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Blessed are those who practice Holy Spirit self-control.

We live in country and a time that is out of control. Pursuit of personal short-term pleasure and personal gain is the rule.

If you think it, say it. If you feel like it, do it. If you don’t want to, don’t. If you’re unhappy, leave. If you want it, take it. If you don’t agree, do what you want anyway. Get yours. You deserve it.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. Matt 5:5

Meekness speaks of supreme self-control by the Holy Spirit, which produces a quiet, gentle, tenderhearted confident response to life. It is disciplined power, strength under Godly control.

Our religious life can be marked by the same disastrous “self” control:

· Spiritual pride

· Self sufficiency

· Hypocritical piety

· Religion without God

· Looking good, doing the right things

· Popular, feel-good Christianity

“But Lord, look what I do for you”. Exactly the opposite of meekness. America’s Christian environment looks for flash, superstars, marketing, excitement and good feeling experiences. We believe God needs the rich, the mighty, the talented, the popular, the famous, the charismatic, the showmen.

Where “broken in spirit” speaks of knowing your sin, meekness speaks of knowing God’s holiness. We are meek because we begin to understand how infinitely high and holy God is and we want him to control our every act.

Meekness produces righteousness as we submit to God’s holy control. We deny and sacrifice our own feelings and desires to God’s lead and timing.

The opposite is arrogant, self-sufficient, proud, and unrepentant, self-willed and stiff necked.

What does is mean to be meek?

· Greek- praos (mild, gentle, soft)

This is manifested as a supreme calmness because of, and surrender to, God’s leading and control. The meek person is quiet, gentle and unassuming simply because of the confidence of being under the total control of the Spirit. This person doesn’t:

· Have to draw attention to themselves

· Have to have their own way

· Have to pursue their own happiness at all costs

· Seek themselves first at the cost of others

· Have to be first

· Have to be noticed

· Have to have justice for every injustice

· Need for all things to be “fair”

The meek person is identified by:

  • Calmness – they are not shaken or excited by circumstances because they know God is in control of all things, including themselves
  • Self control – they are not impulsive, destructive or selfish because they are giving in to the control of the Holy Spirit
  • Gentleness – they are not aggressive and controlling but gentle and loving responding to people and situations with God’s love and holiness. There is no need to “man-handle” the situation when you know that God is sovereign.
  • Mildness – the meek person avoids extreme reactions and behavior. A meek person is mild and approachable, bringing comfort, calmness and peace to those around him.
  • Quietness – the meek person is quiet and confident. He is peaceful and serene in a hective and out of control world. The meek person does not have to be heard, does not have the need to voice every opinion he has and make sure his point gets heard no matter how unfair or wrong he may perceive the situation. He speaks out only when the Spirit leads, disregarding his own welfare, agenda and desires.
  • Tender heart – understanding God’s holiness, love and mercy allows us to be very tender and forgiving towards others. Being poor in spirit (understanding OUR sin) coupled with being meek (understanding God’s holiness) produces the ultimate soft heart towards others
  • Humility – the meek person understands God’s holiness, and being poor in spirit as well, this brings the meek person to complete humility
  • Supreme confidence – being under the total control and leading of the Holy Spirit gives us complete and unshakable confidence. If we are truly following, and pleasing, God in all our actions, what man can shake our peace and confidence?

Meekness does NOT mean:

  • Impotence – it is in no way some sort of weak-kneed, wishy-washy door mat attitude. Meekness is not weakness. To the contrary, the more meek we are, the more powerful we are.
  • Hypocritical humility – meekness is not a false humility that seeks to manipulate through pity or an outward appearance of “look how humble I am”
  • Cowardice – there is no lack of backbone or bravery in true meekness, to the contrary it is the ultimate devotion and commitment

SUPREME POWER AND CONFIDENCE
UNDER SUPREME SPIRIT CONTROL

One of the hardest aspects of meekness is that a meek man quits striving to get his “due”, to get what he believes is “fair”, to get what he “deserves”. This goes against everything American.

“I deserve…” marks the selfish man. It has become the buzz word, the catch phrase, the mantra, the theme of American life. And it consumes a better part of our life until we truly become meek.

