THE EARTH BELONGS TO THE LORD AND TO HIS PEOPLE

Matthew 5:5 – Blessed are the gentle for they shall inherit the earth.

Gentleness demands humility. The arrogant do not practice gentleness or meekness. One evidence of a Spirit-filled life is the fruit of gentleness (Galatians 5:22). There are many who try to move ahead in life with an arrogant attitude. Usually, this person is filled with selfishness, only thinking about their success no matter how it may affect others. This character flaw is especially seen in the business world, the entertainment industry, and the political arena. A drive for power and control is behind arrogance and selfishness. It can be observed that most of these people end up losing in life. Many times their dreams are dashed by heartbreak and loss.

The Scriptures teach, and many lives demonstrate, that gentleness is the way to success. Jesus is teaching a key to life’s success in Matthew 5:5. Humility, which demonstrates gentleness, will help bring success. Through gentleness the Holy Spirit touches the hearts of people and opens opportunities. Individuals are moved to reach out and help the gentle person. Opportunities come, doors open, and a way is made for the gentle person to be received as their reputation begins to be spread.

Some people are gentle by nature. This is a human quality which is rare and honorable. As Jesus brings into focus His Kingdom, He is anticipating those that would be filled with His Holy Spirit, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in all of their relationships. Paul said, “All things are ours. So then let no one boast in men, for all things belong to you” (1 Corinthians 3:21). All things belong to the child of God, but we must see this corporately. As an individual, I cannot claim all things at all times, but the Lord blesses His body throughout the earth. Remember Paul’s teaching when he said, “There are many members, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12:20). As members of the body of Christ, we enter into His promised inheritance through humility and gentleness, not arrogance or pride.

Ask the Holy Spirit to increase growth in you regarding gentleness. Ask Him to show you what He has set aside in the earth as your inheritance. Father, I thank You for Your promise that the gentle shall inherit the earth.

THOSE THAT MOURN WILL BE COMFORTED

Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Multitudes throughout the ages have known what it is to mourn. We may mourn the passing of a loved one, the loss of a child, a war casualty, calamities, or the loss of property such as a house or finances. Consider the oppression people suffer throughout the world. Modern day news coverage allows us to observe people weeping and lamenting their present day circumstances. Because of these first-hand observations, many become moved with compassion to share their resources with those who are suffering. Many times believers have experienced the prompting of the Holy Spirit to reach out in practical ways to those in need. There is a good reason why Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Comforter.” Only the Spirit of God can completely comfort those who are mourning. True comfort can only be brought by what Jesus promised in Matthew 5:4.

Have you ever been hindered by your lack of words or ability to comfort another? Have you ever felt helpless during times when a person has experienced the death of a loved one, a calamity of some kind, or when their life is being oppressed by some difficult circumstance? At these times, it can be humanly impossible to bring comfort. As a believer, we have received the necessary grace from the Holy Spirit, to come alongside an individual and speak a word of comfort through the inspiration He gives. There will be a day in which we will know the totality of the Spirit’s comfort. The Scriptures speak of the day in which all our tears will be wiped away. “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death, there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

The only answer for the conditions found in a fallen world, is found in Christ. The believer has the answers dwelling within through the person of the Holy Spirit. All His fruit, His gifts, and His power is available to those who have put their faith in Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit freedom and total access to use you for the glory of God.

As the old gospel song declares, “The Comforter has come, the Holy Ghost from heaven, the Father’s promise given.” Today, allow His comfort to be your portion. He will give you peace and assurance in every situation. He will use you to minister comfort to another.

KINGDOM POWER AND GLORY ARE HIS FOREVER

Matthew 6:13 – For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

What a powerful declaration of truth! Jesus directs everything back to the Father. The Holy Spirit was poured out on believers to work the works of the Father in the earth. The first thing the Holy Spirit established was God’s reign in the earth. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came on those waiting for Him in the upper room. He began to rule in the lives of individuals. From this place of His ruling flowed power, power to transform and govern in the lives of those who have trusted in Christ. “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say,’ Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20-21).

The Lord revealed how He was working in the earth through the apostles and the early church. The same Holy Spirit power continues today. The productivity of His rule and power is a manifestation of His glory. Ultimately, we will share in the fullness of His glory when Christ returns, but for now, the glory is revealed through committed, Spirit-filled lives. Jesus said, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Paul instructed the church to “Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). This is the work of the Spirit, releasing the kingdom of God to those who believe and using each believer for the glory of God.

The kingdom of God is now and is yet to be some day. I say now, because the Holy Spirit lives in the believer and helps us do the will of God. It is in the future, because there is yet a day when Christ Jesus will gather to Himself all that are His. Together with Christ, we will judge this world and the angels. The Scriptures declare that we will rule with Him in eternity. The writers of the New Testament continually establish a balance between then and now. Our responsibility is to examine our lives and determine if the Lord is indeed ruling. This is a daily process in our thoughts and actions toward others. Our calling is to present to the world a lifestyle that is led by the Lord. Corporately, we are to be a people that demonstrate the goodness of God. We are to bring to bear an influence, first by prayer and then by our actions. The direct influence of God’s kingdom in the earth is because of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Consider the testimony of the apostles and the early believers in Acts 15:3-4.

