Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beatitudes: Blessed are the Meek.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Another word for meek is humble.

Most of the  leaders of the world could not be called meek. In the business world a humble man may be looked down on.

Moses, although he stood up to the king of Egypt and led the Israelites through the desert, was called meek. He spoke to God face to face. His strength was in God and he humbly realized this. "Now the man Moses was very meek, more than any man on the face of the earth." Num. 12:3

Psalm 37:11 says "The humble shall inherit the land."

The meek in this world may never own a plot of land. Moses never did. God and Jesus were talking about our life after death when we would inherit not only eternal life but land of our own. In the old testament God speaks of how we will build houses and inhabit them. (Isaiah 65:21) Jesus said he is preparing homes for us in heaven. (John 14:2) When there is a "new earth" it will be ours. (Rev. 21:1 & Isaiah 65:1)

I found this definition of meekness from here:
This is an amazing site that has comments on every verse in the Bible. And if you can't find a verse you are looking for you just have to type in part of it and they will find it.

I know this is long, but I feel meekness is misunderstood for cowardice. Jesus was definitely not a coward. He had a very strong, forceful personality.

The meek - Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harbored vengeance. Christ insisted on his right when he said, "If I have done evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?" John 18:23. Paul asserted his right when he said, "They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves, and fetch us out," Acts 16:37. And yet Christ was the very model of meekness. It was one of his characteristics, "I am meek," Matthew 11:29. So of Paul. No man endured more wrong, or endured it more patiently than he. Yet the Saviour and the apostle were not passionate. They bore all patiently. They did not press their rights through thick and thin, or trample down the rights of others to secure their own.
Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. "Vengeance is his; he will repay," Romans 12:19. It little becomes us to take his place, and to do what he has promised to do.
Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too great to be moved by little insults. It looks upon those who offer them with pity. He that is constantly ruffled; that suffers every little insult or injury to throw him off his guard and to raise a storm of passion within, is at the mercy of every mortal that chooses to disturb him. He is like "the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Beatitudes: Those Who Mourn.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

The word blessed actually means fortunate in the context of the Beatitudes. How can one be fortunate who is mourning?

Reading the whole chapter, it seems to me Jesus is speaking about people who believe in God. In that way those who mourn are indeed fortunate because they have God to comfort them. Those who don't believe in God must have a much harder time when someone they love dies or some terrible thing happens in their life.

I have found, through the death of my dear grandson, that God is a comfort, a help, and a deep blessing while I am mourning. He gives me hope and strength to carry on when the worst thing that could happen has happened. His grace is sufficient. I am fortunate to have him in my life. My whole family is leaning on God and his comfort abounds to us all.

Jeremiah 16:5 "I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."

"Blessed are they who die in the Lord from now on. Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, for their deeds follow them and they rest from their labors." Rev. 14:13

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Beatitudes.

I've been reading a book about the Beatitudes and was reading them in the Bible this morning. I thought I'd post about them for the next few weeks. The Beatitudes certainly show a deep difference between the way God thinks and humans think. I want to think like God.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

"Lucky are the Unlucky," is what Philip Yancey says about the Beatitudes in his book called, "The Jesus I Never Knew." He says:

 "In the Beatitudes, Jesus honored people who may not enjoy many privileges in this life. To the poor, the mourners, the meek, the hungry, the persecuted, the poor in heart, he offered assurance that their service would not go unrecognized. They would receive ample reward."

"The poor in spirit." Are you feeling sad, overwhelmed and unequal to your world. You are fortunate. It means you might reach out to God for help. The proud and overly self-confident don't feel a need for God. They believe they are up to any task. They think others are weak and people use God as a crutch.

I need God to be my crutch for I cannot live a beautiful life full of love without him. I cannot face the sadness of life without him. I've tried it and it doesn't work. I'm glad and fortunate to be poor in spirit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who Can Compare with God?

The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord
Your faithfulness too,
In the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly reverenced.
He is more awesome than all who surround him.
Oh Lord God Almighty, who is like you?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.
Love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalm 89

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puzzle Pieces.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I read the list of the "Fruits of the Spirit": Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Especially self-control. But I heard Joyce Meyer say the other day that all the things we need to be are like pieces of a puzzle. The one thing that can put these pieces together is our time with God.

Study the Bible and pray. This is our work. The work of God is to make us like himself, to give us these fruits of the Spirit.

We cannot make ourselves good in any way. God alone can give us a good heart and as Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." When I remember that only God can make us good I can relax and let go of guilt and fear. I can rely on him to do it in his way and on his time schedule. But I must do my part, which is to spend quality time with God alone each day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Shepherd.

Some men came to Jesus and said, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ  tell us plainly."

Jesus said, "I did tell you, but you did not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you did not believe because you are not my sheep."

"My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. The Father and I are one."

In the Middle East sheep follow their shepherds; they are not driven by sheepdogs or men like in the western world. Jesus does not drive people ahead of him; he calls and we either listen to his voice or ignore him and walk away. He calls and then leaves the decision with us.

I love the image of no one being able to snatch us out of the hand of Jesus. Wolves can snatch sheep away from the flock. Jesus is telling us not to worry; nothing will separate us from him and he will give us eternal life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


"Godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content." 1 Timothy 6:6-8


Am I content with what I have? Am I content to have food and clothing and that's it.

