Blessed are the meek.. (Part II)

sheep-meek-2

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.    (Part 2)                                                                      Matthew: 5:5 

Excerpt from Epilogue: “The Powerful Pilgrimage of a Suffering Saint”

Experience the Mirrored Mountains of Meeknessland of the beatitudes, Marlin J. Harris, Let the Beatitudes be my attitude in you

Near the center of the Land of The Beatitudes stands the Mirrored Mountains.  Meekness is acquired in the ascent to the top.  In this summit you must submit yourself ever more to Jesus so that he will be more visible in you and be clearly seen in your reflection. Following is a scene from “The Powerful Pilgrimage of a Suffering Saint”.  Just imagine that this is you making the climb instead of Wesley Baker!

mirrored mountains, Marlin. J Harris, Let the Beatitudes be my attitude in you “Wesley, you have a difficult task ahead of you,” Jesus said. “You must forget yourself—your selfish ambitions, self-seeking motives, any self centered attitude. You must learn to let self take a back seat.”

“This is what meekness means, my brother,” Jesus continued, “Meekness is all about going on, and that’s what you’re about to do for me. You are going to negotiate this slippery, mirrored mountain to its summit. This exercise will be a doubly difficult because you will see your reflection with each step. Self will be constantly looking back at you, demanding your attention and revealing your every emotion and reaction. As difficult as it will be, this climb will take you to higher heights with me. As you reach the summit, your reflection will change. Instead of your face, you will begin to see mine.”

mirrored mountain Wes was puzzled, but more than ready to begin the climb. Seeing his face at every step and turn was an uncomfortable experience, and the mountain was steeper than it had appeared below. His reflection showed his mounting fear. “My me is too big, because that’s all I’m seeing,” he thought. “Where’s Jesus in me? I don’t see him at all!”

At that precise moment, he noticed a slight flicker in the glass. Wes saw gentle eyes gazing Jesus' facelovingly back at him as he clung to the mountain face. He couldn’t look down—it was too frightening and paralyzing, but he couldn’t stop climbing—he was only halfway up. Gradually, he began to feel the ability to let himself go and let Jesus become more visible in the reflective glass. “This is what I must do to make it to the top,” he realized, thinking to himself. The kind eyes reflected back more clearly, and then a radiant smile appeared, encouraging him to press upward.

He knew his mind had to be absolutely on Christ. Only Christ could control each careful movement upward. And with each supreme effort, both physical and mental, Jesus’ face became more evident, giving to Wes the strength and determination to make it to the top. Fear was gone, replaced by the sole desire to let Christ become as much of him as possible. With one last push, Wes made it! And the face of Christ was no longer a reflection but a reality, as Jesus stood there smiling down at him.

“My Lord and my God!” Wes exclaimed, embracing his SaviorJesus hug.

“Yes, Wesley. I came to save you, which is as far as many of my followers ever decide to travel with me,” Jesus said. “I died to also be their Lord, a generous and loving Lord, to bring them into the fullness of themselves. Yet they are unwilling to make the hard climb against self that you just experienced. You now know the limiting factor of self, and you have crossed this barrier that Satan employs so insidiously among my people.”

Blessed are the meek, those possessors of gentle strength: dedicated, directed, and determined to reflect Christ here on earth. Their reward, both earthly and afterward, will be grander and richer than this world could ever know, understand, or appreciate, because they are living in heaven while on earth and experiencing God’s original desire for intimate fellowship with his most treasured creation, us.

Blessed are the meek….

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

Beatitudes -3Matthew: 5:5

Part 1

In our Beatitudes Quest we now recognize the greatness of God and who we are before Him. We have turned over to Him all the burdens weighing us down. Is there another major distraction detouring us from God?

What about the “mighty me”?
By far the most popular electronic devices in today’s society are the ipod, iphone, ipad— just visitingamazing devices designed to keep us connected to our family and friends, but in reality where do they really focus us? Whoever is holding them is generally in their “own” little world.
The first two Beatitudes have taught us that “we” are not the most important. God is much more important. This Beatitude takes us to the next level in our relationship with Him!
Living a “Turn the Cheek” Mentality
Turn the other cheekJesus tells us that “whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”. (Matthew 5:39) This is not our natural reaction and what exactly does it mean? To let people brutalize us, and not put up a fight? No! Jesus is saying, whatever you are doing for the Kingdom of God—do not let yourself be detoured nor distracted from it. Keep on keeping on, regardless of what happens. This is how Jesus’ lived his thirty-three years on this earth—steadily stepping forward, strategically and daily, toward his goal of redemption for the world. Every step, every decision, every word was made within this grand, eternal, and all-inclusive goal.

