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Gentleness

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We live in a weird time, don’t we? Our society cries out for love while murdering children behind closed doors and they claim to be for tolerance while canceling anyone who speaks the truth to them. Just last week, a grandmother was carjacked by teenagers and ended us dragging her to her death. As a matter of fact statistics show that teenage crime has skyrocketed amongst the youth in our nation and that is shocking and heartbreaking. This world is a harsh place full of heartache and aggression but in the midst of the darkness sits the light of the Gospel that has touched our lives and as it has touched us, we pray that the Lord may work through us to touch those around us.
In our series on the fruit of the Spirit, we have seen the fact that the Spirit works through us, making us more like the Lord and as we look at our text today we see the call for gentleness in the life of the believer. But what does that mean? You see, if we don’t understand what “gentleness” is, how can we look to see it being produced in us?
Is gentleness being a weak, spineless person who never has the courage to stand up for what is right? Many tend to think so, and honestly, if that’s the case, I don’t blame people for shying away from what they believe gentleness is. But that’s not what it means. Gentleness, or meekness, may be defined as power under control. Like a german shepherd gently playing with a toddler or a horse letting a cowboy ride it’s back. It is certainly powerful, but it’s power under control.
This week I want us to think of three questions as we look at gentleness and how it is to work through our hearts and lives. Today we’re going to explore the question:
Do I Realize The Gentleness of God?
Do I Rest in The Gentleness of God?
Do I Reflect The Gentleness of God?

Do I Realize The Gentleness of God?

In the 1980’s a woman by the name of Donna Rice found herself in quite the predicament as she was caught on a cruise ship to the Bahama’s with the then married presidential hopeful Gary Hart. Donna had claimed to be a Christian that had gotten away from her once serious walk with Christ and now had landed herself in this mess. Her life fell apart. She resigned her job, her name was muddied and while she was being hounded by media and being offered huge sums of money for her story her mother told her, “Before you make any decisions, get your life straight with God.” Rice goes on to say, “I was stunned because I hadn’t yet realized I could put the entire mess in his hands.”
Her mother then gave her a cassette from a friend from her youth-group back when they were in school that said, “Donna, I imagine you’re in a lot of pain right now,” the friend said. “I just want you to know that God loves you and I love you.” Rice recalls, “When she began to share songs we used to sing together, I collapsed on the floor in my apartment and sobbed. I knew I—and no one else—was responsible for my choices. I cried out, ‘God, it took falling on my rear in front of the whole world to get my attention. Help me to live my life your way!’ God answered my plea by flooding me with his presence and forgiveness and by surrounding me with Christian fellowship.”
Within our lives, there can be a tendency to fall in to the trap of building a picture of God’s personality in our mind that He doesn’t reveal in the Scripture and there certainly have been times that I myself have fallen into the trap of forgetting that God is gentle with us but He certainly is. From His careful sculpting of Adam, to Him then giving the now rebellious Adam the promise of a Redeemer it runs through the entirety of the Bible. Let me quickly give you a few examples.
Isaiah 40:10–11 NKJV
10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Notice the strong hand of the mighty One coming with power is now the gentle arm that gathers His lambs. The Lord is mighty, but He isn’t ruthless in His power. He is gentle. Look at how He works for His people with love. as we see the care He has as He promises to tend to His flock, the gentleness He has as He provides for the weak lambs, and how He caters to the particular needs of the young.
If you are broken by your sin and feel hopeless or if you’re wearied in your Christian walk. Isaiah 42:1-4
Isaiah 42:1–4 (NKJV)
1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. 4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
Or consider the heart of the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 where the father’s son demands his inheritance as though to say he wishes his own father was dead and as the boy goes to this far land and blows everything his father worked for, as he comes running home covered in filth and wreaking of failure; the Father runs to embrace him with loving arms.
This is our God who is gentle to the downtrodden and who faithfully cares for you as His children. Though we are difficult and He would be just to leave us to ourselves, He is always there for us. Do you and I realize that? But not only do we realize it, do we rest in it?

Do I Rest in The Gentleness of God?

Retreat to the Gentleness of God.
When Christ wanted to draw men to Himself He said this is Matthew 11:28-30
Matthew 11:28–30 NKJV
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Do you rest in His gentleness? Do you feel secure in His mighty and loving embrace? Knowing that in a heartless and sinful world, He has everything under control and He cares for you? We learn gentleness in our life by enjoying the gentleness of Christ!
Resign in Gentleness to God’s Wisdom
James 1:21 (NKJV)
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
While we run into Christ’s warm embrace, we must also trust His wisdom given to us in His Word.
James 3:13 NKJV
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

Do I Reflect The Gentleness of God?

Colossians 3:12–13 NKJV
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Titus 3:1–2 NKJV
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
As we consider these two texts, let’s ask ourselves, “Do I show gentleness to the people in my life?”

To the Difficult People

Colossians is calling us to be gentle toward one another, striving for unity, forgiving each other just as Christ has given us. So, when there are difficult people in your life and you feel like you’re in a position to hurt or embarrass them. Remind yourself to be gentle to them no matter how difficult they may be, just as Christ has been gentle with you.

To the Discourage People

Just as Christ won’t break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax, we should be gentle to the hurting people around us. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Paul talks of how gentle he was with the Thessalonians by saying,
1 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJV
7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
Do you show that same kind of compassion and gentleness to the hurting people in your life?
Are you someone who the lonely can flock to, knowing that you’re a source of gentle care for them or do they hide their pain because they know you’ll tell them to get over it? Do people who feel abandoned know they can come to you to feel as though they belong? Do those who are oppressed know you’ll fight for them? Are you someone who cares about the people around you?
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