Sermon Series: The Beatitudes, God’s Surprising Blessing
Message 2 of 4: Blessed are the Meek
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-5
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 9/1/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
Read Matthew 5:1-5
The beginning of the Beatitudes at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Jim’s Ride from The Man from Snowy River
One of my favorite movies growing up was The Man from Snowy River. In this movie, a rich Australian rancher buys a prize Arabian stallion. One day the stallion escapes and joins a mob of wild horses. The rancher rounds up as many hands as possible and the chase begins- thundering hooves shake the majestic Australian hills. Faster and faster they race until the mob bolts down a steep embankment. Let’s see what happens next…
The trained horses and riders will not follow the mob down the steep embankment. They stop. They know better. They call it a day.
Suddenly, one horse and rider blazes past the group and down the hill after the mob. (It’s one of the most exciting horse sequences ever filmed.) It’s our hero- Jim Craig.
He and his horse are not afraid. They move as one, a powerful team. They are strong. All watch amazed at what they can do together. The chase continues and in the end, Jim brings in all the wild horses.
How would you describe Jim and his horse?
They are one, synced, inseparable
Fearless, beautiful, strong
Together, Jim and his horse are a perfect example of meekness.
When you hear the word meek what comes to mind:
Quiet, shy, timid
Passive, Wimp, Doormat
We’ve lost the actual definition of the word “meek” and we must reclaim it. In Greek word for “meek,” praus, is used to describe a wild animal whose power was now disciplined for work, strength under authority.
We know we are at our best when we are disciplined and accountable:
You work with a coach and your game improves
There’s a reason why Weight Watchers and AA and Disciple Bible Study works
The structure makes us stronger- it’s a gift
We’re stronger together
The Natural Progression of the Beatitudes at work in a life
Blessed are the poor in spirit
There’s nothing I can say or do or give to earn my salvation
I come as a spiritual beggar, I have nothing to offer God
I am in need of forgiveness and salvation. I know what I need.
I place my trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I receive the Kingdom
I’m now an heir, a child of the King
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn
I stop trying to save myself
I take a good look at myself
I get honest about what a mess I am
I mourn my mess- my sin, my poor choices
Things said and done, and left unsaid and undone
How I’ve hurt myself, others, God.
I mourn. I surrender my burden to God.
I confess. I receive forgiveness.
The burden of my guilt is lifted and I’m comforted
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek
Yes I am a spiritual beggar
Yes I am honest about my sin and need of forgiveness
If we stopped at this point, it would make sense to claim we are wimps and doormats. But if we stop here, we wouldn’t have the whole truth.
We must also recognize we are powerful
I am strong, gifted, talented, resourced
I place everything I have and everything I receive from the Holy Spirit, all my strength, under God’s authority. All that I am and all that I have I give to you and to your service. You are God and I am not. You be Jim, I’ll be the horse.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Snowy River Metaphors
Before we place our trust in Jesus we’re like the mob of horses- wild, rebellious, destructive, undisciplined. For some of us, we look wild and do wild things. For others, we may not look that way on the outside, but that’s what’s going on on the inside. We are unsettled, anxious, struggling.
After we place our trust in Jesus we grow to be like Jim and his horse. Strength under authority. One with God. Moving in concert with God. All of a sudden there’s direction to this power, direction to this talent.
We are more than we are by ourselves because we are one with God. We begin to understand we can be courageous, we can risk for the glory of God and the common good.
The last thing Jesus wants is for you to start following him and you become like the ranch horses- too safe, too careful, too tame, whipped, broken, timid, institutionalized.
That’s not meekness. That’s not who we really are.
All this talk of poverty of spirit and mourning our sin might make us think being a Christian is about being a wimp- passive, timid, doormat.
No! God is calling us to a life of adventure. We recognize we cannot save ourselves. We recognize we can hurt others and hurt ourselves. We place our strength under the authority of Jesus and now we are ready to join Jesus in the adventure of saving the world.
We’re in the right heart space to do it.
We’re ready to go where Jesus leads, in the way Jesus leads
Loving our enemies
Welcoming the outsider
Ending prejudice and oppression
Speaking the truth in love ‘
Generous, sacrificial, joyful,
Powerful, and humble
We are now ready to be meek
2 Timothy 1:7
for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said:
The meek love their God so much that they desire to obey even the least command that he gives, simply out of love to him. The meek in spirit are like a photographer’s sensitive plates, and as the Word of God passes before them, they desire to have its image imprinted upon their hearts.
Where are you strong and powerful? How are you bringing that strength under God’s authority and leading? So you may be one and join Jesus in the great adventure of the saving of the world.
The message ends with the prayer before Holy Communion.
Beatitudes Sermon, Blessed are the Meek © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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