us are satisfied in this life where we are? The reality is, most of us probably want to gain more, grow more and become more productive in life rather than just stay where we are! Although this seems to be the norm, it is strange to me that in spiritual matters things are often just the opposite. Consider for a moment how many of us are guilty of not really growing a lot spiritually. How many of us are able to say that we are better Christians today than this time last year, or that we have studies and know even more about our God than ever before! The reality is, if we take a hard look and are really honest with ourselves most of us are pretty content just to stay where we are in our spiritual lives, and if that is enough to get us to Heaven then - so be it!

Brethren and friends, I mention these things because the Bible deals a lot with the need to grow and to go on to perfection! In fact, Peter helps us out with this idea by saying this, "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby," 1 Peter 2:2. However, the Hebrew writer talks about a need to leave the state of babyhood, in order that we might become adults in Christ! In Hebrews 5:13, we read, "For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe." Then on down in chapter 6:1, he proclaims that they must, "...leave the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection...." Here we again see the great need to go on to maturity if we are to be pleasing to our God.

Finally, let me ask us to consider the question, "what would we do if we had a baby or child who wasn't growing properly?" You know that we would take that child to the doctor to try and find out what the problem was. Why, because we know that if you feed a child and care for it properly, it is going to grow in size, and weight, as well as mentally. Now why would it be any different with those who claim to follow God? If we are not growing in the things of Christ we are sick as well and we need a physician. In fact, the Bible talks of the great physician, who can provide for us all that we need for proper growth both spiritually and physically. You know who that physician is, Jesus Christ! So, let me encourage us all to realize just how important it is that we grow and move on toward maturity as those who love God. Because the only way we can truly know His Will and be obedient to His precepts is when we grow enough to know exactly what He wants. Are you a student of God's Word? Are you growing in the things of Christ?

We will again continue our series of study this day which focuses on the Christian Beatitudes! Our specific lesson of the morning is taken from verse 5 and is entitled, "Blessed Are The Meek, For They Shall Inherit The Earth." So please stay with us and after our next song together, I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "We Praise Thee, O God."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

In Matthew 5, we once again read beginning in verse 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who are hungry and who thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of God." Once again we read these wonderful verses, the Christian Beatitudes, those things that pertain to you and I as children of God, not only from the very beginning when Christ began His ministry, but that apply even today that we might truly know how to act, how to speak and how to show ourselves in every way to be proper in the sight of God and before those in whom we come in contact with every day. So far in our discussion we have looked together at the poor in spirit and the need to understand that without God we are nothing, the need for humility, the need that we truly as Christians need to understand that it is only because of God that we exist, that we live, that we move, and that we have our being, and because of Christ, the poor spirit is rewarded with the great kingdom of heaven. We've also looked at last week the concept of mourning, the idea that sin as well as so many things in life brings this heavy burden of mourning on us because we understand that separation then once again that is found as we are away from Christ, but yet the wonder as we are comforted in knowing that we can be one with Christ, one of His children. But today, we continue in verse 5 with "Blessed are the meek and they shall inherit the earth."

The concept of meekness is a beautiful thought because here as we think of meekness, it generally is an attribute or characteristic we might say that probably is not one of the favorite in our day and time. Who wants to be considered as meek? Who wants to be considered as words that we might use as a wimp or somebody who won't step up to the plate or won't be bold or won't be courageous? Don't confuse the concept the meekness with being completely timid or lack of boldness, but understand that meekness applies more to the character and the application of the characteristics that we show forth that are Christ-like. Again, "Blessed (happy) are those who are meek."

Meekness is also the idea of a patience in things that we do and things that we say and the way that we act. It allows us to endure obediently the things that God has asked us to do and to always do it in an attitude that is god-like. Meekness that when I speak, I speak in a meek way, a way that shows forth this meekness which is therefore kind and gentle and loving. When I act, I act in a meek way, a way again that exemplifies Christ in the fact that every word and that every action again is for edification to the glory and the encouragement to the hearer. So as we talk about the one who here is known to be meek, certainly as children of God, we understand the need for meekness because Jesus says here that we find happiness, we find blessedness, we find strength and the courage that we need by being meek.

