Monday, September 20, 2021

Creating A Counterculture Part 3


 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on Sept 19th 2021 by Navaz D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

CREATING A COUNTERCULTURE – PART 3 . Navaz

 INTRODUCTION

Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at how Jesus came to usher in the Father's Kingdom- an upside, inside out Kingdom.

Jesus also said that when citizens of His Father's Kingdom live like this, it brings glory to the Father. And Jesus' reason for coming to earth was to do the Father's will and bring Him glory. Matt 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.".  So right off the bat, we are told the intent.

The last two weeks, we looked at Blessed are the poor in spirit, for there is the Kingdom of heaven. Poverty of spirit is the gateway to salvation- expressing our need and dependence on a Saviour.

Then we looked at Blessed are the those who mourn for they shall be comforted. When we live from the Father's heart, we will mourn over the unrighteousness and wickedness we see around us, and we will find comfort in God's word that God is sovereign and in charge.

We have already looked at what Blessed means – to be happy, to enjoy the favour of God. Let us ask God to speak to us through today’s text.

 

Today we are going to look at the next beatitude.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matt5:5

This beatitude is probably a reference to Psalm 37 which, the Jews recognized. Psalm 37:9 and 11

V9 "but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land."

V11 "But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.."

Jesus is taking things in the OT that the Jews were already familiar with, showing them the Father's heart of how it needed to be applied.


Look at these pictures

 





Both men have guns. Both horses are strong and fast.

Do any of them depict meekness?

MEEK- the Greek word is "Praus". Why do we look at the original meaning? Because the meaning and use of words change over time, we can lose the actual context of these words.

Meek has the idea of a powerful personality adequately controlled and of humility.

A meek person is not a passive, 'push over person'.

Do you know a soldier has to learn to become meek?

 A good soldier is a meek person – he is trained to fight, kill, subdue, and take land BUT only at the command of his General or superior. Every army needs soldiers who must learn to be meek first to win a war.

How is meekness different from humility?

Humility is how we look at ourselves – that we have a sober judgment of who we are and what we can and cannot do.

Meekness is about how we relate to people.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF MEEKNESS

Meekness is not a personality trait. It is a character we are called to cultivate in this counterculture called the Kingdom of GOD.

1.TRUST – from Psalm 37, we see the meek "hope" in the Lord and "wait "for Him.

They do not put confidence in their strength or strategies.

2.WAITING – Hope often requires "waiting". Waiting is not passive. You continue to live a whole life seeking God's Kingdom.

Our faith is not a transactional relationship. You are not God's equal to dictate terms to Him. Many Christians have an "If.. then" relationship with God, which is unscriptural. We need to have an "Even if.." like the three men in the fire.

Like in Ps 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will do this".  We need to learn to surrender our will to God's for Him to act.

3.REFRAIN FROM REVENGE – We are often reminded not to fret when evil men do wicked things. We are reminded to wait for God's vengeance and refrain from taking vengeance in our hands. It takes a tremendous amount of strength, courage, and self-control not to act spitefully.

3.SLOW TO SPEAK - James 1: 19-21 Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

When we lack meekness, we are quick-tongued and quick-tempered. We are therefore unteachable and want to push our own opinion.

4. QUICK TO LISTEN a meek person is quick to listen. They know their limitations and accept their faults.

Is slow to speak always soft-spoken? No. We know that Jesus was meek, and yet He drove out the money changers with a whip.

You can be in a situation of conflict and still be meek – as long as you are quick to listen, slow to speak, teachable and willing to be open to another's opinion.

5. TEACHABLE He is teachable. Because they have a sober judgement of themselves and are open to counsel and correction, they are teachable. Or do you kick back or play the blame game, sulk, and pity yourself?

Look at Jesus – Phil 2 tells us though He was the son of God he learned obedience through the things He suffered. Therefore, God exalted him. The way up is down.

