We tend to think the church advances its agenda the same way the world advances its agenda. We see big crowds being drawn to the concerts and the theaters so we say “Let’s make our church more like that!” We think some celebrity or fame will aid our cause. If only we had more famous people in our churches we’d be more legitimate in eyes of the world.
Is it really true that churches need to keep up with the world to be relevant? Are the marks of kingdom progress a bigger production, a-list names, more money in the budget? Does the church advances on the shoulders of the strong, the powerful, and the popular?
If it does, then Jesus dangling from a splintery cross on a forsaken hill outside Jerusalem is a failure. Paul alone in a prison cell abandoned by most of his friends is a train wreck, and the martyrs throughout church history are a crying shame.
But this is not how the church advances. The gospel ministry moves forward on the shoulders of the meek, because the meek are the ones empowered by God for the work.
By blessing the meek, Jesus turns everything upside down. Christ’s kingdom doesn’t advance with armies, the church isn’t advanced through crusades. Rather, Jesus compared the kingdom to a mustard seed. Small, seemingly insignificant and irrelevant. It seems unimportant until the final unveiling at the end of human history, where the countless myriads of saints are gathered to worship the Lamb.
We must never strive to be cool or relevant in the eyes of the world. We will be faithful and meek, entrusting ourselves to God, awaiting the future reveal when the redeemed are innumerable as the sands on the seashore and the stars in the sky. When the new world comes, it will be filled with only one category of person: meek.
Let’s embrace meekness to move this ministry forward. It’s clear that God’s not done with us, and it’s clear that God wants to use you.
How should you tell people about your hope in evangelism? 1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness [meekness] and respect.” Lead people to Christ in meekness.
How should you disciple those who come to Christ? Like Paul, who entreated the Corinthians with “meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:1), or like James, who encourages us to walk in the “meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
How do we help brothers or sisters who are straying? Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness [meekness].”
How do we correct opponents? 2 Timothy 2:24-25 “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”
In meekness we evangelize. In meekness we walk with other Christians to help them follow Jesus. In meekness we restore the sinner. In meekness we correct opponents.
It’s never by force, manipulation, or coercion. You can’t strongarm people into the kingdom or into obedience. To be meek is to see the immense dignity of the people around you and to treat them with honor.
The kingdom doesn’t advance on a bulldozer, but on the gentle breeze of meek, gentle love.
* * * This is an except from a previous sermon, "Blessed are the Meek." To listen to the entire thing, click here. * * *