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Winning by Surrendering Part 6 Gentle Jesus

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How did you do while I was away?
I was listening to Pastor Peter’s divinely inspired and well presented sermons. Our multimedia, website, and communications team has things in place so now we are able to access the sermons online.
I heard the charge to live this week racket free. I listened to it. How did you do?
Did you stop the Persistent complaints coupled to a fixed way of being, which is a racket. And we all know that racketeering gives a payoff.
Typically the payoff for the rackets we pull is complaining about others being wrong in how they do church or live their lives. The payoff is it makes us look right. and or keeps judgmental eyes off of our own wrongness.
It was fairly easy for me to stay away from running rackets. Being on vacation for two weeks, helped. Snorkeling in the clear warm waters of Oahu cleared my head. Time with family and not having to focus on the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland was helpful.
making others wrong. The payoff
Although I was tempted to start a racket, to find a way to stay on eternal vacation.
Well, we are all promised that after the second coming.
And we are preparing for that day in all we do as a church.
And thus...
We are learning Biblical principles so we do run rackets, which leads to a culture of conflict, an ongoing cycle of moving from one issue to another.
We are making commitments to rise above the messes and gossip of this world and as a church strive for living a life bigger than ourselves. To be a church that takes on huge goals, challenges, endeavors for the Lord’s glory and leaves the petty trivial arguments in the dust.
As we make these commitments, living by these principles helps break the cycle of conflict and all of its symptoms that take away our joy.

