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Friday

18

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Watching Your Words

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The birds sing among the branches. Psalm 104:12 Watch your words | See more at hopereflected.com

Watching your words

If you follow along on our blog (www.hopereflected.com), then you know how much Wes and I love bird watching. From robins and blue jays to cardinals and mourning doves, there is something so soothing and therapeutic about watching God’s creations live their lives and interact in our yard. When I told him my column this week would be about the tongue, Wes commented about how so often we think of “the tongue” as something that gets us into trouble, when in reality, our tongues were created to bring glory to God. And not just our tongues, but the tongues of the birds out side as well. Birds sing to attract mates, birds call to protect their territory or alert others in their flock of food or danger. And sometimes, birds just sing. The Bible tells us in Psalm 66:4 that all the earth worships God and sings praises to Him.

What’s the first thing – in nature – that you hear when you wake up in the morning? Likely birds singing (or possibly dogs barking). If you’re into whale watching, it’s a fact that you’re most likely to see whales at their most active and vocal first thing in the morning. As part of God’s creation, we are also created to glorify Him with our lives and our voices – and that includes the words that leave our lips. The Westminster Catechism says that, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” That starts when we awake in the morning!

What prompted me to write about the power of the tongue this week was reading Psalm 141, where verse 3 says, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Many times throughout scripture, we are told of the perils of the tongue and how important it is to be mindful of our words and actions. You might think that guarding your tongue isn’t of much significance, but even Jesus “held His peace.” (Matthew 26:63). If Jesus knew the importance of guarding His tongue – especially right before He was crucified – we should also be mindful of His example.

Through scripture we read about the bad implications of the tongue, but we should also consider what the Bible says about the blessings that come when you guard your tongue and watch your words:

  1. You will gain understanding. “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28) Sometimes it can be so tempting to interrupt and get your two cents in before the person you’re conversing with finishes their thought. Consider how the quality of our conversations would improve if only we would take the time to listen to the thoughts of others before responding. As it says in Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” What you say reflects what’s in your heart. When you listen rather than speak, you gain understanding.
  2. You will have fewer regrets. “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23) Like turning jelly back into powder or putting an egg back in its shell after it’s been broken, once your words leave your lips, you can’t take them back. This is a lesson we are all constantly learning. Our words have consequences. You may have heard the quote, “Our words are free; it’s how we use them that may cost us.” How true it is! Just remember the next time you’re tempted that it’s not necessary to react to everything you notice.
  3. You will encourage others. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 15:4) Our words have the power to build others up, or to tear others down (Proverbs 15:1) – especially when we speak out of turn or talk about others behind their back. Proverbs 16:24 says that “gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Knowing this, why not use your words and your tongue to edify others?

Isaiah 55:12 says, “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” God’s creation, even the trees of the field, have their own way of speaking. Before you let those words roll off your tongue, consider who you’re directing the words at and the permanent impact that your words may have on the life of another.

Originally published as “Watching your words.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 10, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

16

August 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | The Sovereignty of God

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Wednesday Wisdom | The sovereignty of God (See more at hopereflected.com)

“When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” C.H. Spurgeon

When you’re going through a trial, how well do you sleep at night?

When you’re trusting the sovereignty of God, you’ve got the most comfortable, reassuring pillow there is.

Sure, it’s easier to say than to do, but there are seemingly endless verses throughout the Bible about trusting God and His sovereignty. So what are you waiting for?

No matter what you’re facing, claim God’s sovereignty to get you through it. Don’t forget that He is in control — and that can be a real challenge at times, can’t it?!

In times of trials, focus on the Bible verses (or better yet, commit them to memory!) that remind you of God’s strength, His power, His care, and His sovereignty:

  • Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. (Matthew 5:44)
  • And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  • Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
  • The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)
  • Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
  • I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
  • …God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. (Psalm 18:32-33)
  • But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. (2 Timothy 4:17)
  • Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. (Psalm 37:7)
  • Be strong and of a good courage. Do not be frightened, neither be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Remember, when you go through a trial, God’s sovereignty will be your rest. Keep your eyes on Him!

“When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” C.H. Spurgeon

 

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Tuesday

15

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Psalm 139

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the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." (Psalm 139:23) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Sometimes, you have a bad day. Sometimes, you have a series of bad days. Sometimes, it seems like your bad days just won’t end!

When you’re feeling like the whole world is against you, or you feel like you just can’t do anything right, remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 139.

God knows when you sit down, and He knows when you rise. He understands all of your thoughts, even if you don’t say them aloud or share them with anyone. God is your compass, and He knows all your ways. He knows every word on your tongue before you even think them. There is no where — no height and no depth — we can ever go that God is not already there. God cares for each one us, and He cared for us even before we were born!

