Sabbath, January 21, 2012
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.
“‘Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly.’ Psalm 138:6. Those who reveal the meek and lowly spirit of Christ are tenderly regarded by God. They may be looked upon with scorn by the world, but they are of great value in His sight. Not only the wise, the great, the beneficent, will gain a passport to the heavenly courts; not only the busy worker, full of zeal and restless activity. No; the poor in spirit, who crave the presence of an abiding Christ, the humble in heart, whose highest ambition is to do God’s will–these will gain an abundant entrance. They will be among that number who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ‘Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.’ Revelation 7:15.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 301, 302.
First qualification for Jesus’ kingdom
1. What did Jesus demonstrate and explain about the meaning of meekness?
Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“Those who have felt their need of Christ, those who have mourned because of sin and have sat with Christ in the school of affliction, will learn meekness from the divine Teacher.
“Patience and gentleness under wrong were not characteristics prized by the heathen or by the Jews. The statement made by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that he was the meekest man upon the earth, would not have been regarded by the people of his time as a commendation; it would rather have excited pity or contempt. But Jesus places meekness among the first qualifications for His kingdom. In His own life and character the divine beauty of this precious grace is revealed.
“Jesus, the brightness of the Father’s glory, thought ‘it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.’ Philippians 2:6, 7, R.V., margin. Through all the lowly experiences of life He consented to pass, walking among the children of men, not as a king, to demand homage, but as one whose mission it was to serve others. There was in His manner no taint of bigotry, no cold austerity. The world’s Redeemer had a greater than angelic nature, yet united with His divine majesty were meekness and humility that attracted all to Himself.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 13, 14.
2. Why is self-centeredness so destructive? What will be the experience of all who become servants of Christ?
Philippians 2:3, 4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
“The independence and self-supremacy in which we glory are seen in their true vileness as tokens of servitude to Satan. Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that our highest place is at the feet of our Saviour. We look to Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide….
“‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself’ (Matthew 11:29; 16:24); let self be dethroned and no longer hold the supremacy of the soul….
“It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 15, 14-16.
Receiving Christ in the soul
3. What does God require?
Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
“The words and law of God, written in the soul, and exhibited in a consecrated, holy life, have a powerful influence to convict the world. Covetousness, which is idolatry, and envy, and love of the world, will be rooted from the hearts of those who are obedient to Christ, and it will be their pleasure to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. Oh, how much is comprised in this, walking humbly before God! The law of God, if written in the heart, will bring the mind and will into subjection to the obedience of Christ.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 201.
“When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Saviour’s life on earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. While angry enemies were constantly pursuing Him, He said, ‘He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.’ John 8:29. No storm of human or satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.’ ‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.’ John 14:27; Matthew 11:29. Bear with Me the yoke of service for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity, and you will find the yoke easy and the burden light.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp.15, 16.
4. What example did Jesus give throughout His life? What will all who follow Him experience?
John 13:4, 5 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
John 13:14, 15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Philippians 2:8, 9 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
“Jesus emptied Himself, and in all that He did, self did not appear. He subordinated all things to the will of His Father. When His mission on earth was about to close, He could say, ‘I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.’ John 17:4. And He bids us, ‘Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.’…
“The meekness of Christ, manifested in the home, will make the inmates happy; it provokes no quarrel, gives back no angry answer, but soothes the irritated temper and diffuses a gentleness that is felt by all within its charmed circle. Wherever cherished, it makes the families of earth a part of the one great family above.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 14, 16, 17.
5. What is God’s instruction concerning revenge? How do God’s children treat their enemies?
Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Proverbs 25:21, 22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.
“Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies. The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and can bring only evil to him who cherishes it. Lowliness of heart, that meekness which is the fruit of abiding in Christ, is the true secret of blessing. ‘He will beautify the meek with salvation.’ Psalm 149:4.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 17.
A place of righteousness
6. What will be the inheritance of the meek?
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Psalm 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
“The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. ‘We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ ‘There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.’ 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3.
“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.’ Isaiah 49:10.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 17, 18.
7. Compare the heavenly home with what this earth is like.
Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
“Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. ‘There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying:… for the former things are passed away.’ ‘The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.’ Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24….
“In the City of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close….
“‘I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.’ Revelation 21:22. The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son.” –The Great Controversy, p. 676.
“Happiness drawn from earthly sources is as changeable as varying circumstances can make it; but the peace of Christ is a constant and abiding peace. It does not depend upon any circumstances in life, on the amount of worldly goods or the number of earthly friends. Christ is the fountain of living water, and happiness drawn from Him can never fail.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 16.