Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #117

 

2 Corinthians 3:3
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. (NLT)

MY LETTER TO UTMC

            Sadly, this will be the last Pastors Piece I will be writing for this congregation. I have so enjoyed opening up Gods Word with you each weekday over the last months. But, we must not mope around and feel sorry for ourselves, because when we lift up our eyes we see the fields are already “white unto harvest.”

            I can honestly tell you that leading this church has never been about me, or Kim with the desire to build an empire. It has always been about casting the vision of Gods Word and planting the seeds of Gods truth into your lives so that you could grow up in Jesus. It was introducing you (or in some cases – reminding you) of the power of the Holy Spirit who transforms willing and open hearts into mighty warriors for the Kingdom. It was about allowing the Spirit to breathe life into cold dead religion.

            Now, there would be some who would look at our church and say that it is lacking. Some would look down their noses at this rag tag crew of Jesus worshipers here in Mitchell and arrogantly proclaim and pass judgement on us. “UTMC is ok, but they are not mature Christians.” they would say. That may be, but at least so many of you have been willing to lay out your lives to me and to God and to each other and say, “I’m not perfect, and I mess up every day but God helping me, I’m learning to allow God through the Holy Spirit to transform me into the likeness of Jesus His Son. Don’t listen to those people. Know and believe what God has done and is doing in your life and what He has YET to do in your life. “The Main Thing is to Keep The Main Thing, the Main Thing!!!” Gods Word is your anchor.

            I am proud (in a good way) UTMC for what you have become and what you are becoming. I leave you not with fear and trepidation, but with the confidence that He who began a good work in you will complete until the day of Jesus Christ.”

            When I think about you, I am reminded of the words of Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth. Listen to these words and know that this is how I see all of you.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. (NLT)

            Was I qualified to be your pastor all these years? Of course not, not by the standards of some, but God is the One who does the qualifying and the calling. The spiritual growth that has taken place in so many lives is directly related to God. He gets the glory.

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody” (v. 2). It’s a wonderful thing when your conversion is so real that no one can deny the change in your life. I will cherish the testimonies of so many of you as they have spurred me on. God is good.

            UTMC, I love you and we will always be praying for you. Now – “go MAD.” (Make A Difference)

2 Cor 13:11-14: “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you…

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Humbly Your Servant & His

Pastor Ralph 



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #116

Romans 5:10

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

 

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN #4

            Recapping what we have learned:

1st You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with God is built by sharing ALL of your life with Him.

            Of course, it is important to establish a daily time with Him, but God wants to be more to you than simply an appointment on your schedule. He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem and even every thought.

A second way to establish a friendship with God is by thinking about His Word throughout your day. Meditation is a way of internalizing God’s Word—taking it deep into our hearts—so that the Holy Spirit can work through it to guide, teach, purify, and transform us from within.

A 3rd secret to developing intimacy and friendship with God is

THROUGH HONESTY

If you want to develop your friendship with God it continues with honesty. You must be completely honest about your faults and your feelings.

That is why I loved the prayers of those children we mentioned at the beginning of the week. They were completely honest with God. God does not expect you to be perfect, but He does insist on complete honesty. If perfection was a requirement for friendship with God, we would never be able to be His friends. Fortunately, because of God’s grace, we have this knowledge that Jesus is still the “friend of sinners.”

Matt 11:19  The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” NLT

            In the bible, friends of God were honest about their feelings. Some complained to God, some second-guessed God, some even accused Him. God wasn’t bothered by this frankness, in fact He even encouraged it.

            God allowed Abraham to question and challenge Him over the destruction of Sodom. You can read about that fascinating dialogue between God and Abraham in Genesis 18.

            Job was allowed to vent his bitterness during His ordeal, and in the end, God defended Job for being honest, and He rebuked Job’s friends for being inauthentic. Listen to how God spoke to Jobs friends,

Job 42:7-8 After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me — not the way my friend Job has.”

            How honest is your relationship with God? Relationships that are dishonest are destined for failure and hurt.

This week we have learned that it is important to have conversation with God. Prayer lets you speak to God. Meditation let’s God speak to you. When this happens, being honest with God is the next step in developing this relationship with Him

            Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than developing a close friendship with God. It is a relationship that will last forever.

            James 4:8 “ Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” NKJV



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #115

Romans 5:10

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

 

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN #3

 

So far this week we learned that we are restored in our relationship with God through the death of His Son, and as Romans 5:10 reminds us “we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”

Yesterday we addressed the first of the secrets that help us develop our friendship with God. You do this first:

  1. THROUGH CONSTANT CONVERSATION:

You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with God is built by sharing ALL of your life with Him.

