Posted by: lifestreamsflow1 | April 5, 2010

GENTLENESS: Contrary to a Brutal World

We live in an era characterized by rudeness, harshness, violence, and anger! In the first verses of 2 Timothy 3 we find this graphic description…. “In the last days perilous times, (times of stress) will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, (selfish), lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people…TURN AWAY!”

He is not saying that people who act this way don’t need to be reached out to…but he is saying to not be influenced to act as they do.

It is difficult, if not almost impossible, in these days to find in people – men and women alike – compassion, tenderness, sensitivity, kindness, goodness, and gentleness. Yet, to those of us who are called to follow Jesus…these last characteristics are expected to flow out of our hearts and be the sign to those in this world of our transformed lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit and study notes in the Spirit-Filled Life Bible reveal this insight. “The first three listed – love, joy, peace: are concerned with our attitude toward God; the second triad – patience, kindness, goodness deal with social relationships; the third group – faithfulness, GENTLENESS, self-control, describes principles that guide a Christian’s conduct.”

Is your conduct GENTLE? Examine your behavior on a daily basis to see if it does display a GENTLE SPIRIT in all things. If not…how can that become possible in the midst of such a brutal society? How can we go out day by day…vulnerable, sensitive, and soft of heart and face the cold harshness of this world without a thick skin that decides to not allow itself to feel the pain inflicted by multitudes of people in a Godless, sinful society? How can we keep from being testy, brittle, sharp, and even angry ourselves?

Actually….it is impossible…apart from the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.  How we NEED His active Presence in our lives!

In dealing with others in today’s present caustic atmosphere, our only protection and power to survive comes from the HOLY SPIRIT. He must not only be “in us” as a result of our initial surrender to Him…but we must humble ourselves before Him daily, inviting His powerful protective presence to come “upon us”. This is necessary so that He can be both the interceptor of the world’s harshness directed at us, as well as the One whose nature is reflected back to them in their nakedness and need for Him.

Bible notes relate: “Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, and kindness characterize Jesus’ followers. These words describe the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The HOLY SPIRIT removes abrasive qualities from the character of the ones under His control.”

I was raised singing the precious old hymns of the Church in an era when it was not an embarrassment to speak or sing of sweetness, gentleness, honor, courage, trust, faithfulness, kindness, goodness and the like. Hundreds of these hymns taught us many things about the character of Jesus. Our minds were renewed and filled with sacred things rather than the profane.

Years ago there was a song which pierced my heart called “Gentle Shepherd”. I can still hear the soft, tender tune but don’t recall all the words. The HOLY SPIRIT drew the listener into the loving, waiting arms of the ONE who loves and truly cares for His people. His gentle embrace was a “safe” place. We did not mind being known as “His children”. Humility and meekness were traits to long for and desire…not to laugh at. The things of God were dear, precious, beautiful, and lovely, and we would run to those images of our God for comfort and safety. This seems foreign in our brutal, violent times; but as representatives of Christ Jesus we must not forget that a caring spirit is the ultimate way to carry the message of His Gospel into the hearts of lost listeners…and even to the sinful among us.

Dr. Les Carter wrote: “Jesus said, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink,‘ John 7:37. Can’t you just picture the inviting look on His face as He spoke those words? His mission was to bring comfort to those who had known rejection and judgment, and He was determined that His demeanor would project the compassion and understanding consistent with that mission. Kindness involves a nurturing, encouraging, gentle spirit.”

If we are to be worthy to carry His message…we must do so in His Spirit. He was gentle. Can we do any less in this violent age?

DETERMINATION: Working intently to accomplish goals regardless of the opposition.

“Jesus Christ is the SAME…yesterday, today, and forever!” Hebrews 13:8

Looking unto JESUS,

Sandy

~ Check out my daily pictorial blog on Facebook called 2 Chron714 Network, a page to call God’s People to fulfill 2 Chronicles 7:14 in our day and hour, so He can “hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land!”

http://www.facebook.com/2Chron714Network

Also…click on the name SANDY BRUNSON to the right of this blog to become my Facebook friend!

 

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Responses

  1. Blessings and thank you Sandy.

    The message of Galatians 5:22-23 listing the fruit of the spirit (a beautiful portrait of JESUS) and our reflected lives when He control us is needed daily.
    I keep this list taped in my car (and places at home) to remind me of a Christian’s real nature in the “brutal world” outside.

    Keep teaching/proclaiming the Word and sharing your heart with others. It is making a difference. We as the Body of Christ and need each other.

    With the love of JESUS,
    Gerri

  2. Sandy – I love this. Gentleness is something I struggle with at times. And, when I see it in others I always think — I love that, I want to reflect that to others. Godspeed, Elizabeth


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