John Hagee - The Meek With A Good Appetite
The third beatitude, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth". Doesn't that sound absurd in our generation? What is "Meekness"? The meek are those who quietly submit to the authority of God. The meek are those who follow his directions and comply with his designs. And they are gentle toward men. That's where the word "Gentlemen" comes from. The meek are God's gentlemen on earth. They're not weak: they're meek. The meek have warm hearts, not hot heads. There's a difference. Meekness is the opposite of violence. Americans have rejected meekness as a path to happiness and have inherited a whirlwind of violence.
Our rejection of meekness has opened the door to hatred, to envy. It's opened the door to resentment, the door to divorce, of abortion. Abortion is the execution of a child on the altar of the God of self. Our rejection of meekness as a nation has led us to the defunding of police and the releasing of criminals without bail or bond. This is madness! It needs to stop! We need to rehire our police and bless them. Does meekness mean that we are to allow the aggressive to run over us? Absolutely not. Meekness is speaking the truth in love. Meekness stands its ground calmly without going into a rage.
In the life of Mother Teresa, this lady was an angel of mercy, five-feet tall. She entered the convent at the age of 18 in India. After a few years, she felt led of God to minister to the very poor, suffering in the streets of India. And they were extremely poor. Her ministry spread to other nations. Her only sponsor, she said, was God Almighty. She didn't ask people to help her. She asked God to help her. She was recognized around the world as her ministry spread with enormous success. She was recognized by presidents and prime ministers, kings and queens, the rich and the powerful. She was the winner of the Nobel peace prize. That's one person that really deserved it. She was an angel of mercy. She changed the world! But she didn't do it by force and by aggressiveness. She did it with the meekness of Jesus Christ.
"Blessed are the meek" does not mean you have to let the world run over you. You can stand against injustice and fury, and still be meek. Consider saint Paul, as the champion of meekness. Ephesians 4 Carries these words, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness". Listen. "With all lowliness and meekness". Titus 3:2: speak evil of no man, but be peaceable, gentle, showing all meekness to all men. Colossians 3:12: "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved. Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, and meekness," forgiving one another. Paul is literally going down the beatitudes there.
Paul said to Timothy, "Follow after meekness". Timothy was to pursue meekness. He is never to rest until he has his spiritual life by the possession of this priceless virtue, meekness. Was Paul weak? Paul had such power that men tried to worship him. He ripped his clothes at one time and chastised and rebuked the people who were doing that. Ripping your clothes is a sign of Jewish grief. Paul shook deadly vipers from his wrists. Men gasped at the power of Paul, because this serpent was called a two-step viper, so deadly that you died almost instantly. Yet Paul was bitten, shook the viper off, and didn't even get ill. He stood on the deck of a Roman ship caught in the storm in the sea. And he comforted 275 Roman soldiers, saying, "All is well. No one is going to be lost in the storm. The angel of the Lord has told me".
The Roman army is terrified. God's man is cool, calm and collected because he has power the Roman Empire did not have. Paul taught the church, "Reprove one before all that all may fear". Meek but not weak. Acts 23, Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin because he was teaching the reality of the resurrection of the dead. This was contrary to the Sanhedrin's doctrine. The high priest said to those standing by Paul to slap him in the mouth. This is in the Bible. Paul shouted back, "God smite you, you whitewashed wall"! "Whitewashed wall" was a hypocrite. God strike you, you hypocrite. Meek? Yes. Weak? No. Consider the meekness of Jesus.
Matthew 11: "Learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart". Say that with me. "For I am meek and lowly of heart". Look at him as he invades the temple in Jerusalem with a whip. His eyes are blazing. Why? The money changers are cheating the people as they are coming for the Passover. This represents the wall street of Israel. That line is about 400-feet long on both sides. He takes a whip and he turns over every table on both sides of that temple. He has just turned the economy of the country over. He turned those tables over, yet he is the meekest person on the earth. He looked at them and said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves". You're out of business.
Look at him as the Romans slap his face. "Hail, king of the Jews"! Look at the spittle as it drains down his face. Listen as the cat-of-nine-tails rips chunks of flesh from his back. Look at Calvary, as he willingly lays down and allows the men he has created in the Genesis of time, to drive nails through his hands and through his feet. Watch as they raise his bleeding body toward the heavens. After hours of suffering, he shouts, "It is finished"! He could have called 10,000 angels to destroy the world. But he decided to die because it was God's plan. He was meek beyond measure! He gave his life. Rome did not take it from him. He was the Lamb of God. And as the lion of Judah, he opened not his mouth in judgment. Yet he said to the pharisees, "You generation of snakes and vipers".