            Of course, it is important to establish a daily time with Him, but God wants to be more to you than simply an appointment on your schedule.

            He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem and even every thought.

           

            Another secret is found secondly in

  1. THROUGH CONTINUAL MEDITATION

A second way to establish a friendship with God is by thinking about his Word throughout your day.

            I won’t embarrass him by mentioning his name, but we have a man in this church who from time to time will pop into the office during the week and ask, “Pastor, do you have a minute?” then he will proceed to share a verse he has been pondering from the bible. He will share insight he got from it. Sometimes that verse will prompt him to want to do further study on it so that the deeper meaning of that verse could take hold in his life. Sometimes I am able to give him a perspective on a verse, from my own personal study on it from the past, and sometimes he does that for me and together we praise God for the power of His Word.

            We meditate on God’s Word by bringing to memory His truths. Remembering requires active, cognitive recall of what we know about God from His Word: “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6). According to Psalm 1:2, “a blessed, fruitful, and righteous person delights in the Word of the Lord “and meditates on his law day and night.” This meditation is constant (“day and night”) and focused on God’s Word (“his law”). We meditate on God’s Word by filling our minds with it day and night.

Do you meditate on His Word? When was the last time you were struck by the power of God’s Word in your life?  When was the last time you saw the truth of Gods Word played out in your life circumstances?

Both Job and David were friends of God. The reason God considered them friends was because they valued His Word above everything else, and they thought about it continually throughout the day.

Job admitted, Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” NKJV

            David said, Ps 119:97 “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” NKJV And again in

Ps 77:12 I will also meditate on all Your work,  And talk of Your deeds.” NKJV

            Meditation is a way of internalizing God’s Word—taking it deep into our hearts—so that the Holy Spirit can work through it to guide, teach, purify, and transform us from within. We can listen to the Bible, read it, and memorize Scripture to get it into our minds, but then we must also ponder it continually in our hearts so that we gain a deeper understanding of it and how it applies to our lives. Tomorrow, the 3rd Secret.

 



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #114

 

Romans 5:10

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

 

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN #2

            Yesterday, we discovered that a distant, impersonal God is more palatable than a personal intimate God who calls us by name. Yet the bible has much to say about the personal nature of God with His creation. In fact, the bible states that God gave up the life of His Son in order to restore friendship with mankind. Romans 5:10 says “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

You see, not only does God want to know your name, He does know it. The bible says in Isaiah 43:1  “But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;    I have called you by name, you are mine.” And again in Isaiah 45:3 “And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” (NLT)

We learned yesterday that we are restored in our relationship with God through the death of His Son, and as Romans 5:10 reminds us “we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”

As promised, today we will address the first of the secrets that help us develop our friendship with God. You do this first:

  1. THROUGH CONSTANT CONVERSATION:

You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with god is built by sharing ALL of your life with Him.

            Of course, it is important to establish a daily time with Him, but God wants to be more to you than simply an appointment on your schedule.

            He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem and even every thought.

Listen to the heart of the Psalmist when he wrote in

Psalm 139:1-6 “O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too great for me to understand! (NLT)

            See what the Psalmist did? He showed us that you can carry on a continuous, open-ended conversation with Him throughout your day, talking with Him about whatever you are doing or thinking at that moment.

            The bible tells us to “pray without ceasing.” What do you think that means? It means, carrying on conversation and listening to God during your everyday activities. Adam and Eve had constant communion with the Father. It was not a scheduled appointment.

            Your goal is not a feeling, but a continual awareness of the reality that God is always present.

 

Tomorrow, Secret #2.



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #113

Romans 5:10

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

 

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN

Kids bring a perspective on life that is often refreshing and startlingly poignant at times. Often, this is reflected most accurately in their prayers. Like this first boy. “Dear God, thank You for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.” Or this little girl’s wonder of Gods agelessness: “Dear God, my Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?” Or this girl’s expression of worship: “Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool.” How about the sheer wisdom of this girl that goes beyond her years? “Dear God, please take care of my daddy, mommy, sister, brother, my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.”

But my favourite one today is this next one. It is a child praying and it introduces our topic for today.

Our Father, who art in heaven, how did you know my name?”

We laugh freely at the innocence of such prayers but this last one got me thinking. For many people, the concept of God is not hard to fathom, what really gets them is the idea that He would know their name.

A distant, impersonal God is more palatable than a personal intimate God who calls us by name.