To live this way we must keep our “me” in check. We have to put him or her in the backGod over the meek seat and not let it drive our emotions! That’s not easy. Don’t let your “me” deny you from achieving His purpose in your life. Meekness is “gentle strength” and Christ must be in charge for this to happen. It is more of him, and less of “me” living.

Who was the meekest man who ever lived? 

MosesMoses. (Numbers 12:3) Many would not think of Moses as meek since he led the Israelites across the desert for 40 years to the Promised Land  But in reality, Moses, put his “self” away and let God do all the leading. 

 

Moses’ life illustrates how meekness makes a life effective for the Lord. This selfless servant of God most likely experienced more face-to-face conversations with the Lord than any other Biblical character other than his own son, Jesus. Their dialogues were sincere, honest, and heart-to heart “as a man speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11)  Moses’ meekness enabled the young nation of Israel to arrive at their Promised Land, their inheritance. Meekness will always produce an inheritance.

 Moses music video

Like Moses, we must daily seek God to direct and oversee our duties, and guide every planned and spontaneous interaction. We must acquire “the mindset of meekness” which is the crucifixion of our prideful nature. Our world is to revolve around Christ, not us. Any me-first attitude must become me-after God as we permit him to come fully to life within us.

Such an orientation will lead us in only one direction and the right one— toward God’s will for our lifBeatitudes stairwaye, steadily centered on God, reveling in his blessings to anticipate the day he will say to us, “Well done, my good, faithful [and meek] servant. Enter into the kingdom of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21). Our footsteps must imitate the pattern of Jesus’, meekly moving steadily forward to accomplish God’s mission for our life.

Be not consumed with self and be filled daily with the gentle spirit,

strength, and direction of Jesus Christ in your dealings and confrontations

in life, and you will be conquerors of this world

Part 2 later this week

Blessed are those who mourn–Matthew 5:4

Beatitudes -5Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

When sorrow strikes us like a tsunami, leaving only bitter remains ofMourning grief, sorrow, and despair is when we discover the true realness of our relationship with God—or more accurately, his relationship with us. In these moments of desolation and desperation, when we are totally absorbed in our own grief, God comes to find us. “How do we respond?” Do we let him in to minister to our heart, or do we continue to wallow in self pity, anger, and bitterness—holding resentment, having bad feelings about ourselves, being angry at God or someone else? Mourning equals a broken heart.

broken heart God seeks to be closest to us in the darkest moments of our pilgrimage on earth. What other faith or religion offers such consolation? Our God is with us, whatever problem with which we are dealing. He wants us to turn it over to him. Our dependence on him must be as solid as stone. We must trust God to carry it for us and handle it according to his perfect will. In Psalms it says, “Thou has taken account of my wandering, and put my tears in thy bottle.” (Psalms 56:8) God stores up every tear you have ever cried. He treasures you that much!tears in a bottle

His plan for you, in spite of your problems, will be only for your best. His promise is that our mourning is met with incomparable comforting from above. In the First Beatitude we began to discover the grandeur and greatness of God. How can you not release your problems to a God like that!

Marshlands of MourningIn the “The Marshlands of Mourning”—Jesus is reaches down to remove us from the burdens that are weighing us down! Our comfort and consolation begin when we call on God. He will strengthen, teach, encourage, and exhort us. He will show us where we went wrong to give us wisdom and make us a better person. Our Lord looks to the future not to the past. He gives us “a future and a hope”! He is our Rock!

Jesus Christ is our consolation experience! Rivers of living water flow out of Christ’s heart. “Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38). As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water willJesus is the Well be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

The “Beatitude Moment” for those who mourn:
What burdens do you carry that need to be released and given to the God of the Universe? Hand them over to Jesus and do not struggle with them any longer!

