EVENTUALLY #8: Gentleness
Minister: Rev. Olon M. Lindemood
July 21 and 22, 2012
Galatians 5: 22-23
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Philippians 4: 4-6
4 Rejoice* in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.* 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
It is important that we understand (OUR CHRISTIAN FRUIT a component that includes):Gentleness in this very hour! How difficult it is when we are so confronted by the senseless violence of this past week in Aurora! I admired our Governor John Hickenlooper / Aurora Police Chief, Dan Oates as they offered in a news conference their faith, hope and encouragement at the same time condemning the tragic / insane / horrific event. (and at the same time speaking of their broken hearts and the tough / difficult work) The Governor repeatedly stumbled with words … “senseless” is what he kept repeating… The Police Chief was consistent in stating that justice would be for a courtroom. The 90 second response of the police to arrest the man was to be commended for those first responders…
We thank God for calling into service those who protect and serve … and the first responders and the Medical teams brought to the forefront their courage and training. Thanks be to God for them!
Always, we need the fruit of the Spirit to Guide / Lead and bring our actions into the world! And these are the days when this fruit is even more critical. Remember the Fruit list? (name them from the preamble…) Remember what they counteract in the desires of the flesh? … this fruit is not our fruit… this list is not the product of our actions / will / training… Fruit is from God … it is the Fruit of the Spirit! God’s activity not ours… and through us these are manifest … we have been examining them … pondering what is naturally with us, and that which is more difficult for us… Gentleness today is one of those that is not easy for many …
“It is hard to be gentle, but God gives us the peace through Christ’s love!” That is fruit… EVENTUALLY … Gentle!
TO be Gentle is to:
1. kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
2. not severe, rough, or violent; mild: a gentle wind; a gentle tap on the shoulder.
REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS, AGAIN, I SAY REJOICE! (PLEASE SAY REJOICE)
“I choose gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.” ― Max Lucado
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” ― Ralph W. Sockman
“As we come to grips with our own selfishness and stupidity, we make friends with the impostor and accept that we are impoverished and broken and realize that, if we were not, we would be God. The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others -- and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer.” ― Brennan Manning, Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
ALSO: “Our identity rests in God's relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.” ― Brennan Manning, Abba's Child:
(“You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness.” ― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie)
“Gentleness is not apathy but is an aggressive expression of how we view people. We see people as so valuable that we deal with them in gentleness, fearing the slightest damage to one for whom Christ died. To be apathetic is to turn people over to mean and destructive elements, to truly love people is the cause for us to be aggressively gentle.” ― Gayle D. Erwin, Spirit Style
Scriptures for Gentleness:
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
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 and respect,
to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
THIS is the very hour for our Christian faith to burst forth. The Holy Spirit is giving signs of the fruit that can / is transforming the world:
You see … to be gentle right now. In the midst of our rage … in the midst of our tears! That is the Holy Spirit that is the Spirit of Christ Jesus our Lord … bring love / joy / patience / gentleness… ( next week … we will be learning the scriptural fruit of the Spirit called Self- control… know anyone who can benefit from listening to the Holy Spirit teach us about “Self –control?” bring them along…
Our faith is steady … it runs counter to our culture… when we are ready to rage … when our tears consume… we hear the word of the Lord say “Rejoice in the Lord, always, again, I say REJOICE!”
PREAMBLE TO THE EVENTUALLY SERMON SERIES
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians has helped us with an understanding living in the life of the Spirit!
This Summer we will be listening to the Lord’s high calling for knowing that the Fruit of a life of faith manifest is these forms:
- Goodness / Generosity
A significant part of the clarity of Paul is to understand that these fruits are in contrast to the Acts of Sinful Nature: Also in Galatians 5: 16ff
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy,* drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.