We serve a God Who is bigger than a bad day (or a bad week)! We will all face days that are less than desirable, and in the end, as long as our hearts are right with the One Who matters, that is what matters. So the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

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Friday

11

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Hidden in Plain View

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"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 | See more at hopereflected.com

Hidden in plain view

Last week, I had a visit from my friend Rudy. We met last year, and since discovering our mutual Faith, Rudy has been a real encouragement to my heart. He has his own unique ministry, part of which includes taking the fronts of cards and photographs and putting them on wooden plaques to hang as art. Rudy gifted me a few of these plaques, including one with the name of JESUS painted between lines that reads “Some see Him; some don’t”. Besides being a conversation starter, Rudy’s gift is also thought provoking. While some of us accept Christ at a young age and live our lives trying to follow Him, others go their whole lives and either don’t realize – or refuse to acknowledge – that Christ is right in front of them. And why is that?

Perhaps you think all Christians are hypocritical. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience by going to church. Or maybe you think that Christians just can’t get along. Whatever you think, the fact is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, and we all sin. Yes, everyone! The only thing that makes Christians different is that we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts.

Whether or not you choose to accept it, Jesus is right in front of you. He knew about you even before you were born, and He gave His life so that you can have eternal life. You may not want to think about what happens when you die, or when your loved ones die, but Heaven and Hell are both very real places. What you choose to live for here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. So are you ready? And if you haven’t chosen to live for Christ, what have you got to lose?

Maybe you think you’ve already got it all together; perhaps you’re retired, you live in your dream home, and you drive a great car. Or, maybe you’re struggling, between jobs, and trying to make ends meet. Choosing to live for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that your life on earth is going to get any better or worse – in fact, now more than ever before, Christians are persecuted for what we believe, – however choosing a life for Christ means that you will always, always, have a built-in compass, a comforter, and a constant companion.

Christ is our compass.Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) You know that feeling when you’re lost, or when the GPS is slower than your car and you miss the turn off for your destination? When you choose to live for Christ, and you’re seeking Him daily, you don’t have to worry about getting lost. He’ll keep you on the right track, even if it means providing just enough light to take you to the next step. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Christ is our comforter. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Wherever you are, and whatever you’re going through, Christ is the Great Comforter. Matthew 5:4 tells us that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall comforted.” There is no person or thing on this earth that can compare to the comfort that Christ provides.

Christ is our constant companion. “And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14) David said in Psalm 46 that God is “ever present” with us. No matter where you are – both physically and emotionally – God is with you. All you have to do is talk to Him. It might sound silly to some, but from my own experience, when you make a point to pray and converse with God, He hears you, and He will show you in amazing ways that He hears you.

Christ will never turn away anyone who turns to Him.

Originally published as “Hidden in plain view.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 3, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

9

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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Encouragement from 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 | See more at hopereflected.com

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

If you’re looking for encouragement today, read through 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. There are so many great gifts of God packed in to these verses that we often take for granted how incredible our God is.

Think about it:

  • We have direct access to Jesus Christ
  • He is our God and our Father
  • He loves us!
  • He gives us everlasting — never-ending — consolation
  • He gives us good hope
  • He gives us grace
  • He comforts our hearts
  • He establishes us in every good word
  • He establishes us in every good work

If you’re feeling discouraged, or distant, take heart. We serve a God who loves us and whose compassions are new every morning. Meditate on His marvellous promises; He won’t let you down!

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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Friday

4

August 2017

Hope Reflected | When you feel like you’re not enough

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“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God Who has none.” A. W. Tozer | See more at hopereflected.com

When You Think You’re Not Enough

Last week, Wes and I were talking about how sometimes in the most seemingly ordinary of circumstances or conversations, God works. It’s an interesting thing to think about, that even the most normal of people like you and I can be used for God’s glory.

We see so many times throughout the Bible where God takes completely normal – and often unsuspecting – individuals and uses them for His glory. Just this past Sunday at church, the speaker was talking about David, and how as a youth David was a shepherd and was skilled at using a sling to throw rocks. What to the average onlooker seemed like not a huge deal, – or even an underwhelming ‘talent’, – God used for His glory, to slay a giant, and to start David down the path to be king.

Too often we limit God. We think that our faults or insecurities are going to prevent or prohibit Him from using us for His service, when actually the opposite is true!

