Life Ordinarily Part 1 2/25/2018
Our Scripture for the year is found over in
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb from the dead and tells those around him to untie him and set him free.
I believe this is what the church is called to do - Set people free
To worship in a way to set people free
To bring God’s Word in situations that set people free
To live like the people of God in a way that sets people free
But to do that we need to be free ourselves.
We are called to live in a way that exhibits and promotes the character of Jesus in our world
That as tells us - He is the resurrection and the life
There better be life here today
As tells us - he is the way and the truth and the life
There needs to be a people here who know the truth, and walk in his ways throughout the entirety of their life.
We said that we are to be the salt and the light of the world
standing out in a world that threatens to swallow us and pull us down
We can still stand firm in the truth and ways of Christ.
And now we are looking at the process of how this bold and steady life develops in us. Jesus gives us a spiritual progression of how to live so that we can be found in the end standing firm and unhindered.
To be unhindered is to be courageous - to make a stand against that darkness around us when nobody else will.
What Jesus is saying here is that only inward character creates courage.
Max Lucado says that the beatitudes are a step-by-step description of how God rebuilds the heart.
First - Be poor in Spirit - bankrupt without Jesus -admit our need of a savior
Secondly - last weeks message - blessed are those who mourn or who walk in sorrow.
We said that we mourn because we are sinful beings and that sin separates us from God.
That this mourning is a continual thing in this life in the flesh - because this flesh is broken and contaminated by sin
But that our mourning is comforted as God forgives us and comforts us in the power of His Holy Spirit.
knowing that we are wrong, admitting that our lives are broken
We make no excuses or justification - just tears.
As I told you before, these first two go together. They cause us to repent of our pride and to admit our total dependence upon God.
And Jesus says that there is a blessing to both - because this admittance of our inadequacies leads us to the source of our strength - Our Heavenly Father.
And then we come to a place of renewal
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
What is Meekness?
What is Meekness?
Differences of opinions:
patient, unselfish, gentleness, non-retaliative, - probably all right.
But what does the Bible Say about it?
- First time it’s used in the scriptures
(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
Miriam and Aaron had been speaking against Moses -
So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.
It would appear that there was a different spirit in Moses than in his brother and sister
tell us what that spirit was
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
What do we see? he was humble and lowly and self-renouncing
We see this when God calls him to go and lead the people out of Egypt - his words are Who am I, that I should go before Pharaoh?
The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.
We see Jesus listed in this same way -
“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
We are called to be this in the church family -
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
And so meekness from a scriptural standpoint is to be humble and lowly
Meekness is Power
Meekness is Power
This is how God empowers us.
We would think that this person is a weakling
We would think that this person is not someone we would want to be.
But this is the person that overcomes.
This is the person who is spiritually powerful
This is the person who will stand unhindered in the day that we live in
This is the person and church that will do great things for God.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
We love this scripture because it speaks of power and victory
But think about what it is really saying.
By nature, every human being is like the pharisees - We try to justify everything we do.
Like Adam and Eve, we make our own coverings to hide our sin and shame and our need of God.
We are like Cain who tries to offer what is produced by our labor
But as we’ve been studying, none of us are that good. Nothing that we can do will every purchase our salvation.
And so Paul says here that these spiritual weapons pull down those carnal strongholds of prejudices and self righteous defenses that we try to stand upon in our pride
In other words, this spiritual weapon, The might Word of Jesus Christ tears us up.
We don’t have a leg to stand upon when we are illuminated by its light.
we are humbled.
As we allow these powerful weapons to effect the flesh, Paul says that every thought is taken into captivity and the knowledge of God is able to take its place in our lives.
There is power in the wisdom and knowledge of God.
Naaman - It was only as he humbled himself to the wisdom and knowledge of God that he was healed.
My brother and sister, if we are to stand in the day that we are living
If we are to be unhindered in being the people of God and doing the things that God expects us to do
Then we must humble ourselves to the Word and Power of God almighty.
It is the week who are blessed.
Meekness is Victory over the Flesh
Meekness is Victory over the Flesh
We see it in almost every aspect of the fruit that we are told to have in our lives as we follow Christ.
The Fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
I would tell you that the ground that each of these fruits grow in is the soft and nutrient filled soil of Meekness
do you see that this morning?
It is the soil of discipline
It is brought on by education and suffering and the final resignation to the sweet will of God.
The believer that is meek is the one who
bear the insults and persecutions that are enacted against him
is easily instructed in the ways of the faith
will esteem others as higher than themselves
who at the end of every day gives God the glory and praise for every good thing that has been evident in their lives that day
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.” So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.” But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
This is not a spirit of pride and arrogance that we see in Paul - this is meekness
God-given meekness will stand up for God-given rights
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
One more scripture for this morning and we will finish this next week
But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Next week we will look at what it really means to inherit the earth. It goes along with having total peace in our lives.