6. WISE

A wise person is a meek person. James tells us a wise person is peaceable, gentle, and open to reason. The meek are teachable and wise. When was the last time someone could give you feedback, and you accepted it? When was the last time you invited feedback and not shoot the messenger?

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.  James 3:13

7. DEFENDS TRUTH

Meeks submits to and seeks truth in every situation.

Meekness stands for righteousness and truth no matter what the cost. We have the best example in Jesus.

Meekness is the willingness to submit our thought and opinions to a higher moral standard. The Bible is our plumbline.

Matthew Henry describes meekness as a kind of self-control. True, biblical meekness is a self-control of strength that makes us lambs in our own causes and lions for the cause of Christ.

MEEKNESS IS NOT

Weakness – you are not a pushover or a doormat.

It is not a lack of convictions - It is not fence-sitting and saying your truth is your truth, and my truth is my truth.

Matt 5:5b  "Shall inherit the earth".

Let us look at what happens when we become meek. The world tells you the meek are weak and that you are looser.

However, Jesus says that we will inherit the earth. Is this a new thought?

No. God's plan and design in the garden of Eden for Adam and Eve was to have dominion over the earth – to be in charge, to rule to steward it well. But they forfeited this privilege because of the fall.

Had Adam and Eve lived with meekness towards God, surrendering and submitting to His will, they would have stayed in charge. But we know they forfeited that privilege when they fell.

Jesus came to glorify the Father and to reveal Him to us and restore us to sonship.

When we live with meekness towards God, God will once again entrust all things to us. We are co-heirs with Christ and reign with Him are seated with Him in the heavenly places.

Now is this inheritance a physical one? Does this mean you and go and claim any land as yours? The Jews misunderstood the rule and reign of the Messiah. They wanted a conqueror, and not even the OT described the Messiah in this manner.

If you read Isaiah, you will see the Messiah portrayed as meek

"He will not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets." Is 42:2. 

It was there all along, but they did not want to see it. What can we learn from this?

Do not try and make God in your image or conform to a figment of your imagination. God will do this and that for me when I tell Him to do so.

EXAMPLES OF MEEKNESS

Jesus said of Himself Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt 11:29.

Jesus demonstrated his meekness by saying I only do what I see my Father doing. We see Christ living out meekness flawlessly, emptying Himself as He carried out His Father’s will. Meekness turned the tables in the temple, had compassion on the crowds, called the Pharisees a brood of vipers, and prayed, “Not my will, but yours, be done.” It is meekness that characterizes the Lion of the tribe of Judah who is the Lamb that was slain. It is meekness that carried out the Trinity’s plan for our salvation. Increasing meekness in us is merely a reflection of our Immanuel. ( Matthew Henry)

Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane epitomized meekness.

Moses: was considered the meekest man that lived, and yet he faced Pharaoh. Moses the Pharaoh’s son was not meek – he killed a slave in the name of justice. Forty years later he comes back meek and leads millions out of slavery. In his own strength he saved one. Surrendered he saved millions.

Abraham was meek – he did not assert himself with Lot but let his nephew choose first.

David allowed himself to be ill-treated by Saul- he suffered injustice, unkind treatment.

Stephen was meek. Paul was meek. And they spoke up boldly when required. They healed the sick and spread the gospel, and both were martyred.

 

 

CONCLUSION

So, we see meekness as a Christlike quality. All the characteristics of living the Kingdom life reflect our King. When we become like this, we become more like Jesus.

·         He will increase and we will decrease.

·         His priorities will become ours.

·         What breaks His heart will break ours too.

·         We will embrace our circumstances in surrender to His will allowing His peace to guard our hearts and minds.

Meekness is not easy.  Without becoming poor in spirit, we cannot become meek. Without mourning over our pride and independence, we cannot come to repentance to desire change and become meek.

Let us ask Jesus to grant us the grace to become meek and submit to His authority in our lives.

 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

 

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