We might also think for just a moment about meekness that meekness would be just the opposite of having an attitude of rebellion, an attitude of murmuring as the Israelites used to be, but again an attitude of submission, of willingness to prostrate oneself, to bow before the throne of God and understand as we have already seen that the poor spirit, the mournful spirit, the meek spirit, this is the attributes, these are the characteristics, these are what really show us before all the world to be servants of God.

You know we might also look at these first three attributes that we've looked at in the Beatitudes, the poor spirit, the concept of the happy ones who mourn, and then the happy ones who are meek, as those things that are a part of our salvation. One of the first things that we all must learn is to put away our worldliness. We might even say the pride or the arrogance of this life and what sometimes our world would suggest is just a part of the norm and to be those who need someone else, who need something else, who need the Bible, who need the Word of God, who need God Himself. We then begin to see this concept of a poor spirit, a mournful spirit, a meek spirit, and how that we have to change our character completely in order to inherit the kingdom of God as we read about here, in order that we might be comforted, in order that, as we will look at today, that the earth is ours. You see as those who exemplify the characteristics of Christ, we certainly then are able to be known as the children of God, the children of God ourselves.

If you'll turn over to the book of 1 Peter, we find there a familiar verse, but a verse that we find again reports for us the concept of the Lord, the Lord and His meekness there in 1 Peter chapter 2 beginning in verse 21 we read of the example that Christ left. The Bible says, "For to this you are called because Christ also left for us, leaving us an example that you should follow in His steps." Verse 22 says, "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth, who when He was reviled did not revile in return, when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." Here we read about that meek spirit. Are you saying again that Christ was a wimp? Are you saying that Christ was worthless, that His spirit was not strong enough, mighty enough as He even rebuked the hypocrites, as He did all that He had to do with the ultimate love that was directly from God? Certainly, Christ was still meek, but powerful. Christ was meek, but strong. And He left us the example and He suffered but yet did not retaliate for His suffering. As we as well read here, He was threatened and He did not threaten in return. He was reviled and abused and beaten and spit on, but He didn't turn another cheek or rather He did not do these things back, but He turned another cheek and allowed Himself to be again meek, to receive the punishment in the name of God that was necessary.

Are we willing to do that? Are we able to do that as children today of the Lord, of the King? Are we willing to be meek in our hearts, in our souls, in the innermost depths of the man that we are made up of, that God has created? Certainly we must be meek.

So again we consider the poorness of spirit, the mournful nature that we will endure and learn if we are outside of Christ, but then the meekness, the characteristics that we demonstrate as those who truly understand who Jesus is.

I would also suggest what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5 and verse 44 about even our enemies, the meek attitude toward our enemies, that we even do good to those who persecute us, that we treat them kindly, that we help them, that we give them water if they need water even though they've hated us and mocked us and ridiculed us and done things against us and harmed us physically. What do we do? We're meek. We're meek. We show ourselves to be the better person. We heap coals of fire on their head because we do the unexpected by being godly even in the face of those things that are godless. Humility. The humility of Christ. The humility of Christ that is demonstrated through the meek spirit. The servitude of Christ that is demonstrated through the meek spirit that we have. The willingness to endure that is demonstrated through... You see again, meekness is not necessarily it seems just to me a characteristic in itself. It is a characteristic that promotes that we will do all those that God asks with the right attitude, that when I'm humble, I'm humble with the right spirit. When I'm kind, I'm kind with the right spirit. When I'm gentle, I'm gentle with the right spirit. That I do all these things again to the glory of God, to the help of my neighbors so that they might know Christ through me as they see that I am meek as my Lord is.

We again see the meekness of Christ as He washed the feet of the disciples. Can you imagine if the Lord had reacted in other ways, If he had said, "You get up and wash the feet. I am the Lord." If He had reacted in ways to be not only bold, but arrogant and ugly and not to have the meek spirit, the willingness not only to humble Himself but to do things that I would not want to do, that you would not want to do. The meekness of Christ.

When was the last time that you stepped out of your comfort zone? When was the last time that you did something for your wife that maybe you really did not like to do or that she did something for you that she didn't like to do, which is probably every day if she's like my wife. Think about the last time you did something for your child or your child for you or on and on and on we could go. Meekness. That spirit again that allows me to have the attitudes and the actions of God and to apply them in the proper way and the proper spirit to the glory of God.