Yet the bible has much to say about the personal nature of God with His creation. In fact the bible states that God gave up the life of His Son in order to restore friendship with mankind. Romans 5:10 says

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” NLT

You see, not only does God want to know your name, He does know it.

It started out this way with mankind. In the Garden of Eden we see Gods ideal relationship with us: Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There were no rituals, ceremonies, or religion – just a simple loving relationship between God and the people He created. Unhindered by guilt or fear, Adam and Eve delighted in God, and He delighted in them.

We were made to live in Gods continual presence, but after “The Fall”, that ideal relationship was lost. In fact only a few people in the Old Testament times had the privilege of Friendship with God. Moses and Abraham were called “friends of God,” David was called a man after Gods own heart. Job, Enoch and Noah had intimate friendships with God. But fear of God, not friendship, was more common in the O.T.

Then Jesus came along and changed everything. He paid for our sins on the cross and access to God was made available again. Unlike the Old Testament priests who had to spend hours preparing to meet Him, we can now approach God anytime. Romans 5:11 says “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” NLT Friendship with God is only possible because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. Again we look to the scriptures:  2 Cor. 5:18a “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ…” Jesus said.

John 15:15a “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…”NKJV

            Throughout the remainder of this week we will discover at least 3 secrets that will help us develop our friendship with God.



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #112

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (NKJV)

 

FRUIT & FIBRE – Self Control #4

What is self-control? It is the active effort we put forth to resist the temptation to go back to the ways of the world around us once we’ve been shown God’s spiritual way of life. It is demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit instead of committing the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-23).

            Ironically, the fruit of Self Control begins and ends with a willingness to relinquish control and allow the Holy Spirit to have control through you. This ensures that this control (as we learned yesterday) truly reflects Christ.

            This study of the fruits has made it clear why Christians fail so often to be Christ like. They are not open to be led by that same Spirit that led Him. Trying to live the Christian life without the fruit of the Spirit is like trying a make a cake while leaving the flour and sugar out. Some ingredients may not be missed, but others are essential. The fruit of the Spirit is essential to the effective Christian life.

            When the Holy Spirit is and has control of your life, you receive a power within that comes from Him to live out the fruit that He produces in your life. This fruit is very attractive and as the scriptures say, “against such there is no law.”

            Self-control is not merely about temperament. It is about resisting the temptation to break God’s law  and react to others without demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in our thoughts and actions.

So where does self-control come in? Everywhere. For example:

It takes self control to love as He loved. In purity and power.

             It takes self-control to have godly joy when we are facing a difficult situation in life. “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

             It takes self-control to get along with others and make peace instead of constantly getting into conflict. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

             It takes self-control to patiently bear with others rather than quickly condemning them. It’s very hard to “be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

             It takes self-control to not automatically look out only for yourself but kindly look out for other people (Philippians 2:4).

    It takes self-control to do good, to go through the narrow gate toward life rather than the evil, wide gate toward destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

              It takes self-control to be faithful and not have our faith shattered by the mocking of scoffers (2 Peter 3:3-4).

              It takes self-control to be a gentle servant of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:24), showing compassion and mercy with real love as God does with us.

           

            The spiritual Fruit of Self Control may be listed last, but it certainly is not least.



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #111

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (NLT)

 

FRUIT & FIBRE – Self Control #3

            Reading carefully the selected scripture for today, it is clear to me at least that God wants to see me succeed and live in victory over sin. He has given us the Holy Spirit in our lives to empower us and give us the ability to exercise self control.

Those who lose control and disobey God, often do so because they are not honest about their potential for sin and folly. The Christian who says I know I can fall is the one most likely to avoid a fall. The one who pretends temptation is no problem is the one at high risk. Self-control demands that we be honest about our weaknesses and admit them before we face temptation.

Sadly, I have observed that almost every failure to be Christ like can be traced to a lack of self-control. Think about it, if I lack self control, my old nature quietly usurps its place on the thrown of my life and I am anything but Christ-like. Things in my life that belong to the old nature rear their ugly heads again. Lust, foul language, anger, all rise again after God had previously and consistently helped me have victory over when the Holy Spirit reigned. Simply put,  almost every success at being Christ like can be attributed to the power of self-control. (are you beginning to see the importance of this fruit of the Holy Spirit?)

Harold Kushner, America’s most famous Rabbi, tells us why the Jews abstain from food, drink, and sex on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The primary reason he says is to demonstrate man’s capacity to control his natural instincts. It is natural to eat, drink, and have sex, when you feel the hunger for these things. But those who want to obey God recognize that God’s will often goes against the grain of those natural feelings. God said do not eat of the forbidden fruit, but when Eve saw how delightful it was, and good for eating, she let her appetite and desire rise above her loyalty to God, and that was the origin of sin. Sin is primarily a loss of self-control. It is letting the desires of the body take precedence over the will of God.