Father, help me examine my life and honestly determine where Jesus is reigning as Lord. Help me see those areas I have yet to surrender to Your rule. I pray for Your kingdom rule in every part of my life, for Your glory.

BEING DELIVERED FROM THE EVIL ONE

Matthew 6:13 – Deliver us from evil.

Evil surrounds us in the world system. Paul teaches in Ephesians 2:2 that the devil is the prince of the power of the air. He is the prince of this world and the world’s systems. The phrase “the prince of this world” speaks about the world’s systems and governments. Evil forces are behind the world’s systems. The good news is that this prince has been judged (John 16:11). The prince of the world killed the Prince of Life, whom God has raised from the dead (Acts 3:15). This was the beginning of deliverance and freedom for the inhabitants of the earth. Today, a man reigns from heaven, the man Christ Jesus.

We too, have power over the evil one because of Jesus. Jesus told His disciples, “I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19). Through faith and obedience we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Our deliverance from evil began with Jesus’ sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Majesty on High. The Father and Jesus poured out their Holy Spirit to bring refreshing from their presence. Jesus instructed the disciples to “wait in Jerusalem, until they were given power from on high” (Acts 1:8). The word “power” in the original language meant authority. Jesus gave His disciples authority to proclaim to the nations the good news of the kingdom of God. Jesus is now reigning as King! Speaking to the philosophers on Mars Hill, Paul proclaimed, “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:30).

The power or authority which the Lord released on the Day of Pentecost is still being released today. We cannot overcome the evil one without the power of God. It is the Holy Spirit who gives believers power and authority against the kingdom of darkness. Prayer was the beginning of the early believer’s preparation. The work of God continues today through the prayers of God’s people. God’s grace of power is released through faithful, obedient sons and daughters. Our deliverance is not automatic, but effectual through righteous prayer. See James 5:16.

Father, I ask to be delivered from evil. Strengthen me with the spirit of obedience. Thank You for giving me Your faith and authority to obey and live Your life of righteousness. Thank you for giving me the overcoming life of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

LET NOT TEMPTATION OVERCOME ME

Matthew 6:13 – Lead us not into temptation.

Why would Jesus teach us to pray this way when Scripture clearly teaches, “God tempts no man” (James 1:13)? Jesus was modeling for His disciples how to be led by God. Jesus knew that He was being led into temptation for our sakes. Jesus was aware that He would stand between heaven and hell for all mankind. As He contemplated the cross with all the sufferings He was about to endure, He knew that the enemy would come one more time to tempt Him. Jesus was teaching His disciples to yield completely to the Father. If the Father chose for them to go through temptation, He would keep them in that hour. God Himself does not tempt any man, but life is full of temptation. Our prayer should be for God to lead us around or through those times of temptation.

Scriptures declare, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, that you can boldly say the Lord is my helper, in Him will I trust” (Hebrews 13:5-6). Is that your testimony in the Holy Spirit? Do you know He is always with you? There may be times when you do not sense His presence, but will you trust His Word of promise? The Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father and of the Son. Jesus said, “I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).

Today, look to Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He authored and finished the work for you. He was tempted in every way, yet He did not sin. Temptation surrounds us beloved, but Jesus has overcome on our behalf. Pray for His overcoming life to fill you and to guide you in all that you do.

Are you presently facing temptation? Call on the Father and ask Him to lead you through this time. Ask Him to use the hour of temptation to strengthen you. Ask Him for grace to overcome the evil one. Give the reins of your life to the Holy Spirit and watch Him work the mighty works of God in and through you.

REMEMBERING THOSE THAT ARE OFFENDED WITH YOU

Matthew 5:24 – If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, then come and present your offering.

Wow! Jesus is raising all religious activity to a new level of personal reconciliation. It all began with the heart of God. He became one of us in the person of Christ Jesus, so He would be able to reconcile the world to Himself. He did this while we were still in our trespasses and sins. This is the reason the Father puts such high priority on reconciliation and forgiveness.

In Matthew 18, we see how important it is to forgive any that sinned against us. Here in Matthew 5, Jesus makes it clear that we must first become right with any person holding an offense toward us, before our offering is accepted by God. The Father has given each believer His nature of reconciliation through the power of the Holy Spirit. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

The letters of the apostles are filled with admonitions concerning relationships among the believers. Here are a few examples: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor (Romans 12:10-11), “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32-5:1), “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). As believers, we are to walk out the reconciliation God has given us by being reconciled to one another, in the fear of God, whether it be forgiving another their offense toward us, or asking forgiveness of one against whom we have sinned.

Father, thank You for extending Your reconciling love to my life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to walk in the power of reconciliation. Help me to fulfill Your will to be a minister of reconciliation in this world.