A sure mark of a person who is NOT meek is the person who is continually trying to correct or point out what is not “fair”, or how they are misunderstood, or things aren’t “right” according to their opinion, or how things could be better.

Do you find yourself constantly criticizing, pointing out wrong, even if you only do it in private? What do you think you deserve but don’t have?

Here are some areas that will become very prominent in our thoughts when meekness is missing or uncultivated:

  • Recognition – are you not getting the awards, the recognition, the status that you think you deserve? Are others around you getting the notice that you think right belongs to you?
  • Compensation – is someone getting paid the same, or more than you and its not fair? Are you making sure your opinion on the matter is known? Are you jealous or critical of those who make more, or get more than you? Are you in a continual process (subconsciously or knowingly) of correcting that perceived inequity?
  • Popularity – Do you find it annoying and bothersome when there are others around you that are “liked” or befriended instead of you, or more than you? Does this manifest itself in your life making you an expert “fault finder” and always being able to “discern” and point out the “negative” about others that somehow has been missed by everyone but you? Are you a critical, nit picky, fault-finding, “negative” person?
  • Criticism – the person missing meekness can easily and constantly criticize EVERYTHING.
    • Work – the company is poorly run. The bosses are idiots, incompetent, or unfair. The pay is not fair. The wrong people get recognized. The product, procedures and services could be better. The job is not appreciated, but tolerated, and would be abandoned the moment something “better” came along.
    • Church – the preaching is boring. The music is not entertaining enough. The teachers are not interesting enough. The church expects to much. Almost everything could be done differently or in a better way in your opinion.
    • Criticism manifests itself in every aspect of this persons life, never missing a chance to point out a fault, a deficiency, a lacking, an incompetency… it becomes a lifestyle instilling a sense of power and superiority in the criticizer because by default, they must be smarter and better than the object of criticism because they were able to see the faults in the first place
  • The need to be right – the person lacking meekness necessarily mistakes being “right” for being “righteous”. Being right becomes the standard by which all arguments are fought to the bitter end regardless of the hurt or destruction. After all, I’m right.

Meekness accepts that we will not always be treated fair or get what we should rightfully get. Our pay or recognition may not be equitable or fair. Our opinions, even when right, may not count, may not be heard. And it shouldn’t matter. Meekness knows that God is in control; He knows all, sees all; understands all.

Ultimately God will right the wrongs, compensate justly, recognize the truly deserving. In the mean time, our only duty is to meekly submit to His holy sovereignty.

Abraham demonstrated this quality in Genesis 13 when he allowed Lot an “unfair” advantage, trusting God for his own welfare. Joseph embodied meekness in the face of the worst kind of injustice. What men had done for evil, God used for good. David’s meekness kept him from killing Saul when he had the chance.

God is not interested in fair. He is interested in submission.

And He will undoubtedly place us in unfair, inequitable, and improvement-needing situations to teach us this valuable quality. Meekness: accepting God’s holy sovereignty in our lives no matter what we would rather have or think we should have.

Meekness is supreme confidence and Holy Spirit-induced self-control that disregards our personal desire, understanding that His holiness is so far superior and beyond our understanding that only total submission to it begins to approach a proper response to it.

Think of Jesus’ life. In our understanding, was their anything “fair” about it? Did He seek His own way? Was He weak or cowardly? He was the perfect example of meekness, completely and utterly submissive to God’s control living a life of perfect holiness. Strong, brave, committed, self-sacrificing, humble, confident, peaceful, self-controlled… meekness personified.

1 Peter 2:21-24 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.

The Apostle Paul, though great in responsibility and power, exercised meekness.

2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ— who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.

What is the source of meekness?

  • Poor in spirit is the natural response of knowing our dilemma.
  • Mourning is the natural response of beginning to understand our sin.

Meekness is the natural response of beginning to understand God’s holiness. There is such a great chasm between His Purity and our efforts, that we dare not be anything but meek.

Basketball players of all levels are meek in the presence of Michael Jordan. Computer enthusiasts are meek in the presence of Bill Gates. Mountain climbers are meek in the presence of Mt. Everest. Scientists are meek in the presence of the complexity of life or the vastness of the Universe.