The Jews, therefore, practice abstaining to show man has been given the power of self-control. He can choose to obey God and deny the body. The image of God is seen in man’s ability to control his instincts.

What Kushner is saying is valid for Christians as well as Jews. We need to discipline our bodies and not let them control our behavior. But this natural self-control often fails us in times of strong temptation. We need the fruit of the Spirit self-control to be victorious at such times.

The natural parallels of the fruits of the Spirit, that are valued by all men, are also valued by Christians. But the natural man is fallen, and so even his virtues are corrupted and inadequate for the pressures of this fallen world. The Christian, to be superior to the natural man, must have the fruit of the Spirit. It is a case where the good is not good enough. You need the best to be a truly successful Christian. It is the power and authority of the Holy Spirit that gives us that victory. We could not live victoriously without it.

You cannot become a stronger Christian simply by the act of the will. Believe me when I was a younger Christian, I tried. I’d hear an inspiring message or read a good book, and then try in the flesh to make the changes I wanted. It never worked out. Only when I surrendered to the Will and Working of the Holy Spirit did God begin to change who I truly was.

Don’t know about you, but I’m loving this topic. Tomorrow even more!!!



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #110

James 3:6

And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (NLT)

 

FRUIT & FIBRE – Self Control #2

The Christian life can be a world of wondrous beauty, but then it can turn ugly if self-control is lost. History is filled with examples of the beautiful Bride of Christ becoming ugly because she lost self-control.

I like how one commentator put it. He said “There have been periods of history when the fruit of the Spirit dried up, and the church looked more like the bride of Frankenstein.” Yikes!!!

Many people have become ugly by the loss of control of their tongue. James 3:6 says “And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”

Do you realize what this is saying? All of us carry a portion of hell fire around in our mouth, and if we lose control of it we can be as destructive as a fire-breathing dragon spewing out flames of gossip and slander that turn reputations to ashes in seconds.

We need to realize there are enemies ever banging at the gates of our lives, but they have little power unless we throw them the key by loss of self-control. This last fruit is no mere caboose that can be taken off the train with no ill effects. This final fruit is vital to keeping the whole train on the tracks. It keeps all the other fruits fresh and appealing to both God and man.

Self-control is the inner strength that determines what external stimuli will be allowed to move you to action. The reason Christians are motivated by external stimuli to do things out of God’s will is because they lack this fruit of the Spirit. We all know the story of David and Bathsheba. David allowed the sight of her bathing to invade his inner life and take over the control of his actions. His plan that evening was not to disobey the will of God, but he lost control, and let his future be planned by other forces.

In this tragic story of lack of self-control is another man who illustrates perfect self-control. It was Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba. David brought him home from the battle front to sleep with his wife, so he would think the child was his own. But Uriah was one in ten thousand, and he refused to sleep with his wife when other soldiers were out risking their lives. David even got him drunk, but he would not change. He was so self-disciplined David could not manipulate him by any external stimuli. David had him murdered to get him out of the way. Here was a soldier who would be faithful to his commitments even if it meant self-denial. He, not David, is our example when it comes to self-control.

The purpose of self-control is prevention. If we prevent the enemy from getting a foothold in our life, we are free and in control of our actions. It is the job of self-control to keep enemies out of your life. Let this fruit get weak, and you are fair game for the enemy of your soul. Believe me, He is lurking and waiting for his opportunity to strike. We need not fear this, for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4), but we must also not be ignorant of the fact that the devil in lurking and will often use the lack of self-control to neutralize our effectiveness.

 

Tomorrow, we continue on in our understanding of developing the fruit.



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #109

Romans 8:4

He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (NLT)

 FRUIT & FIBRE – Self Control

            Over this coming week, I will be addressing the final fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. This of course of the Fruit of Self-Control.

            To begin with, I’d like to look at a few people, (Both biblical and non-biblical people) who either displayed self control or did not. This will be our learning for this week.

            One non-biblical character that has impressed me over the years was the American President Abraham Lincoln.

