LightHouse Network

Seeking Christian Truth

The meek shall the earth inherit

Written By: admin - Sep• 02•15

Posted by Ray Spraul

Galatians 5:23

(23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

Meekness (gentleness, NKJV) is so important that it is the third characteristic Jesus mentions in His foundational teaching, the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Obviously, the world’s ideal of the perfect man is very different from His. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus’ inheritance of the earth.

He was not the first to state the importance of meekness, but He was the first to collect, in what we call the Beatitudes, a God-authored, organized list of the characteristics of the perfect man. Others have made lists of outstanding virtues, but Jesus’ list is unique in that He relates them to the Kingdom of God and in the depth and breadth of what He meant.

How can this be, though? Given how modern man considers those who are meek, His statement about meekness is almost incomprehensible. The world would word this, “Blessed are the strong, who can hold their own.” The world favors more conspicuous and so-called heroic virtues. Those who are strongly—almost fiercely—competitive, aggressive, and assertive are the ones who receive recognition, admiration, and reward. Do they not seem to end up on top of the pile, possessing the most and best despite other obvious and perhaps even offensive flaws in their character?

On the surface, this beatitude seems to have little meaning, and what there is seems to contradict the plain facts of everyday life. No sensible person, looking about the world or studying history, could sincerely accept it at face value. Unfortunately, many Christians have ignored it in practice, perhaps regretting that no doubt it should be true, but that it certainly is not so in the real world. Rather than taking God at His Word, they remain conformed to the world’s standard of practice, missing the benefits meekness will produce in their lives. Remember, Jesus Himself says this: Blessed—happy, favored—are the meek.

So we must decide. Jesus either meant what he said, or He did not; He either knew what He was talking about, or He did not. Jesus is either a reliable guide, or He is not. We must either take Jesus seriously or not, and if we do not, we should drop His teaching altogether. If we decide to straddle the fence and strive for some characteristics but not others, we become hypocrites. Of course, the true Christian will accept it, learn from it and grow in it.

What Jesus says is a very practical doctrine. It may at first seem impractical, foolish, and even wild, but He was no sentimental dreamer who dealt in empty platitudes. He was an unflinching realist who has given us a great key to prosperity and dominion under God’s purpose. One commentator, Emmet Fox, author of an entire book on the Sermon on the Mount, states that this beatitude “is among the half dozen most important verses in the Bible.”

“The meek shall the earth inherit,” and when they do, they will proceed to govern it. Meekness is a virtue God has determined those who will have dominion in His Family must possess. Without it, will we even be there?

— John W

God calls upon the nations to devour His people

Written By: admin - Aug• 29•15

Isaiah 56:9-12

 

(9) All you beasts of the field, come to devour,

All you beasts in the forest.

(10) His watchmen are blind,

They are all ignorant;

They are all dumb dogs,

They cannot bark;

Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

(11) Yes, they are greedy dogs

Which never have enough.

And they are shepherds

Who cannot understand;

They all look to their own way,

Every one for his own gain,

From his own territory.

(12) ” Come,” one says, “I will bring wine,

And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink;

Tomorrow will be as today,

And much more abundant.”

 

Do these two prophecies describe America? “Everyone is given to covetousness,” “greedy dogs which never have enough.” A Protestant saying is that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” An anonymous wit paralleled this, saying the U.S. motto should be, “The chief end of man is to glorify prosperity and enjoy it forever.” A European observer wrote that “desire is enthroned in the mind of the American consumer.” We are immersed in a constant barrage of advertisement. Our whole economy works to stimulate our desire for food, clothing, automobiles, furniture, jewelry, and travel, filling our minds with the “gimmies.” It is difficult to resist unless our focus is disciplined toward going in the right direction.

 

Because of these sins, God calls upon the nations to devour His people. The leaders are just as blind to the nation’s real needs because, instead of speaking out and acting upon moral issues, they are embroiled in their own lusts. While America sinks into the quicksand of that way of life, they proclaim an even better and brighter tomorrow!

 

Another reason why coveting has the power to destroy the coveter is revealed in the credit purchasing system that dominates the American economy. Buying on credit is based upon the idea of possessing something before one can afford it. Advertising usually accompanies credit, and the two of them together seductively lure the unwary and weak. Yet because of the charges collected by the lender, credit actually makes things even more expensive, causing greater debt!

 

But, God asks in Jeremiah 6:9-13, who will listen? People will not listen to such simple wisdom as delaying a purchase to pay in cash to save money. They will not listen even when told they will be able to make more purchases because they will have more money to spend. They do not listen because their minds are on their sin. The cycle of sin continues onto other sins their covetousness motivates.

 

This is why tithing comes as such a shock to many new brethren. As a nation, we are living way over our heads. When we learn of tithing, the penalty for our prior stealing from God really hurts. We then have to learn to pay in adversity. Covetousness has boomeranged and caught us in a way we never dreamed.

 

— John W

God as Protection

Written By: admin - Aug• 27•15

God as Protection

and Refuge!

Repent From

Earthly Sources as Your

Protection and Refuge!

You Can Depend on God!

One example of what God considers “other gods” are the places, people, circumstances, and things in which we seek refuge.

The Bible says, “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge…Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place! See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me'” (Deut. 32:37-39).

God wants you to hide yourself inside His closeness to you. The way God sees it, anything else is idolatry.

That God wants to be your God means it is His full intention to be to you what you need as a strong place of refuge! David said, “I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge” (Psa. 71:7). The same can be true for you!

In today’s language a place of refuge has to do with the ways we feel secure and soothe ourselves. It is right that you want to feel secure. God designed you to need a safe place of refuge. He also designed you to love your refuge. It is just that God wants to be your refuge—not anything else.

The Bible shows a direct relationship between making God your refuge and quenching your thirsty desires with His presence.

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:7-9). Please note that the people who “drink” God’s presence are those who make Him their refuge.

You can find refuge in God’s presence because the Bible says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8). Repentance is about softening your heart into believing and acting on that wonderful truth.

Making God your refuge is all about hiding yourself inside His presence here and all around you. King David wrote, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge…” (Psa. 73:28). We need to depend on the “nearness of God” because when we find refuge and security by earthly means, it is always close to us—a child’s blanket, our personality, our doctrines, the money in our pocket, hard shells of self-protection.

God designed you to need something close to you in order to find refuge. God knows what you need! It is His desire to draw near to you and be your God–more fully than what you may have ever known was possible.

When you get hurt—for whatever reason—soothing yourself with God’s presence is far more effective than anything else you could depend on.

Repent of trusting the nearness of earthly sources to you. The refuge that you need close to you is God. Everything else will hurt you. Everything else is idolatry.

You Don’t Have to Hold Back!

The Bible tells us, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psa. 24:3,4a). That verse is not intended to make you feel hopeless.

Think of repentance as purifying yourself by turning from earthly ways of finding refuge and drawing near to God. It is the people who purify themselves by directing their heart to depend on God—as their only and most loved refuge—who are the ones that God invites to enter and drink from the fountain of God.

You don’t have to stay away! The Bible says, “…none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned” (Psa. 34:22). When it is your intention to make God’s presence your refuge you don’t have to hold back or stay away because of fear. Get your heart to believe it!

*******

Don’t worry that you may not know how to draw near to God as these verses describe. Doing so is something you will learn because of repentance. But don’t underestimate how much repentance will help you. Directing your heart toward God helps you to better understand spiritual things–that is just how it works.

*******

Let me quote it again, “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge…Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place! See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me'” (Deut. 32:37-39).

Make God your God–make it your intention to repent by continually receiving God’s presence and loving His closeness as your most enjoyed place of refuge.