Blessed are the meek, for they will inherent the earth. -Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. -1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. -Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV)
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There is something powerful and relaxing about meekness.
When in the presence of a gentle spirit, they echo peace. Their calmness leads those around them to calmness. Their sense of gentle security gives off a rare feeling of safety. And even if you do not know the individual personally, their meekness seems to break down walls and tear away defenses.
The meek exhale life. The gentle pass on peace.
As Jesus originally spoke this verse, He did so in front of disciples, soon to be disciples, and curious listeners. And though His words were not unheard of, they did deepen the role of a "blessed" person.
As people found in Christ, we have the obligation to be meek; that is, gentle, humble, and genuine. We are - as Paul writes - called to "let our gentle spirit be known to all" (Philippians 4:5).
But this idea seems so difficult to grasp. How do we let humility be known to all. It sounds like an oxymoron. To make people know that you are humble. To fight to be seen in humble meekness.
It does not seem to go together...
But what it means is quite simple. You and I - as people who are called to exhale something different than the world - are to watch what we do, say, believe, and even think. Everything about us should be in line with Jesus. It is only then that our spirit is full of gentleness.
Where the world fights for approval, success, power, prestige, and more responsibilities, we are to fight for a different life.
In this verse, Paul is not asking us to make ourselves seen...for gentleness and meekness is not a quality of self. He is calling us to let our gentle spirit - the spirit united with the Spirit of God - to be seen.
Peter hits on this in his first letter. Unlike the world around us, our beauty - our worth - is not found in outward things. But instead, what God prizes is found deep within us. He finds great worth in a meek and gentle spirit, for it reflects His image (the image of His Son) the strongest.
As humans, we can clothe both ourselves and our name in whatever "pretty" image or title we want, but only one image and title gives glory to the Father: that of His son.
For gentleness can never be found without Christ.
And ultimately, this is why Jesus connects it to inheritance. In our day and age, the second half of this Beatitude can seem confusing, that the meek "inherit the earth." But what we must realize is how the original hearers (and readers) would have taken it.
To inherit land (or in our case, the earth as a whole) meant that you were the heir of the land owner. Your inheritance was fully dependent on your relationship towards that person or persons. So when Jesus is connecting meekness to inheritance, He is connecting the identity of being gentle and humble to our identity of being sons and daughters of God.
The meek inherit the land because the meek are God's true children.
But what we have is not of ourselves... whether it is the ability to be meek or the grand inheritance of this earth, none of it is of ourselves. Instead, we are simply the recipients of a grand gesture of great grace.
We are blessed, for we shine Christ in our meekness and are sons and daughters of the King.
But as always, this demands us to have an eye-opening perspective change. Do we live with the humility that all we have is God's? Do we act according to His compassion? Do we speak with His level of gentleness? Do we make known His Spirit inside of us? And do we believe the security of our sonship (or "daughter-ship")?
In closing, my prayer is the same as the apostle Paul's to the Ephesians. Read it again through the lens of being meek. "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened - fully opened - in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Thank you for joining us today. If you enjoyed Part 4 of our Blessed series, please help us by sharing it with others. We pray that you have a great day.
Greg, Declare Glory