Thursday, September 8, 2016

Blessed Are the Meek (Meekness, Part 6)

Behind every person is a human story that began in the mind of God.  He who created the universe and spoke the worlds into existence also allowed every person to be conceived.  He framed and fashioned their beings, while they, as yet, had no understanding.  And this God desires a relationship with each of His created children.  To restore them to fellowship and deliver them to the freedom His Spirit alone produces.

No wonder Jesus looked upon the multitudes and wept, for they “fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).  It is this harvest to which God calls His laborers forth.  And He promises something—a present—to the meek.

“Blessed are the meek:” Matthew 5:5 explains, “for they shall inherit the earth.”  I pondered that recently, as I sat aboard an airplane.  The earth dark, with a smattering of stars that graced the evening sky, reminded me of the Creator who has fashioned it all.  The lights below, in high rises and apartment buildings, coming from street lamps and vast stadiums, ascending from tiny villages and million-member cities—likewise reminded me of the people who call this planet home.  That God knows each of their thoughts.  Has each hair on their heads numbered.  And sent His Son to die—not only for those who will be saved—but for the entire world.  Astounding thought!  Amazing love!

I traveled alone but dots of tears formed in my eyes as I considered God’s love to each of these travelers, all strangers to me but all owing their existence to God.  Even the ones who wouldn’t acknowledge Him, who doubted His existence, Who took His name in vain multiple times each day, Who cursed Him and wondered at Him and hated Him for how He had chosen to move in their lives.

In His Providence, God had ordained that I should sit next to 24-year-old Alexis, who was returning home from a Hawaiian air force base.  To attend her father’s funeral.  She wore a cross around her neck, a gift from her dad—whom, she informed me, had not been a believer.  But Alexis was.  And, in the face of this unexpected horror, she knew God had a plan.  And she had chosen to trust Him.  But it was still unbearably hard.  

And every other traveler likewise had a story.  I couldn’t reach them all, couldn’t touch each of their lives so that they would behold Jesus, couldn’t share with them the love of Christ as I desired.  Even if I spent all day handing out tracts—I still wouldn’t reach every single one.  While He has given His church the command to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” I am helpless to personally deliver to every human on the planet a detailed Gospel presentation.  Even though I would like to.  And “the love of Christ constrains me” to desire such salvation for every person. 

While God expects me to do all I can to seek to fulfill His Great Commission, another command (found in Titus 3:2) tells us, “Shew all meekness to all men.”  So that those whose paths of life intersect with mine can be touched with this garment that is not my own.  This article of clothing that first began to adorn my spirit at salvation is one I can consciously put on each day.  Believers and unbelievers alike will be affected as I mindfully wear this garment, God’s gift to me.

Having recently taught through the book of Titus, I was especially touched by this verse.  Do I show all meekness to all men?  To that unkind person who rudely slammed the door in my face or that individual who spoke words defaming my character?  Am I continually meek in every circumstance and situation?  These questions reverberated down the corridors of my mind as I considered this verse and held up the light of truth to examine various recesses of my heart.

Meditating on God's Word is transformational, as Psalm 1 clearly indicates.  This powerful verse has helped me to more readily focus on the image of God in all men and to make a conscious decision to esteem every person because of the-image bearing quality that each possesses.  In turn, this perspective is allowing me to perceive the dignity of every individual, regardless of his or her own personal belief system or lack of conformity to the image of God.

Walking in meekness is surfacing as a forgotten truth that I must follow if I am to effectively minister to all other human beings and accurately reflect the God Who begs me to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith [I am] called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph. 4:1-2).  

The outflow of wearing the garment of meekness has been blessing--including a heart touched by peace and joy that had eluded me for too long, being dwarfed by the enormous awareness of sin that I perceived about me.  Now, regardless of the depravity of the world—which only continues to get worse—this lovely garment of meekness can wrap its exquisite texture around my spirit, becoming part of my daily existence.  

In His Word, God explains one result of meekness in no uncertain terms:  “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul” (Prov. 11:17).  How blessed His transforming Word is!  How priceless!  I have now been made aware of my need to passionately embrace this truth, which for too long lay unseen as a need of my heart—to tangibly reflect the God Who is meek (Matthew 21:5), to wear the garment of meekness.  

Truly blessed--how happy--are the meek!

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