            One of the things that made Lincoln so great was his marvelous self-control. The nation was coming apart at the seams with a civil war that had everybody’s emotions operating at extremes. To add to the tension, some army contractors were ripping off the government. This made Lincoln very angry. “Seward”, his Secretary of State wrote a scathing letter to a thieving contractor and showed it to Lincoln. “Not half strong enough” said Lincoln. Seward was delighted. He wrote another letter that scorched the paper. “There” said the president, “that serves him right!” “Very well, Mr. President, I’ll mail it at once”, said Seward. “Oh no”, said Lincoln, “don’t mail it, throw it into the waste basket.”

Lincoln knew he could not afford to alienate any more people if he was going to win the war. So, he controlled his desire to blast those taking advantage of the situation for personal gain. If Lincoln would have sent all the nasty letters he wrote, he probably would have lost the war. His self-control is, in great measure, the cause of why America is a free nation. It is not enough that Lincoln was a good man, for had he not been a self-controlled man, all his goodness could have been in vain.

This last fruit of the Spirit is not at the end, as a sign that it is the least important of the nine. It is, in fact, essential to keep all the others from being perverted. Every virtue can become a negative thing if it is not controlled. Even love needs the balance that comes with self-control. Christians are to love members of the opposite sex in Christ. This caring, loving spirit, however, can cross the line and lead to love, not just in the spirit, but in the flesh. The number of Christians who have crossed that line by lack of self-control is extensive. It is the fruit of self-control that tells a believer when they are getting out of balance, and letting the flesh be their guide rather than the Spirit of God.

If love can go bad because of lack of self-control, then so can all the other fruits. Joy out of control can lead to extremes of wildness that are pagan. Peace and patience can be so extreme that it leads to laziness and indifference to a hurting world.

In 2017, I graduated with a Master’s degree from Covington Theological Seminary in Fort Oglethorpe Georgia. The week surrounding my grad, my family and I took some time to enjoy the deep South, including the Mississippi River. When the river is under control, it is a great asset to the locals, but when it floods, it is a disaster. So it is with the Fruit of Self Control. Self-control is the key to keeping all of the other fruits of the Spirit from going bad. They never rot and go bad as long as they are linked to self-control.

Tomorrow, we go a little deeper on this. In the meantime, how self-controlled are you? Are there heart aches in your life because you lacked self-control? Bring these to God and ask Him to allow the fruit of this fruit to be evident in your life.



Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #108

 

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. NKJV

 

PASTORS PIECE – Gentleness #5

            The spiritual fruit of Gentleness is manifested in these following ways:

  1. WHEN SOMEONE SERVES YOU, BE UNDERSTANDING, NOT DEMANDING.

Phil 2:4 “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. NKJV

  1. WHEN AT HOME, BE GENTLE. Never fight a battle in which you won’t win anything. Your relationship with your spouse is worth more than the point your trying to prove.”
  2. WHEN SOMEONE DISAPPOINTS YOU, BE GRACIOUS NOT JUDGEMENTAL.

Galatians 6:1a Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path…”NLT

            Today the fourth manifestation:

  1. WHEN SOMEONE DISAGREES WITH YOU, BE TENDER WITHOUT SURRENDER.

            Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. NKJV.

            Ok, I admit it, this one is the hardest for me or anyone with my type of “fight not flight” personality. Admittedly, the last thing |I want to do is be “nice” to those who oppose me. The flesh in me wants to “put them in their place” yet, here I read that one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is that of gentleness and I know that my flesh fights this. But, if I want to be the kind of vessel that God can and does use, I must learn to embrace the working of Gods spirit in my life with the fruit of gentleness.

            One of the tests of spiritual maturity is how you handle people who disagree with you. I’ve known some people who if you disagree with them, that relationship is in jeopardy because they take such offense to it that they seek to devastate you whenever they can. They lie about you; they rally people around them to build some case against you.         By the way, this happens far too often in church circles. Remember however, that even Jesus had his Judas. (just sayin’)

            Psychologists have discovered that typically there is one of three responses people give when someone disagrees with them.

  1. Retreat in fear: “Ok, have it your way.” The problem is however that there are hidden costs to any relationship that lacks the integrity to be genuine.
  2. React in anger: Anger is usually a tell-tale sign that you feel insecure and threatened by someone’s disapproval.
  3. Respond with gentleness: this kind of response requires a fine balance between maintaining your right to an opinion, while equally respecting another’s right to his or her opinion. It is being tender without surrender. This is the response that God blesses.

Gentleness is the ability to disagree agreeably: Someone once said that “it is possible to walk hand in hand with someone without seeing eye to eye. Besides if two people agree about everything, one of them is not needed.”

            2 Timothy 2:23-25a

Again, I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth… (NLT)

 

God help us all to allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of Gentleness in our lives.