Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part XXVI

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Christian Meekness (Continued) 
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.

Meekness towards MAN; Continued:

2. The second branch of meekness is in FORGIVING of injuries. ‘And when you stand praying, forgive’ (Mark 11:25); as if Christ had said, ‘It is to little purpose to pray, unless you forgive.’ A meek spirit is a forgiving spirit. This is a herculean work. Nothing more crosses the stream of corrupt nature—than forgiving injuries. Men forget kindnesses—but remember injuries. I once heard of a woman who lived in malice, and being requested by some of her neighbors when she lay on her deathbed, to forgive, she answered, ‘I cannot forgive though I go to hell’. Forgiveness is cutting against the grain of human nature. Some can rather sacrifice their lives than their lusts—but forgive we must, and forgive as God forgives. Forgiveness must be:

[1] Really. God does not make a show of forgiveness and keep our sins by him. He ‘blots out’ our debts (Isaiah 43:25). God passes an act of oblivion (Jeremiah 31:34). He forgives and forgets. So the meek spirit not only makes a show of forgiving his neighbor—but he does it from the heart (Matthew 18:27).

[2] Fully. God forgives all our sins. He does not for ‘fourscore write down fifty’—but he gives a full release. ‘Who forgives all your iniquities’ (Psalm 103:3). Thus a meek-spirited Christian forgives all injuries. False hearts pass by some offences—but retain others. This is but half forgiving. Is this meekness? Would you have God deal so with you? Would you have him forgive your trespasses, as you forgive others?

[3] God forgives often. We are often sinful! We run every day afresh upon the score—but God often forgives. Therefore he is said to ‘multiply pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7). So a meek spirit reiterates and sends one pardon after another. Peter asks the question, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ (Matthew 18:21) Christ answers him, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven’ (verse 22).

Some may object that such an affront has been offered, that flesh and blood cannot put up. I answer: ‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 15:50). Christians must walk contrary to their natural dispositions, and with the sword of the Spirit fight against the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:24).

Again, you may say: But if I forgive one injury I shall invite more. I answer: It argues a devilish nature to be the worse for kindness; but suppose we should meet with such monsters—yet it is our duty to be ready to forgive (Colossians 3:13). Shall we cease from doing good because others will not cease from being evil? If the more you forgive injuries, the more injuries you meet with, this will make your grace shine the more. Another’s vice will be a greater demonstration of your virtue. Frequent forgiving will add the more to the weight of his sin, and the weight of your glory. If any shall say to me, I strive to excel in other graces—but as for this grace of meekness, the bearing and forgiving of injuries, I cannot arrive at it; I desire in this to be excused. What do you talk of other graces? Where there is one grace, there is all. If meekness is lacking, it is but a counterfeit chain of grace. Your faith is a fable: your repentance is a lie; your humility is hypocrisy.

And whereas you say you cannot forgive, think of your own sin. Your neighbor is not so bad in offending you—as you are in not forgiving him. Your neighbor, in offending you—but trespasses against a man—but you, refusing to forgive him, trespass against God. Think also of your danger. You who are implacable, and though you may smother the fire of your rage—yet will not extinguish it, know that if you die this night, you die in an unpardoned condition. If you will not believe me, believe Christ. ‘If you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses’ (Mark 11:26). He who lives without meekness, dies without mercy!

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