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March 6—Lent Devotional 2013

March 6—Lent Devotional 2013

As you read and reflect on today’s beatitude, please listen to this track from contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. We will feature this track throughout Lent.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5

 

Political wit Clare Boothe Luce wryly observed that “No good deed goes unpunished.” I heard a seminary professor say it a little differently: “If you haven’t been hurt in ministry, you haven’t been paying attention.”

Because churches are made up of forgiven sinners, but sinners nonetheless, there is bound to be hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and sometimes outright evil wherever Christians gather. These are precisely the situations that call for meekness or strength under control. Jesus shows us what meekness looks like when on the cross He prayed: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

While knowing this, it can still be difficult not to retaliate against those who hurt us. But the meek know how to put it into God’s hands, waiting for His vindication as they pray: 

Father God, I believe that you are at work in these things that are happening to me. I know that it is all filtered through your loving hands, and that you have an eternal purpose for this. Part of your purpose is to make me more like Jesus. So I am looking to you right now, and trusting you to work on my behalf. Amen.

The meek have learned to trust in God for His ultimate victory over evil. They know that their vindication will come from Him, not from their scheming or plotting to settle the score. They understand that in meekness they are like the King, and that they will reign with Him on the earth.

As Jesus hung from the cross and committed Himself to Father, so the psalmist also teaches us to commit our troubles to the Lord:

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
—Psalm 37:5-6 

PONDER AND PRAY

He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or
decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness
he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity
for the meek of the earth.“—Isaiah 11:4

  • Is there someone who has wronged you? Pray for that person right now, asking God not to take sides, but to take charge.
  • What would it mean for you to deal with this person in meekness? Ask God for wisdom in this.
  • Pray: “Lord, grant me grace to trust you and drop my defenses, be approachable, kind, merciful, and appropriately assertive” (Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality).
  • What do you want To Say To God?

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