These are weak analogies but they allow us to begin to grasp why meekness is the proper response to God’s holiness. He is so far greater, so much purer, and so infinitely higher than us that anyone whose spiritual eyes have been opened cannot help but feel awed and humbled in light of it.

So what does that have to do with self-control?

Meekness is spiritual calm, supreme confidence, complete self-control BECAUSE we begin to grasp that our Great and Holy God is in complete and utter control of everything. And that same Loving Father saved us, protects us, and cares for us. Meekness.

We don’t need to seek our own way, God is watching over us. We don’t have to worry about what’s “fair”, the Great Judge will make all things right. We don’t have to scurry about in anxiety trying to improve or fix our lives, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe is doing quite well all by Himself.

How can I know if I am meek?

The Christian can always measure and properly judge personal behavior against Biblical standards.

· Do I practice self control? Or do I live by the emotion of the moment?

· Do you “tell it like it is”? Or is your tongue tamed by love and patience?

· Do I criticize constantly, either publicly or privately? Is your life marked by the ability to find the negative in every person and situation? Do you disguise or excuse this ability calling it “discernment”?

· Are you easily irritated, annoyed or angered? These are the fleshly responses we are not getting our way or people aren’t acting the way we want them to act. We forget that God is in control of the world, not us.

· Do you respond humbly and submissively when the Bible points out your faults and shortcomings?

· Do you respond humbly when criticized, loving the person who speaks it, looking for any truth that may be in it?

· Do you correct, teach, rebuke or exhort others in patience and love?

Meekness: the quiet, gentle, tenderhearted and supremely self-controlled life that comes from knowing God’s holiness and surrendering to His control of our lives and our circumstances.

Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Matt 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Ephesians 4:2-3 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

1 Peter 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice.

Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.

Psalm 149:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

Happiness is:

  1. Poor in spirit: understanding our utter helplessness
  1. Mournful: understanding our sinfulness and sin’s awful consequences
  1. Meekness: understanding God’s holiness and living in the supreme confidence of it

Lesson 4 Notes – Blessed Are The Supremely Self-Controlled

Blessed are those who practice _________________________________________________.

“Self” control manifests it self by some of these behaviors:

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

What does is mean to be meek?

· Greek- ____________________________________________________________

What are a few things a meek person doesn’t feel the need to do:

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

The meek person is identified by:

· Calmness – ________________________________________________________

  • Self control – ________________________________________________________
  • Gentleness – ________________________________________________________
  • Mildness – ________________________________________________________
  • Quietness – ________________________________________________________
  • Tender heart – ________________________________________________________
  • Humility – ________________________________________________________
  • Supreme confidence – ___________________________________________________

Meekness does NOT mean:

  • Impotence – ___________________________________________________
  • Hypocritical humility – ___________________________________________________
  • Cowardice – ___________________________________________________

How can I know if I am meek?

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

· ________________________________________________________

Lesson 4 – Group Discussion, Private Contemplation & Application

Group Discussion:

1. What is the worldly impression of meekness?

2. What are the characteristics of truly meek person?

Private Contemplation:

1. Do you live in quiet confidence, trusting God’s sovereign plan for your life? Or do you live in discontent, discouragement and frustration that God has not got your life quite right yet?

2. Are you a critical, negative, fault finding person? Truthfully, what are you trying to gain or become by being that way? Be honest, there is a reason for all behavior.

3. How much of your life and emotional energy do you spend thinking about what it is not fair at work, at church, at home? How much effort do you put forth trying to correct those inequities or voice your opinion about them?

4. In the honest secrecy of your own thoughts, what is the level of struggle you have that everything is not the way you want? How does this reflect on your true trust in God’s sovereignty?

Life Application Suggestions:

1. If you do not have a time of regular prayer, commit to spending the first ten minutes of each day this week asking God to instill in you the desire for meeknes and to instill in you the true meaning of it.

2. Besides your spouse, choose one other person in this group and pray each day that God will make these truths REAL in that person’s life.

3. Read Matthew 5:1-12 one time each day this week and spend 5 minutes contemplating and meditating on the words. Ask God to reveal the truth of the words to your heart and mind..

(seriesid:2)

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