Consider Moses, a man who we read in Exodus 4:10 and 11 had some kind of speech disorder and wasn’t comfortable speaking publicly. God used Moses to lead an entire people – the Israelites – out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and to scribe the Ten Commandments. For a man slow of speech and tongue, God raised him up to lead an entire nation.

Then there was Rahab, who had a career as a prostitute, and God used her to protect the Israelite spies in Jericho. Though her profession was questionable, Rahab demonstrated great faith and hospitality, and she was part of the lineage of Jesus Christ (her son Boaz married Ruth, and their son Obed was David’s grandfather).

The point is that God can – and loves – to use those who put their faith and trust in Him. You may think you’re too messed up, or that you’ve made too many mistakes, or that you can never move on because of your past choices; historically, God has a track record of taking those things that are broken and using them for His glory.

Jeremiah 18: 3-6 tells the story of the potter and the clay. “So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.’”

You may remember my column about the remnants, and it is true: Only God can take what is broken and make it into something brand new. As Wes says, “Broken eggs make great omelets.” God uses the broken flower bud to bring forth the new bloom; He uses the broken clouds to bring forth the rain; He uses broken ground to bring forth new crops; and He can your brokenness to prepare you for your future. All you have to do is put your trust in Him, and when you do, it’s incredible the fulfillment you will find. As A.W. Tozer once said, “How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God Who has none.”

Originally published as “When you feel like you’re not enough.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 27, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Tuesday

1

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Humility

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Humility is not thinking less of yourself, humility is thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis | See more at hopereflected.com

Humility

This week, as Wes and I were discussing the subject of humility and the many verses throughout the Bible that focus on the importance of being humble, I came across this acrostic from Living Free Indeed that is so amazing! I wanted to share it with you all along with some verses and thoughts on humility that really spoke to me.

H – Honouring God and others above yourself. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3) You may have heard the Ezra Benson quote that says, “Pride is concerned with who is right; humility is concerned with what is right.” It’s so true! Humility pays more attention to what is right rather than who is right; humility is not a public show where you try to make yourself look good. Humility means to honour God and others above your own self.

U – Understanding your need for grace. “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) We all fall short – part of humility is recognizing this and means you’re willing – and you want – to perform personal inventory of your heart.

M – Mourning over your sin. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9) We are all sinners. We all make mistakes, and for most of us, it happens several times each day! Part of humility is acknowledging and mourning our sin nature.

I – Illuminating God’s glory. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) When we think of Jesus, we are quick to think of the Saviour of the world as filled with strength and power (which He is!). That being said, Christ is also meek, and humble. He humbled Himself in the ultimate way when He went to the cross and died for you and me.

L – Look for ways to serve others. “Serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13) Rather than focusing on yourself, look for ways to serve others. As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”

I – Ignore your pride and Satan’s lies. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12) Pride will get you looking at your life from a telescope while analyzing everyone else under a microscope. Pride will tell you that it matters who is right, not what is right. Pride will judge others rather than remembering that God sees the intentions of each heart.

T – Trust God’s plan over your own. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10) God’s plan may not always make sense, and guess what? It’s not necessarily supposed to! (Isaiah 55:8-9) True humility means trusting God’s plan for your life, even when you don’t understand or only have just enough light for one step at a time. God sees the big picture; put your focus on Him.

Y – Yearning to worship. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Whether you like it or not, God created you, He created the world, and He is worthy of worship. We live in a broken world, and it’s only by putting our focus on Him that everything else comes in to perspective.

At first I questioned writing on the topic of humility, as Timothy Keller once said, “Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves.” But in our pursuit to live Christian lives, it’s important to remember the One Who so perfectly embodies true humility: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Christ wants to meet you where you have a need. Look to the One Who humbled Himself more than anyone else in history, yet at the same time exhibited more strength than we could ever imagine.

Originally published as “Humility.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 20, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Monday

31

July 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Verses about God’s Guidance

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Hope Reflected | Verses about God's Guidance. See more at hopereflected.com

Looking for wisdom and trying to go the right way? Look no further than our forever compass, the Lord! These verses about God’s guidance are an encouragement whether you’re preparing to make a big decision, or you need a reminder of the constant presence of God. Look to Him and you can’t go wrong!

  • “And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11
  • “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8
  • “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
  • “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.” Psalm 27:11
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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Friday

28

July 2017

Hope Reflected | Through the storm

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"In the time of trouble, He shall hide me." Psalm 27:5 | Through the storm See more at hopereflected.com

Through the storm

Sometimes in life it may seem as though you’re going through everything at once – professionally, personally, and internally – and it’s during times such as these, when you’re in the middle of the storms, that it’s important to remember that storms are only temporary. It is in the storms that we have the ability to grow the most – and to grow closer to God.