Biblical Ways to Deal With Conflict

Surrender to Christ. ()
Make every effort to maintain peace. ()
Four G’s of peacemaking
Glorify God - ()
Get the Log Out of Your Eye. ()
Gently Restore
Galatians 6:1 CEB
Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too.
We should stop nailing each other to the cross. The gospel is that Jesus was nailed to the cross in our place.
He restored us gently by taking on the punishment, violence, pain, and suffering, that we deserve.
He took the violence, mistreatment, abuse, so we can be treated with gentleness, tenderness and love.
In fact, many times, we are to follow this direction...
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Proverbs 19:11 CEB
Insightful people restrain their anger; their glory is to ignore an offense.
We are given permission to let it go.
We are here today to be known as a church that gently restores in truth and love and takes the initiative to be like Jesus.
Jesus followed this model. He let it go. That is what the whole sanctuary service, the cross, and communion teaches. Jesus ignored it, and gently forgives and says go and sin no more...
Gentle means thoughtful, careful, prayerful. Making every effort to take each step in a way that fosters an ideal outcome.
Restoring something takes time.
Three Parts of Forgiving To forgive someone involves three things.
First, it means to forego the right of striking back. One rejects the urge to repay gossip with gossip and a bad turn with a worse turn.
To forgive someone involves three things. First, it means to forego the right of striking back. One rejects the urge to repay gossip with gossip and a bad turn with a worse turn. Second, it means replacing the feeling of resentment and anger with good will, a love which seeks the other's welfare, not harm. Third, it means the forgiving person takes concrete steps to restore good relations.
Second, it means replacing the feeling of resentment and anger with good will, a love which seeks the other's welfare, not harm.
Third, it means the forgiving person takes concrete steps to restore good relations.
Jesus was doing this with the disciples during the last supper. Each of them had a seat at the table. He was taking steps to restore relationship. Was washing their feat. Demonstrated the servant leadership. He didn’t resent them for their imperfections, even washing Judas’ feat as he sat their plotting the betrayal. And the whole footwashing and last supper experience was the opposite of repaying a bad turn for a worse turn, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
Without confrontation, protest, or debate, love did its work.
Speaking the truth means nothing without love, because no one is going to hear us if we keep throwing stones, if we are going to be known for something let it be love.
Let love lead. There’s no need to nail one another to the cross when we mess up, make a mistake, slip down the slippery slope and start running rackets again.
We will unpack Jesus more detailed guidance on restoring relationships in upcoming installments of this series. , which addresses ways to handle your relationships with one another when you feel someone has done you wrong.
And Jesus shows the foundation for all the ways conflict is dealt with.
Gentleness. Gentle Jesus is our model.
Yes. Both betrayers were at the table, Judas and Peter. Rather than harshly reprimanding, belittling them and sending them out of the room, or going into a 2 hour talk hold on the errors of their ways,
he simply, gently, invites them to dinner, washes their feet. And shares the gospel with them. He embarks on his last sermons and devotionals to them in which he speaks of:
he is the way truth and life,
I won’t leave you orphans and will send the holy spirit
I am the vine
Love each other
If the world hates you
I will go away and I will see you again
Because I have conquered the world.
then he prays for them
john 13.
John 13:34–35 CEB
34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”
Why did the Early Church succeed where we are failing? How did they transform the Western world in such a relatively short time? They did it because they did things that baffled the Romans. The Early Church didn't picket, they didn't boycott, and they didn't gripe about what was going on in their culture. They just did things that astonished the Romans. They took in their abandoned babies. They helped their sick and wounded. They restored dignity to the slaves. They were willing to die for what they believed. After a while, their actions so softened the hearts of the Romans that they wanted to know more about who these Christians were and who was the God they represented.
Without confrontation, protest, or debate, love did its work.
They were living by this commandment in how they handled conflict inside the church and the conflict from without. Rather than obsessing on and letting the differences wrongs, and slights run the program knock them off course, they chose to live above it all by loving one another, by forgiving and letting it go. And then serving and helping and turning enemies, estranged neighbors and hostile citizens into part of the church family.
Speaking the truth means nothing without love, because no one is going to hear us if we keep throwing stones, if we are going to be known for something let it be love.
Let love lead. There’s no need to nail one another to the cross when we mess up, make a mistake, slip down the slippery slope and start running rackets again.
Jesus is calling us to a greater purpose. One that doesn’t run rackets, retaliate when someone wrongs us, obsesses on others inadequacies, quick to cast out and give up on one another. Fight or flight.
Rather we are called to be radical like Gentle Jesus. When the world says to hit back, fight back, stand up for yourself, Jesus demonstrates love, forgiveness, and gentleness.
Imagine, when someone lashes out at you, and your response is, please come to dinner and let me wash your feet, I will give you a pedicure. THIS IS A RADICAL RESPONSE. This is a gentle response.
What it is really saying is, I will look past what has gotten between us, and focus on the fact that Jesus already handled the sin, and I will move on and care for you and what you need.
Dirty feet, I will wash them, empty belly, I will feed you, battered and bruise, I will pay your medical bills, need someone to talk to, I will listen without judgment....
Partake in this gentle relationship restoration process and search out for the one whose feet you need to wash in a symbolic expression of your desire to overlook, forgive, and move on.
I know of a story of a missionary family that took a furlough, a sabbatical together as a family after an unusually tiring stint of service. The wife had been looking forward to this time with great anticipation. For the first time she was going to have a place of her own, a new, large townhouse-styled apartment with a patio. She is very creative and made the patio the focus of her decoration.
After a few months some new neighbors moved in. The word to describe them would be "coarse." There was loud music day and night along with a constant flow of obscenities. They urinated in the front yard in broad daylight. They totally disrupted her peace. She could see nothing good in them.
She asked the Lord to help her be more loving, but all she got back [from her neighbors] was disgust and rejection. The crisis came when she returned home to discover that her neighbors' children had sprayed orange paint all over her beautiful patio—the walls, the floors—everything! She was distraught and furious. She tried to pray but found herself crying out, "I cannot love them; I hate them!"
Knowing she had to deal with the sin in her heart, she began to converse with the Lord in her inner being, and a Scripture came to mind: "And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity" ( NASB). In her heart she questioned, "Lord, how do I put on love?" The only way she could picture it was like putting on a coat. So that is what she determined to do—she chose to wrap herself in the love of God! As a result she began to experience a deeper life of Christ within her.
She made a list of what she would do if she really loved her exasperating neighbors, then did what she had listed. She baked cookies, she offered to baby-sit for free, she invited the mother over for coffee—and the most beautiful thing happened! She began to know and understand them. She began to see that they were living under tremendous pressures. She began to love her "enemies." She did good to them. She lent to them without expecting anything back.
The day came when they moved—and she wept! An unnatural, unconventional love had captured her heart—a supernatural love—the love of Jesus.
That was the way she restored gentle to those not yet part of the community of believers.
We can demonstrate this now, we can come together and restore gently. That’s what the ordinance of humility, footwashing service and communion is about.
Partake in this gentle relationship restoration process and search out for the one whose feet you need to wash in a symbolic expression of your desire to overlook, forgive, and move on.
And as your desire to come to Jesus and experience the same from him.
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The cross, the blood of Christ, no substitute.
It gives us the model of forgiveness, forgetting, overlooking the wrong and the punishment it deserves, and moving forward by way of restoring relationship.
Matthew 18:15–20 CEB
15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses.17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”
1 Corinthians 6:1–8 CEB
1 When someone in your assembly has a legal case against another member, do they dare to take it to court to be judged by people who aren’t just, instead of by God’s people? 2 Or don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to judge trivial cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary things? 4 So then if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint people as judges who aren’t respected by the church? 5 I’m saying this because you should be ashamed of yourselves! Isn’t there one person among you who is wise enough to pass judgment between believers? 6 But instead does a brother or sister have a lawsuit against another brother or sister, and do they do this in front of unbelievers? 7 The fact that you have lawsuits against each other means that you’ve already lost your case. Why not be wronged instead? Why not be cheated? 8 But instead, you are doing wrong and cheating—and you’re doing it to your own brothers and sisters.
Galatians 6:1–2 CEB
1 Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too. 2 Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
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Ephesians 4:29 CEB
29 Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.
2 Timothy 2:24–26 CEB
24 God’s slave shouldn’t be argumentative but should be kind toward all people, able to teach, patient, 25 and should correct opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will change their mind and give them a knowledge of the truth. 26 They may come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap that holds them captive to do his will.
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James 5:9 CEB
9 Don’t complain about each other, brothers and sisters, so that you won’t be judged. Look! The judge is standing at the door!
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