The latter part of the verse talks about inheriting the earth. Again, this might seem strange because are we really of the earth? Well, certainly our physical bodies and we are told that someday that as we are from the dust, our bodies will return to the dust, but we know that there are two parts to man, that is the physical man and the spiritual man. And certainly the spiritual man encompassing the soul, the God part of man, is the idea that certainly we will live eternally with God. So as the physical man will be destroyed, the eternal man will live forever, the soul, that place where God dwells in us. If you think about that for a moment, certainly then we must understand the concept of inheriting the earth as a physical blessing, something that will be ours. We think for a moment about how maybe Satan rules the earth. Not necessarily. Has God been chained? Is God not present? Did the Bible not say that God is everywhere at all times and helping us in every way and that He loves us and that He cares for us and He protects us? How does He do that? Well He is with us. Certainly God owns the earth. He made the earth. Certainly God is the King of this earth. He made the earth. Satan may be a prince of the evilness of this world, but he doesn't own the world. So therefore, as we look at the beauties of nature, we see God, not Satan. As we look at the wonders that God has made for us and the blessings of our life, we see God not Satan. And so here as we look at inheriting the earth, we see that God as He is the Creator and the Owner of the earth, those who are meek will inherit the earth. Doesn't that make good sense? I mean think for a moment. If you have a father and that father has maybe an inheritance and he has left you something wealthy. Why do you inherit it? Because you are the child of that man. Well now apply that to God. God, is He not the Father? Are we not the children of God? He has offered us an inheritance based in salvation through the many wonderful things that God has promised us. So now God offering us that inheritance, He says, "Look you're going to enjoy not only the great eternal reward, but since this earth is mine, I'll bless you with it, too, because you are meek, because you exemplify and you glorify and you lift me up in all that you do, I give you the earth, the blessings of it, the rain, the sunshine that it will bring forth the produce, that it will give you what you have need of, that it will care for you, that the sun will warm you, that the rain will clear the atmosphere, that all these wonders are yours. You will inherit the earth. You will be blessed. You will have what you need," as we read there in the book of Matthew once again. Chapter 6, that the Lord will clothe us and give us shelter and provide for us in every way. Why? Because we're His children. Because He's the Father and when we are those who are meek like the Father and we demonstrate those things that He's asked us to demonstrate, certainly He has promised us, those who are able to have and to inherit the earth itself. Certainly not forever. Does an inheritance that I receive from my earthly father, is it something that is forever? No, because I'll die someday. We're all going to leave this world someday. If it's not at the judgment, even before, and therefore it's a temporary type of reward, but it is still a reward, a blessing that certainly He has promised us not only here, but in many, many other places.

I might remind you what David said in Psalm 24 and verse 1. He says, "The earth is the Lord's." Why wouldn't it be again? He created it. I want to remind you what other writers talked about as they laud and magnified and lifted up the name such as Noah and Moses, as Job, as different men under the periods of the judges and the prophets as they continue to magnify God and speak of His greatness and His might and His meekness. Oh, it is all of God that we need to know. It's all of God that we need to understand. It's all of God that we need to respect so that we might have the happiness and the joy that is ours when we really demonstrate all of those things that really are according to His Will, that are according again to His precepts, that really are according to all that He would have us to do. Good meekness, brethren, promotes good health, promotes good attitudes, promotes and prompts us to live more godly, live more righteously in this present world, promotes the idea that we can really exemplify Christ in all, that causes others to want to know Him through us.

So may I again encourage you today to understand that happy are we when we learn to be those in this life who truly are poor in spirit, who humble ourselves before God, who mourn in our present state without God, but now learn that in God, we're to have comfort. We have the kingdom of heaven. But finally, may we again remember that those who are meek are blessed as well because those who are meek will receive from this earth that which God has blessed it with. They will inherit the earth. Their inheritance as sons of God will be the rewards and blessings that only really are those who are faithful to His cause.

So I ask you again, "Are you happy in your meekness?" Are you presenting to this earth the meekness that God would have? Does God see in your life the meekness that Christ had? And ultimately will you live in such a way so that you will be meek in this life and know that in the end that you will not only inherit the earth, but that you will inherit every wonderful blessing including eternal life someday in heaven with God on High?

(SONG # 3 - "Rock Of Ages!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord's Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!

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May we all learn to be more like Christ by demonstrating the spirit of meekness in all we do! For those who are meek truly are blessed of God and they will inherit the earth!

(Program closing)