This was his opening to a sermon. "You generation of snakes and vipers". "You are of your father the devil". That's meek. That's not weak. You start a sermon like that, you'd lose half your crowd. He sits at the right hand of God the Father, a position of power. When he returns to earth, he's going to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Let me tell you, all of you thugs who are running this country, when king Jesus comes back, we're going to be living by this. Meekness means power under control. I'm not afraid of an atomic bomb. Power is amoral. I'm afraid of an atomic bomb in the hands of a madman. Because that man doesn't have control over himself. A broken horse contributes much more to life than a wild donkey. Translation: power out of control will destroy you. Meekness is the mastery of self. "The man who rules his spirit," the Bible says, "Is mightier than a man who conquers a huge city".
Can you conquer yourself? Can you control yourself? A woman told me in my office back in the days when I did marital counseling, which I no longer do... Thank God. She looked at me in kind of a pompous way, and said, "Oh, I lose my temper with my husband. But it's all over in three minutes". I responded, "So is a tornado. But it only takes days to bury the casualties, weeks to assess the damage, and years to recover from that damage". I said, "Do the world a favor and be quiet". Psalm 37, "But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace". The violent and the vicious are trying to take the world over. China and Russia are planning for world control. And I want to tell you, China fully intends to take us over. We need to elect people in Washington who wake up and go to work and defend the American people. Honor the Lord with the firstfruits of all your endeavors and see your blessings return in abundance.
What's God's response? God's sitting in heaven laughing. Read it in the Psalms. Why? Because he's already made the title deed of the earth out. It's made to the meek. It's made to you and to you, and to you and to you, and to you, and to those who are watching television across the nation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". The Bible says, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof". If he created the earth, he owns the earth. As the owner of the earth, he can give it to whomever he wants to. And he said, "I'm going to give it to the meek".
Let's talk about the fourth beatitude. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled". Everyone knows that a good appetite is the gateway to happiness. A good appetite is a blessing because it's the Mark of life. Living things hunger and thirst. Trees hunger and thirst. Every child hungers and thirsts. I have five children. When they came home from the hospital, they came home hungry. Matthew would lay in his crib, shake his bottle to check the contents. And if it was empty, he would throw it against the wall and scream. We did not need an alarm clock. We knew what time it was whether we had heard the Kabang and the bottle hit the wall.
Any one of the my five children could wake you up without hesitation at midnight, demanding food. They did not care that I'd just gotten to bed taking care of somebody else. They did not care that they had single-handedly destroyed my sleep for five nights in a row. They were hungry and they wanted to eat, and now was the time. Those midnight screams were music to my ears. It meant that my children were alive. They were healthy. They were growing. The concoction that Diana fixed for them, I called "The Mexican cocktail". It was milk, Oatmeal, cinnamon and honey. You put that together. When they took that into their body, bang. It was like turning out the lights. They went to sleep.
In a few days, they would trade that bottle for a bicycle, and then the bicycle for a Buick. Mother, when you go home today, if you wash dirty dishes, rejoice. Rejoice. I have seen mothers whose children were sick with cancer. And those mothers work diligently to produce a delicious dish only to see their child turn their nose up because they had no appetite. If you've got children who can eat a reindeer on the dead run, be glad. Be glad. Remember that only the dying and the dead have no appetite. They want no food. They crave no water.
When you feel badly and you go to the doctor, one of the first questions he will ask you is, "How is your appetite"? He won't ask me that, but he'll ask you that. The loss of appetite is nature's way of saying, "You're sick". Every person here must ask himself this question: what is my spiritual appetite? A medical fact, you are what you eat. This is the bread of life. Eat this. This is milk. This is meat. This is the life. This is the way. This is the plan. This is what God has. Read this. Lead this. Love this! Give the Lord praise in the house!
When you take in wrong spiritual foods, when you think negatively, when you have vicious thoughts, when you review past hurt feelings... How many of you in this room, something can come to you that happened to you five years ago, ten years ago, and in ten minutes, you're as mad as a hornet because you've been thinking about that? You're not going to feel well if you watch 40 hours of one cold-blood murder after the other on television saute'ed with a few rapes in between, mixed with hatred, revenge, rebellion, and salt and Peppered with lust and greed. You're not going to feel well. "Think on these things".
When you change your thoughts, you will change your world. And you are responsible for what you allow yourself to think about. You are responsible. Think on the things of righteousness. Think on the things of peace. Think on the things of God's grace. When you come to church on Sunday and our choir sings a delicious song of Zion that, for centuries, has satisfied the hungry hearts of humanity, that anointed music is the stairways to the stars by which men have climbed into the presence of God. If you turn up your nose, it does not appeal to you because your soul is sick on Satan's junk food you've eaten all week long, you are repulsed by the bread of life. This bread of life is never stale. It's never stale. It's never stale.