I admit I get restless. I want to go on a vacation. I want to go to the casino and waste money for entertainment. I want enough money, not just to exist, but to have fun. Am I content when I don't have enough money? Not always.

"Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have. For He Himself has said; "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Sometimes I am content. Those are the times I think of all God's blessings in my life. When I keep my eyes on Jesus and what he has done for all of us. When I think of Jesus' character. Those are the times I feel content and the contentment lasts for a long time.

But sometimes I become discontented. When I look at myself, my life and my surroundings I am discontented. When I look at the negatives instead of the positives I am discontented. When I regret the past or worry about the future I am discontented.

I want to be content with the life God has given me. I pray for contentment and peace. Even if food and clothing were taken away from me, I want to be content just in knowing God. In the concentration camps of WW11 everything was taken away from people and then they took away their lives. I want to be content in God even if that happened to me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

God is not a Nazi.

From The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey.

"God is not a Nazi," said Thomas Merton. Indeed God is not. the Master of the universe would become its victim, powerless before a squad of soldiers in a garden. God made himself weak for one purpose: to let human beings choose freely for themselves what to do with him."

Although power can force obedience, only love can summon a response of love, which is the one thing God wants from us and the reason he created us. "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." God's nature is self-giving; he bases his appeal on sacrificial love.

I remember the night I gave my life to Jesus. I was at an evangelistic meeting. I found all the facts from the Bible interesting but every night when they gave a call for people to come forward I didn't feel an urge to do it. Then one night the preacher spoke on Jesus' love. I even remember now the picture of Jesus they put on the screen. I felt in awe, I felt moved, I felt a presence overshadow me. I stood up as if in a dream and walked up to the stage and gave my life to God. His love was the one thing that drew me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I used to think belief was just believing God existed and he loved everyone. I thought believing meant accepting the teachings of the Bible. But I learned an extra step in belief that I hadn't understood before.

Joyce Meyer says when you pray for someone or something; believe that God is working. Not only believe he heard your prayer, but that he is now working for that someone. He is now working towards that something you need. Say to God, "I believe God that you are working on this." She says this kind of belief can open the windows of heaven.

All I know is that for me I feel a great sense of peace and happiness that I didn't have before when I prayed. I know  it doesn't mean I will always get what I want, the way I want, when I want it. It just makes me smile when I realize that God is going to work towards something good for that person or situation, and that makes me happy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Study Love.

I once read about a church in medieval days that was breaking apart because of disagreements between it's members. The church held a meeting to decide what to do. The pastor told the congregation he would like them to study the subject of love together for one year. When the year was over, then they could make a decision on what to do. His congregation agreed to this. They did study love for one year and were still studying it 100 years later. The church stayed together because of love.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive anything you have against one another. Forgive, as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

Friday, October 7, 2011


I was reading Everyday Grace, by Anabel Gillham. She was writing about how we think about ourselves too much. I know that is true for me, it is true for all human beings. I thought what she wrote was interesting:

"Now I need to remember that self-consciousness isn’t always thinking I’m a winner and that I am thankful that I have “me” in my life! Other people make so many mistakes. They just need to be more like me! No. It is also thinking very little of me and wishing I were out of the picture. It is thoughts about “self”—self-pity, self-loathing, self-aggrandizement, self-reliance, false humility, pride, or any of those disgusting, self-centered things. It can be self-exaltation or self-degradation. Self-consciousness is simply setting my mind on me and mine, negatively or positively.
So do I hear him saying that if I center in on myself that my relationship with the Lord can be damaged and that I’ll experience wrestling? What is that? Well, one definition would be grabbing things out of His hands and taking over the circumstances in my life myself—”I can do it! Anabel can handle this! I know exactly what needs to be done! I don’t need to seek His thoughts on this issue.” It is the absence of God’s rest, of contentment, of peace. It is feeling uneasy, worry, fear, constantly evaluating my circumstances, the people in my world, rejection, resentment, pride, hurt feelings, ad infinitum. These things come about through self-consciousness and when they do, my walk with the Lord suffers. I have certainly and painfully found this to be true."

She goes on to tell us how to stop thinking about ourselves all the time. She says exactly what Joyce Meyer says. Choose our thoughts. Don't let them control us. Talk to Jesus about everything and then leave it with him and forget it for the rest of the day. This works for me - thinking on purpose, Joyce calls it. It has changed my life for the better.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Being Who You are Meant to Be.

I have heard Joyce Meyer talk about her next door neighbor who was a gardener, good cook, and seamstress. Joyce thought she was the perfect Christian wife and mother and wanted to be like her. She tried growing a garden. It got bugs and weeds. She tried sewing. She couldn't do it. She hated cooking and did it badly. She finally gave up and realized that she just wasn't that kind of person.

She says she realized that her gift is in teaching and speaking. She started Bible studies in her home and then started preaching in small auditoriums and on the radio. God has given her a wonderful gift that she now shares with thousands of people here and around the world.

I thought about how I used to want a career in archaeology when my kids grew up. I went to college to get a degree. But family duties and my own anxieties forced me to quit college. I used to be upset about what I had missed in life, and what I had given up, but like Joyce, I have come to realize my gifts lie in a different area.

My gifts are helping and serving. My family has needed me very much over the years to help with their illnesses and with their children. I'm so glad I could be here for them. I'm glad I didn't have an important career that would take me away from them. I still sometimes would like a job so I could help my husband with the bills, but it is not to be. That's okay. I know I am on the right path for me.