Only the living water of Christ in our distressed and parched hearts can provide the renewing consolation that restores our souls from the mourning we are experiencing, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. Ask him to flood you! Christ promises water that is never ending, spiritually powerful, and totally filling. Jesus is the water from the well. He is the crystal-clear water coursing through us to A new morningcarry away our sorrows and burdens. “My peace I give to you,” he promises in John 14:27. After we have tasted him, nothing other can console us. Our mourning converts to peace and joy. Our mourning is now a brand new morning!

Tapstry

Our Tapestry of Life
There is a story of a man who arrived in heaven and began to question the many trials and tribulations he had confronted in life on earth. The Lord pulled out a thready, unkempt piece of cloth to showtapestry bottom the man. It looked so disorderly and disarrayed that he gasped at its appearance. Then Jesus turned it over to display a lovely, intricately designed tapestry and commented to the man, “What you were seeing was the underside, but God was weaving a beautiful and powerful story with your life.”tapstry top

Many times, we as mourners can only see the underside in this life. We must trust the true pattern that the Master is weaving with our lives, and submit our threads each day to him. Our mourning will produce a majestic tapestry for his purposes.

The Beatitude for mourners grants freedom from the worry, want, and care of each day and enables us to live above life’s circumstances. We will not be sucked into the emotional rollercoaster life that Satan delights to throw us in!

We discover the delight of complete dependence on God’s comfort and absolute relief from daily cares and burdens as we turn them over to him. Return from whatever crises you are experiencing.

Release your daily “threads” to Him.  Let God dream His dream in you!

Release your threads to Him

God uses the difficult circumstances in life to purify us as a refining fire. Lord, please work in my life to make me purely dependent upon you.
—T. W. Hunt and Claude N. King, “Mind of Christ”

Blessed are those who mourn, for they find a whole new morning and depend upon God in a whole new way!

Thoughts for meditation:

• What is breaking God’s heart today? Be used by God to help resolve it.
• What is breaking my heart today? Give it to God.

WGGS-16 Interview on Beatitudes Book

This a video of an interview on Greenville, South Carolina’s Christian television station, WGGS-16 with hosts, Pastor Donnie and his wife, Dana, O’Shields, conducted on March 26th. Their passion for the Beatitudes was overwhelming! Hope that you enjoy viewing it!

God bless you… Marlin

The Poor in Spirit (excerpts from book)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.                                                                            Matthew 5:3

       Paul in the LightRegardless of our position, power, and prestige in life, we must all be laid low like Paul in his encounter with Christ in order to comprehend our true spiritual reality before God Almighty. We must experience a face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounter with Jesus,—maybe not as dramatic as Paul’s, but just as personal. We must leave behind our personal itineraries, prideful identities, and unyielding ideas as to what we will accomplish in this life. In return, God fills us with himself and his purpose to make us useful instruments in his kingdom. This lock-step relationship with Christ is where the Beatitudes are designed to carry us—but only after our very own Damascus Road experience.

    But, salvation, in all its unbelievable richness, is merely the first stage of spiritual existence in the realm of believing. A new dawningSalvation is situated on the frontier of the Beatitudes. We cannot become spiritually complacent with this first stop and become tenants in the land of lukewarmness, as many are tempted to do, having achieved their objective of eternal security. God desires so much more so that we may become who he created us to be.

   Marlin J. Harris, Let the Beatitudes be my attitude in you, cross, enter by the crossWe bring from our salvation experience only the cross of Christ. It is our sole possession as we enter the Land of the Beatitudes. No worldly aspirations can accompany us. We must crucify and leave nailed behind any reliance upon a works mentality or other spiritual pretenses.

    Our remaking process in the Beatitudes quest embarks with the unearthing of our abject spiritual poverty. hands prayingFrom a humanly perspective, the phrase “blessed are the poor in spirit” appears to be contradictory in meaning. We do not normally equate great blessing with a state of poverty, but in God’s economy, meaningful equations are often the reverse of human logic. We equate blessings with abundance and misfortune with scarcity. To the contrary, God equates a blessed life as one absent of the luxurious encumbrances of this world, and misfortune is to be weighted down with these earthly treasures. Consider the sum total of possessions that Jesus had at the end of his life. He had only his robe, which was confiscated by the very soldiers who crucified him. This lack of worldly possessions gave him great freedom to respond to God’s daily direction. No worldly considerations crowded his judgment—only what God inspired him to accomplish in that day.

