Spirit-Filled Fruit Baskets – Day 20

Introduction

The Lord Jesus said that he was meek and in heart.  It was on this basis that he encouraged people to come and learn of Him.  If we would help those in need of instruction, we must follow the Master’s example.  Today, we will discuss the need for meekness in teaching Biblical truth.

Focus

Teaching is not an easy task as it is.  Add to that task a disruptive, or obstinate student, and the task becomes immeasurably harder.

As we examine the life of the Lord Jesus, while on the earth, we see him showing great patience and meekness with students who were dull of hearing.  Though there were times he rebuked, we see him most often gently explaining the truths they needed to hear.

He did this while sitting in a boat, standing on a hillside, sitting over a meal, and even while being betrayed.  He was not too good for anyone.  He was accused of being the friend of publicans and sinners.  Wherever the needy were, that is where you would find the Saviour.

People didn’t always listen.  Most of the time they didn’t understand.  Even his own disciples often failed to properly grasp his instruction.  Yet…he didn’t quit.

Far too often we tie the success of the teacher to the success of the student.  This is somewhat natural, but when it comes to teaching Biblical truth, we need to recognize that our pride cannot enter into the equation.

2Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

1Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

In both of these verses we are instructed to have the proper attitude when sharing Biblical truth with people who may not believe us.

We all love to have people sit adoringly at our feet and listen to every word; but what about a hostile crowd, or that family member who is living contrary to God’s word?  What about that co-worker, who asks you a question about your faith, while you know that they are living a destructive sinful lifestyle?

It is times like those of the latter, that we must express the spirit of meekness.  Because…

  1. We realize that we are what we are by the grace of God.  I can take no credit for where I am in my life.  God has been so gracious.  Even the truth I know…He taught me.
  2. I am no better than the person to whom I am speaking.  So often this caricature is shown as a person carrying a Bible under their arm, large enough to choke a mule, quoting Scripture while looking down their nose at others.  No one likes this kind of person, and this is not meekness.  Meekness demands that we approach those of the contrary part with a spirit of humility, rather than with a spirit of judgement.
  3. We realize that they are opposing themselves, not us.  This is not always easy to remember, but pride certainly forgets this.  We often take the worlds sinful lifestyle as being against us personally.  Paul is teaching that sin harms the one involved in it.  They are their own enemies, but they are not ours.

Now, meekness is not negligence. In other words, meekness does not mean we say nothing.  It does, however, mean that we speak the truth in love, remembering what we were before Christ saved us, and what we would be today but for His grace.

Consider a shipwreck, with many people floundering in the water. Meekness is a man pulled out of the water who, with the memory of his near drowning still fresh in his mind, turns and extends his hand to another man still in the water and patiently helps him into the boat.  Pride would be that same man turning and lecturing those still drowning for the slowness, or for being in the water in the first place.  He forgets that he is in the boat because someone came to save him.

Dear friend, there are many in the world today in need of salvation.  We won’t help them through pride.  We may help them through meekness.  “Jude 1:22  And of some have compassion, making difference:”

If our Saviour, who never needed saving, could have meekness toward those whom he came to save, then certainly we can have the attitude of the Apostle Paul.

1Timothy 1:12-14 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul never forgot who he had been, and this enabled him to take the gospel to the lost with a spirit of meekness.  May we do the same today.  The attitude can be expressed in this hymn:

Without him
Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I’d surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail

Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I’d be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don’t turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me.  Help me to remember that without you I would be nothing.  Without you I would be lost.  Sometimes, my pride tempts me to act as if this is not the case.  Forgive me.  Help to extend the truth of the gospel to those who oppose themselves today.  Give me the spirit of meekness.  Let me never forget who I was, so that I may praise you for what you are making me to be! In Jesus name, amen.

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