How many times have we read in the book of Exodus how God parted the Red Sea for Moses, allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry ground and cross to safety while being pursued by their enemies? We’ve heard the event shared time after time, and it’s easy to become desensitized to the significance of this account. “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)

Anything stand out to you about this selection of scripture? It says that God divided the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites so they could cross to safety. Author Brad Wilcox puts it like this: “God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Sometimes we can hear a truth over and over again, but until it’s explained in the simplest of terms, we don’t understand the breadth of it.

God’s not necessarily going to remove our problems, but He has promised to help us through whatever storms we’re facing. God didn’t remove the Red Sea or eliminate it from the picture; He divided it and helped the Israelites through it.

Consider also how many times reading through the psalms that perhaps you’ve breezed over the sacred truth David wrote in Psalm 27:5: “for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” In the Old Testament tabernacle, the secret place of the tabernacle was sacred. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter the secret place of the tabernacle, and even then only once per year. Imagine the significance of David to say in Psalm 27:5 that in the time of trouble, God hides him in the secret place of His tabernacle!

What’s amazing is that David wasn’t the only one who could say this. In the time of trouble – and any time – God hides us in the secret place of His tabernacle. He wants to take us in and protect us; all we have to do is put our trust in Him. Whatever problems you’re facing and whatever storms you’re battening down to get through, you don’t have to face them alone.

You may be skeptical and think that it won’t make a difference if you put your trust in God. But consider this – God’s not worried about the storm because He controls it, so who better to trust in and focus on? “Then he got in the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’” Rather than putting your focus on the furiousness of the storm, put your focus on the One Who controls the storm.

Originally published as “Through the storm.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 13, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Monday

24

July 2017

Hope Reflected | Meekness

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Meekness isn't weakness; it's strength under control. | Hope Reflected Read more at hopereflected.com

Meekness

Sunday is a day that both Wes and I look forward to each week. Not only is it the start of a new week, the Sabbath brings with it an opportunity to rest, to receive Biblical teaching, and to fellowship with other believers. This past Sunday, we were blessed by the ministry of Tim Horne. Speaking on the subject of the Beatitudes, Tim shared from God’s Word about Christians cultivating the characteristics of Christ in our everyday lives.

If you’re not familiar with the Beatitudes, you can read them as part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. The Beatitudes are a list of blessings and characteristics that Jesus highlights, and as Tim explained, the Beatitudes are a portrait of Jesus.

One of the Beatitudes is that of meekness. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” What does it truly mean to be meek?

Often, the virtue of meekness is associated with weakness (perhaps because the two words rhyme?). However, meekness isn’t weakness; it’s strength under control. From what I can see, Jesus is referred to (or calls Himself) meek at least ten times throughout Scripture. When you think about the definition of meekness, and what it means to embody the word, the references to Jesus as meek are very fitting. In fact meekness – for those living and looking to the Lord every day – is one of the essential expressions of a true Christian.

To be meek requires wisdom. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13) When I think of the people in my life who I consider to be wise, I see them as great pillars of strength. American theologian Warren Wiersbe once said that “meekness is the right use of power, and wisdom is the right use of knowledge. They go together. The truly wise person will show in his daily life (conversation means behavior), that he is a child of God. Attitude and action go together.”

To be meek requires strength. “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) Moses was a strong man. Not only did he lead the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, he also received the Ten Commandments from God. Meekness isn’t weakness; it’s strength under control. As Elder Ulisses Soares once said, “Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.” Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak.

To be meek requires humility and a teachable spirit. “The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.” (Psalm 25:9) Getting caught up in always being right, winning the argument, or always having the last word can be exhausting. You can find rest when you’re willing to learn. In one of my favourite Bible verses, Jesus provides encouragement when He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) It takes courage to be humble, and the Lord blesses a teachable spirit. “…God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

To be meek requires peacefulness. “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing…” (2 Timothy 2:24-25) Sometimes we confuse being peaceful with being a pushover, and that’s not the case. Part of being meek means that you don’t purposefully strive with others, and you don’t seek out arguments. That being said, being meek requires you to stand up for what’s right, and to address it if someone treats you wrong. After all, God doesn’t call us to be doormats but He does call us to live in love. “Put them in mind… to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing meekness unto all men.” (Titus 3:2)

If you’re ever in doubt about the virtue of meekness, consider Jesus. As a mirror of the Beatitudes, His life is an example of meekness. To be soft and strong is a combination that few have mastered, but it can be done when you keep your focus on Christ.

Originally published as “Meekness.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 6, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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