The poor in spirit approach our God with quiet and confident desperation. John the apostle powerfully expresses this attitude in John's StoryTim LaHaye’s and Jerry B. Jenkins’s book, John’s Story: The Last Eyewitness.We face the ugliness of our own humanity. I cannot stand to be alone in my own presence for another instant! We must feel that God had thrust a lantern into our most inner self and searched us for every weakness, frailty, and sin. We must face the ugliness of our own humanity and be brought to tears.”

    We leave behind our ugliness and deplorable sinful state as we comprehend in our heart of hearts that Jesus’ great sacrifice eliminated once and for all our numerous affronts to God, just as he did with Paul. He has forgotten them in the blood of his Son, and so must we. Do not drag behind you the weight of sins that God has forgiven and forgotten. Jesus is the great chain-breakerChrist on the mountain and releases us from this past. We are heading now into a new land where our future is foremost, and with each step forward, we are farther from our sinful past. The past no longer counts in the Land of the Beatitudes.

    Spiritual poverty is a gigantic twofold realization—acknowledging his vast greatness and grasping our impoverished spiritual state. Our heart and mind must grasp both of these opposing realities in this first Beatitude.

Jesus holding the world

    God is forever; our days are numbered. He is present in the entire universe; we are confined to a single place and time. His knowledge is inexhaustible; ours is finite and limited. He creates into being with the spoken word; we strive to fashion with our minds and hands. His will is permanent and purposeful; ours is fickle and floundering. His character is pure and holy; our imagined innocence is corrupted with sin. His love is unconditional; ours is selfish and reciprocal. His mercy forgives and forgets; ours is self serving with a memory. God is so far beyond us, and yet our creator seeks his lost creation.

    We are paupers who finally find the splendor of our king. Our poverty enables him to make us rich! He is the eternal oasis in our spiritual desert.

   God’s desire is not to lord over us, but rather to know us through a deep and loving relationship. He yearns to embrace us with his love and to make us the very best we can be. What a Lord and Savior!

    We saints are still in reality spiritual beggars and continually must thank God for the undeserved grace bestowed upon us through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. We can only receive. We can offer nothing. We beggars are invited to enter God’s majestic throne room where he expects his children to mature in their sainthood, not just meander around the periphery of this holy place to which we have wondrous access.Jesus awaits us in Heaven

   Understanding our spiritual poverty before God is the passageway to the land of spiritual growth. Spiritual poorness produces spiritual riches that we have the privilege to experience and relish every single day here on earth and throughout eternity. James 4:10 exclaims, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and he will exalt you.”

    The poor in spirit are blessed to experience heaven on earth. Theirs is the “kingdom of heaven” whether here or there. They desperately seek God because they realize that they desperately need God. Their highest priority is daily communion with him in order to contemplate his greatness and receive spiritual instruction and insights that further reveal the deep realities of his kingdom.

    The Beatitudes are not a lazy-river experience in which you just drift along and enjoy the scenery. No, the Beatitudes will sweep you into a new land where racing rapids will carry you through rough waters, cascades, and steep spills, each with an overpowering cleansing effect on your heart, soul, and spirit. Occasionally, these rapids will give way to quieter waters, but get ready. Another spiritual thrill always awaits you!

    Jesus has come so far to find you, to save you, and to bring you to and through the door of the first Beatitude. Here the poor in spirit bow in brokenness to comprehend God’s great reality and the richness of his kingdom.

Jesus hug

Consider yourself now a spiritual knight, equipped with his light within and ready to commence your quest for the remaining Beatitudes. Prepare yourself for quite a journey!

Our prayer to live out the Beatitude of the Poor in Spirit:
Lord, reveal my true spiritual poverty and your great majesty and riches to me. Lead me into an ever richer and more sincere relationship with you, my Savior. Help me to become the who you want me to be.”

None at all is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.    Jeremiah 10:6

For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.   Psalm 51:3

Thought for meditation:
• Ask God how he will amaze you today, and watch for his answers. They will be totally different each day.