Monday, July 9, 2018

Fruit of the Spirit -- Gentleness

Chuckle: “Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore, And that’s what parents were created for.” --Ogden Nash
Quote: “Gentleness is a divine trait: nothing is so divine as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength.” --Ralph W. Sockman

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:16,22 NIV). "Let your gentleness be evident to all" (Philippians 4:5 NIV).
This lesson is about the fruit of the Spirit known as "gentleness," ("meekness," KJV) or "humility." The Greek term was used to describe a person in whom strength was blended with gentleness. A humble person is a strong person whose strength is controlled, whose power is harnessed in loving service and compassionate actions. Such gentleness is compatible with firm convictions and decisive actions. While a humble person is not a spineless individual, the New Testament teaches that one who is humble will not be overly concerned about his or her prestige (Romans 12:16). A humble (gentle) person is teachable and willingly follows Jesus' example of humility.
Humility is like a slippery watermelon seed. Once you get it under your finger and you think you have it, it slips away from your grasp. If we aren't careful, we can let our humility become something we're proud of. Have you ever known someone who was proud of his or her humility.
"The story is told of two brothers who grew up on a farm. One went away to college, earned a law degree, and became a partner in a prominent law firm in the state capital. The other brother stayed on the family farm. One day the lawyer came and visited his brother, the farmer. He asked, "Why don't you go out and make a name for yourself and hold your head up high in the world like me?" The farmer brother pointed and said, "See that field of wheat over there? Look closely. Only the empty heads stand up. Those that are well filled always bow low." Said differently, "The branch that bears the most fruit is bent the lowest to the ground."Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green
As is so often the case with spiritual characteristics, the world views gentleness and humility as weaknesses. When, in fact, they are a sure sign that a person has submitted his or her will to God, is not seeking to draw attention to himself or herself, and always gives God the credit and honor in every circumstance. Maybe that's why Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek (gentle, humble), for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5 NIV). Let's join our hearts in prayer that God will make us gentle and humble in the power of His Holy Spirit.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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