When the preacher proclaims the pure Word of God, the sincere milk of the word for babes, meat for men, you are not interested. Because when you go to church, Satan will sit on your shoulder and say, "This sermon is too long. It's too personal. It's too dry. It's too hard. It's too Calvinistic. It's too charismatic". Listen. You are the problem! You can't eat mental slop all week and feel like a saint on Sunday. Your lack of appetite for spiritual things, which are the basis of happiness, is not because you're too intellectual to accept the gospel. It means you're too spiritually dead. You want no food. You crave no water. It's possible to spiritually die before you physically die.
Think about that for just a second. In the Bible, the rich farmer said, "I will build bigger barns," so forth and so on. And when he finished his little resumé, the Bible says, "God said, 'you fool! This night your soul is required of you'". He did not say he died that night. It just said his soul was required of him that night. He may have lived another 40 years. He may have built bigger barns. Me may have had the largest cattle ranch in the state and made another ten million dollars. But when he closed his eyes in death, he opened into a blazing inferno. Pharaoh hardened his heart and said, "Who is the Lord that I should obey him..."?
He found out. He found out. He led his choice troops in hot pursuit of the Jewish people as they were at the Red Sea. They charged between the towering walls of water. Those towering walls of water collapsed. Pharaoh's bloated corpse floated to the shore. His dazzling rings glisten in the sultry Egyptian sun. The most powerful man on the earth was reduced to fish food! You can push God too far. The Bible says, Esau sought repentance and he found it not. See pitiful king Saul coming from the cave of the Witch of Endor. He had asked the prophet of God for God's direction, and the prophet of God did not give it to him. And so he went to a witch, for him, for king Saul, to get direction. Listen to me. Nothing will cut you off from God quicker than the occult, nothing. And the occult is making a comeback in this nation that's running off the charts.
Then when he went to the prophet, he said, "The Lord hath departed from me and he hears me no more..." What are we to hunger and thirst for? Righteousness. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people". I fear for America. I do. We hunger and thirst for everything but righteousness. We hunger for drugs, for lust, materialism, greed, political corruption, witchcraft. Something is seriously wrong in this country when we are offended by everything but sin. Only when you are consumed with hunger and thirst after righteousness will you be happy. Only.
Years ago, we sponsored a missionary in Mexico. We helped him build 50 churches in 50 different villages. We flew into those little villages, houses made of sticks and cardboard, people who were poor, poor, poor. And we brought them to the church that we had built. We gave them a brick-making machine. They came into that church. I have never seen such happiness. I have never seen such peace. I have never seen such joy. Sometimes I think God has given us so much: we just don't know how to be thankful. We don't know how good we have it.
A young man came to his pastor, seeking the path of peace and happiness. And the pastor said, "Come and I'll show you where you can find it". He took the young man, and they walked to the river, and walked out into the water. The young man thought he was going to be baptized. When he had gotten chest-deep in the water, the pastor grabbed the head of the young man and stuck it under the water. He held him there. The young man struggled, kicking, struggling, fighting, trying to get up. Convinced he was drowning, he broke free and gasped for air. The pastor said, "What did you want most of all when you were under water and thought you were about to drown"? He said, "Air! Air"! The pastor said, "When you want righteousness as much as you wanted air, you're going to have happiness and peace". "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled". Just how meek are you? Just how hungry are you for the things of God?
Can we stand together? Some of you in this room and some of you watching by television can say, pastor, "Blessed are the meek" does not describe me. I have controlled my family and my work environment with a hard-fisted, win-through-intimidation attitude. Meekness does not describe me. If that's your situation, today is your day to do it God's way. Lady, you've controlled your husband. You've controlled your children, other people with manipulation. Meekness does not describe you. You use temper tantrums. You use rage. You use silence and pouting to control other people. In the Bible, that's witchcraft.
I'm willing to tell you that today you need to try meekness. It will produce a whole-new environment for your family. Your payday is, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth". Your wealth is unlimited because you are part owner in the earth. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness". If your soul is sick, poisoned by the negative, hateful, vicious world we live in and you want a fresh and precious relationship with Jesus Christ, today is the day for that to begin. If that describes you, would you slip your hand up right where you are? I want to have a prayer with you. Pastor, I want my heart, my life to walk in meekness before the Lord. Can I see your hand? Just slip it up. God bless you. Lift your hands and pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you right now, asking you to bring to me the spirit of meekness and the hunger and thirst for righteousness, which is found in the Word of God. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable unto you, o Lord my God, my king and my redeemer, in Jesus' name. Amen.