Saturday, August 23, 2014

MEEKNESS IS NOT WEAKNESS BUT GREATNESS - PART III

We now continue in this third installment on MEEKNESS . . .
Walking worthily is walking in meekness (and lowliness) accompanied by longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. What does this “forbearing” mean? It's loving the unloveable for the sake of the LORD Who loves them. By grace, having the power to 'put up with' those that irritate and bother us, dying to self and expressing God's love towards them. Meekness is not weakness!
PHIL. 2:2-3
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
'Others-centered' is how some put this; someone once said that the secret of J.O.Y. is Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. The meek people are the joyful people, seeing God's will accomplished through their lives submitted only to the will of God.
1 TIM. 6:3-11
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Those who would not acknowledge the truth of Scripture, and Scripture alone but rather seek to supplement God's Word with their own wisdom, according to these verses is an ignorant fool! Those who are meek will not seek their own gain, by their own means, aggresively seeking their own promotion and betterment in life (such aggression will only lead to ruin according to vs. 9-10); but remain in a place of contentment with only the essentials of this life: food, water, raiment, a place to lay one's head down at night: common commodities and not overt opulance! 
2 TIM. 2:24-26
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Gentleness is the trademark of meekness and from such an attitude, one will find that others (generally speaking) are teachable, and even the unteachable will (or at least may) find themselves receiving instruction! The meek of the LORD will have compassion on the lost, foreseeing their spiritual condition, that is, ensnared by the enemy who victimizes them at his whim.
JAMES 1:21-22
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
The meek after receiving the engrafted Word, that is, making the truth of God's Word part of your heart and life, like the roots of a tree entering the soil and receiving its life-giving nutrients (PSALM 1:2-4). The meek will say, "Thy will in my life, not my will be done Oh LORD!"
1 PETER 3:4, 15
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear
Think of some costly heirloom you may have in your family, something highly valued and treasured, a thing of beauty and admiration. This is how the LORD sees the meek and quiet spirit! As a precious and costly ornament, highly valued by the Most High! 
Now that we have examined some of the New Testament passages, lets turn our attention to the One about Whom this Holy Book is all about (As it states in Psalm 40:7): Jesus Christ.
The MEEK MESSIAH
MATT. 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
What can we learn about our Messiah here and the meekness He exhibits?
We learn that He is approachable, for He says “Come unto me” - the meek are approachable, non-threatening, not intimidating or daunting. We learn that He is gracious, for this is God Himself bidding sinners to come! 
He calls out with a promise of rest; we labor and are heavy laden with the works and weights of sin (Romans 6:23 - “The wages of sin . . .”). We also labor in religious toil, desperately and hopelessly longing to find rest and relief from the curse of sin.
We also learn that God Almighty is willing to serve us and invites us to enter into servanthood with the attitude of meekness as a guide. The yoke is that oval shaped wooden device that collars a beast, usually a mule or more especially an ox to a plow for agricultural purposes. 
The four Living Beasts surrounding the very Throne of God represents the four-fold aspects of God the Son: the faces of the Eagle – denoting His deity; of the Man – denoting His humanity; of the Lion – denoting His Kingly office; and of the Ox – denoting His servant-hood (REV. 4:7).
In the LORD's invitation to take His yoke upon us, we understand that this is a double yoke, which is built not for one, but for two beasts. So if we accept this invitation, we are yoked together with the LORD, Who takes the brunt of the load in this ministry; thus His yoke is easy for us, and His burden is light. This is the blessedness of ministry, that we are welcome to partake of service with no one less than the LORD God made flesh, and in partnership with Him, learn of Him! 
What do we learn of Him? That he is meek and lowly of heart: such is obvious to us that know Him: He is the Holy and Almighty Creator God and yet here He deigns to lift up and slip over His neck, a yoke of servant-hood!
2 COR. 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich
PHIL. 2:5-8, 9-11
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
To the same degree that the Holy God the Son humbled Himself, by taking on the sins of the world, to that same degree God exalted Him!
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
MARK 9:33-37
33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
Humorous! The disciples were snagged! Caught in the act of bickering about who should be the greatest! BUT NOTE that the LORD doesn't rebuke them for their desire to be great; He merely instructs them HOW TO PROPERLY GO ABOUT IT! Note vs. 35!
The meek shall willingly be the servant of all, and count themselves as last! The one that demonstrated this the best is the LORD Himself which is why His is the Name above all names and exalted above all others! 
Meekness is not weakness, but GREATNESS in the KINGDOM of GOD! 
Three passages from ISAIAH for your own homework, then a couple more references and we are done here: write these references down:
ISAIAH 11:1-5; the 53rd and the 61st Chapter. 
*As you read these passages look for the attribute of meekness in the LORD's ministry, and knowing now what we do about meekness, look to see how these things could be accomplished WITHOUT meekness! Also look to see how we acquire meekness as a result of the LORD's ministry to us!*
JOHN 18:19-24
19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
As far as I can tell this is one of the first times Jesus was physically struck by His enemies; or at least one of the very first times. 
Yet we are fully aware of the tremendous, the insurmountable, the inconceivable agonies that He endured: the multiple beatings, the scourging with the cat o' nine tails, the crown of thorns, the deprivation of food and water, the agonizing fear of finally having the sins of all humanity placed upon Him which would result in His being separated FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN ALL ETERNITY from His Father! 
Not to mention the full brunt of Holy wrath that God the Father poured out on His Son when once He became the sin-bearer for humanity!
Yet, never a protest, never any resistance from Jesus; always a compliant, yielded, willing, earnest and zealous response from our LORD to do the Father's will which He subsisted on the way that we subsist on food (JOHN 4:34). That is meekness! Great power in the Word made flesh Who fashioned the universe, wielding all the power necessary for its construction and yet He didn't ever use this power to defend Himself or deliver Himself from this fate! He trusted His heavenly Father in all things.
I spoke earlier of the culture of God's kingdom yet to come: how meekness will be an integral part of that culture and how such meekness is born in us, God's children by His Spirit. All the characteristics (not just meekness) of God's love as outlined in Galatians 5:22-23 is what God is looking to develop in our own character, in making us a godly and spiritual people.
As we look over the world, and we see how corrupt, how proud, how arrogant and selfish and uncaring the earthly rulers in our governments conduct themselves, we may ask the question: Who is worthy of the office that they hold?
Yet as we look at JESUS we see every single quality necessary for good and proper leadership; He is the Servant-King, the very One whose hands fashioned galaxies was the One that stooped down and with those hands washed dirty, smelly feet. The very One who fashioned the forests of all the world and all the mountains was the very One Who hung on a cross of wood fashioned from those forests and impaled with nails of iron forged from those mountains!
He Who humbled Himself to the death of the Cross, God has exalted above all as the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords! And this is one of the reasons why the LORD is working such character in our lives – to make us, His church proper and effective servant-kings who shall rule and reign with Him!
REVELATION 5:9-10
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
INDEED, Meekness is not weakness, but greatness fashioned in us by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in our yielded lives as we follow our LORD Jesus Christ from here to heaven! 
Below is a link to the second half of this teaching as delivered at The HOUSE of TRUTH Fellowship. This incorporates some of the last articles verses and teachings along with all the rest as seen here in part III.

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