Reflections on “Blessed are the Merciful”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
“Teach me to feel another’s woe, To hide the fault I see,
That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me.”
– Alexander Pope English poet (1688-1744)

O Christian, know your condition – the misery and the mercy. And let the horror
from which you have been rescued, and the mercy in which you live, and the
price that Christ paid, make you humble and thankful and patient and kind and
forgiving. You have never been treated by God worse than you deserve. And in
Christ you are treated ten million times better.
– John Piper

“Everybody loves to see justice done…on somebody else.”
– Bruce Cockburn

A Prayer to Pray:

“Lord, enable me this day to slow down and eliminate hurry, that I might remember You and the richness of Your mercy towards me. Today I offer you my hurts, anger, bitterness and disappointments. Enable me to forgive as generously and consistently as You forgive me. Teach me how to appropriately process any anger toward You, others and myself. I wait on You and trust in You, Lord. Show me the way of Your wisdom and love this day. AMEN.

Pete Scazzero© 2005
Center For Emotional Health & Spirituality
New Life Fellowship, Elmhurst, NY 11373

Reflections on “Blessed are the meek!”

Christ was master of the paradox. His teaching is salted with shining contrasts like:
Last is first, giving is receiving, dying is living, losing is finding, least is greatest,
poor is rich, weakness is strength, serving is ruling. For Christ, paradoxes were an
especially effective way of getting people to see essential spiritual truth – in this
instance, (Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth). This mark of the
Holy Spirit makes us gentle, humble, sensitive, and patient in all of our dealings
with others. – Kent Hughes
The man who is truly meek is the man who is amazed that God and man can think
of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do… Finally, I would put it
like this. We are to leave everything—ourselves, our rights, our cause, our whole
future—in the hands of God, and especially so if we feel we are suffering unjustly.
– David Martyn Lloyd-Jones
There is probably no more beautiful quality in a Christian than meekness. It is the
humble strength that belongs to the man who has learned to submit to difficulties
(difficult experiences and difficult people), knowing that in everything God is
working for his good. The meek man is the one who has stood before God’s
judgment and abdicated all his supposed ‘rights.’ He has learned, in gratitude for
God’s grace, to submit himself to the Lord and to be gentle with sinners.
– Sinclair Ferguson

Happy Are Those Who Are Poor in Spirit – A Few Reflections and A Prayer

The Sermon on the Mount describes what human life and human community looks like when they come under the gracious rule of King Jesus… Still today the indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom of God is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty… Thus, to be ‘poor in spirit’ is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, indeed our spiritual bankruptcy, before God…

Right at the beginning of his sermon, Jesus contradicts all human judgments and all nationalistic expectations of the kingdom of God. The kingdom is given to the poor, not the rich; the feeble, not the mighty; to little children humble enough to accept it, not to soldiers who boast that they can obtain it by their own prowess.     – John Stott

We are beggars. This is true!                                                               –  Martin Luther

The kingdom of God can only be received by empty hands. Jesus warns against two things: worldly self-sufficiency which leads you to trust yourself and your own resources so that you don’t need God; and religious self-sufficiency where you trust your religious attitude and moral life and don’t need Jesus.           – Michael Crosby

He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit. – John Calvin

Blessed are the spiritual zeros – the spiritually bankrupt, deprived and deficient, the spiritual beggars, those without a wisp of religion – when the kingdom of heaven comes upon them.                                                                                      – Dallas Willard

King Jesus, You have blessed us by causing us to see our need of You. Thank You for making us members of Your heavenly kingdom. But we continue to drink too deeply of the haughty, self-assertive, and self-sufficient disposition that the world so much admires and praises. We resist Your kingship and refuse to bow to Your lordship.We confess that too often we covet the honor and riches of the mighty. We ask Your forgiveness for the times that we have been proud and unmerciful to those we considered less fortunate than ourselves. Keep us ever mindful of our spiritual poverty and of Your amazing grace and liberating gospel that saves us from the power of sin in our daily lives. AMEN.

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart for They Shall See God

This is surely the most amazing thing that has ever been said to man, that you and I, such as we are, pressed with all the problems and troubles of this modern world, are going to see Him [the Lord] face to face. If we but grasped this, it would revolutionize our lives…Do you not agree that this is the biggest, the most momentous, the most tremendous thing that you can ever be told? Is it your supreme object, desire, and ambition to see God?          – Martin Lloyd-Jones

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15). To behold God’s face and to be changed by that vision into his image, so as to partake in his righteousness, this is my noble ambition; and in the prospect of this I cheerfully waive all my present enjoyments. My satisfaction is to come; I do not look for it as yet. I shall sleep awhile, but I shall wake at the sound of the trumpet; wake to everlasting joy, because I arise in your likeness, O my God and King! Glimpses of glory we have here below to stay our sacred hunger, but the full feast awaits us in the upper skies. Compared with this deep, ineffable, eternal fullness of delight, the joys of the worldlings are as a glowworm to the sun, or the drop of a bucket to the ocean.                        – Charles Spurgeon

The pure in heart are blessed because they will see God. Although this will not be ultimately true until the new heaven and earth, yet it is also true even now. Our perception of God and his ways, as well as our fellowship with him, depends on our purity of heart. The visio Dei (vision of God)—what an incentive to purity.                                                            – Don Carson

 

 

When The Gentle King of Glory Comes In

When the gentle King of Glory comes into the citadel of your heart, his gentleness begins to pervade your life. We often think of a gentle or meek person as weak-willed, quiet, and reserved. However, a succinct description of gentleness/meekness is: The readiness to suffer wrong by entrusting everything to God. The biblical symbol of meekness is the lamb, which is silent before the shearers.

Gentleness/meekness (in Greek, praotes) refers to being self-controlled. It is the opposite of vindictiveness and revenge. The word is used of animals tamed in order to harness their strength for constructive not destructive means. Meekness is power under control.

Charles Hodge defines meekness as, “that unresisting, uncomplaining disposition of mind, which enables us to bear without irritation or resentment the faults and injuries of others.” It involves a surrendered will toward the Lord, i.e., His providence and His Word.

The meek person lacks two things: A self-will toward God and an ill-will toward others!

Why is it that we are called to come to Jesus when we are weary and loaded with the heavy burdens of sin and the brokenness of life in our fallen world? Matthew 11:29 declares that Jesus is meek and lowly in heart.

In your weariness are you coming to the King and treating Him like the King that He is? To whom do you need to show some gentleness today – maybe someone who has injured you? If we’ve experienced His gentleness, how can we not extend it to others?