Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Greek word for gentleness as used in Galatians 5:22 is: ‘Chrestotes’ it means moral excellence (in character & demeanour (Outward behaviour: somebody's behaviour, manner, or appearance, especially as it reflects on character). To be gentle means to be discreet, prudent, compelled by wisdom (not just knowledge), knowing what to do and how to do it at all times. It also means to be sober (thoughtful). It really takes the Holy Spirit to be gentle. In one word, gentleness means wisdom (See James 3:13-18, NLT). Ultimately, being gentle means actively walking in the Wisdom of God – not just having it, but actively walking in it.
“Ladies and gentlemen” is an official way we address an audience both formally and informally. It’s quiet ridiculous to address a crowd as gentle people. Calling everyone gentle could just be as funny as calling everyone wise! The world’s definition of gentleness is totally different from the Bible’s just like it is with the word ‘love’. We must be very careful about using the dictionary to define spiritual things. The closest definition of gentleness, out of all other definitions given by the dictionary is having a gracious and honourable manner [Manner of life, lifestyle].
Gentleness is not quietness or taciturnity even though they could be virtues of a gentle person. A gentle man is known by the results he produces. You don’t know gentleness by just outward display – but result! Real gentleness starts from the heart and then reflects on the outside. Even though Gentleness doesn’t mean quietness, it has a lot to do with how we use our words. A gentle man is conscious of his use of words (James 3:2; 1:19; Col. 4:6).
WHO IS A GENTLE PERSON? – Gentleness can be identified (Philippians 4:5).
1. One who is born again (Every saint has the fruit of gentleness. We just need to grow in it).
2. One who has received The Holy Spirit, yields to Him and walks with Him.
3. A person who walks in practical wisdom – Prudence. He’s driven by the force of wisdom (Phil. 4:5, NKJV)
4. A person who has strength of character – the entire fruit of the spirit is the character of the Christian.
5. A person who always knows what to do in every situation – He’s never stuck! (Col.1:9-11).
6. A person who has control over his life by controlling his tongue (James 3).
7. A person who maintains a disciplined prayer life – His stability comes from his fellowship with the Lord.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example of a gentle life just as in all other fruit of the spirit.
AREAS OF FOCUS IN DEVELOPING THE FRUIT OF GENTLENESS
1. Words: Col. 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (NKJV).
2. Actions: Philip. 4:5 says “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (NKJV). A gentleman always thinks before acting and not vice versa.
3. Understanding: Eph. 5:17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
4. Time Mastery: A gentle man never goes late for an event because he has mastered the use of his time.
5. Value: A gentle man understands true value and so doesn’t waste his time, energy or resources on things that don’t produce value.
6. Discernment: A gentleman is always discerning. He knows what to do at all time since he’s always keen to the voice of the Spirit.
7. Integrity: A gentleman or woman is known for doing what is right (doing the Word) no matter the cost.
The more gentle you become, the lesser the mistakes you make – Gentleness is Christian maturity! The strength of a gentleman is in how keen he is to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit. How we need to be gentle in the world and time we live in today. It will change everything about us!
How do we grow the fruit of gentleness in our lives?
1. By knowing and yielding to the Holy Spirit!
2. Always pray Col. 1:9-11 for yourself. Also spend time praying in the Holy Ghost – it keeps your spirit keen.
3. Consciously cultivate it by doing the Word.
4. Develop a conscious of it by confessing it daily. E.g. “I’m walking in gentleness today in the Name of Jesus.”
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1Peter 3:3,4 (NKJV).
Monday, September 5, 2011
Today, I write to talk to you about something very vital, helpful and urgent. I pray you dedicate some minutes of your time to read this piece. It will bless you big, I promise you!
From time to time, in our lives, it becomes so necessary to halt on the activities, rush, noise, etc. in order to listen to our selves, define our values again in the light of God’s Word and so make informed decisions. And as simple as this may seem, it is what defines who we are and who we would eventually turn out to be in life. Defining moments are those moments we set aside to call things what they really are and see things the way they truly are. The Word of God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you are disqualified.” (NKJV). You see, decisions are so vital to us daily that we just make them, sometimes without even premeditating on their consequences. Every decision has its consequence – what it delivers in return – whether good or bad. Most of the time, the state in which we were when we made a decision determines the quality of decision we make and the consequences thereof. For us as Believers in Jesus Christ, this is very important because if we can learn to listen to our spirit man, we would foresee certain things and events and as a result make informed decisions by the Help of the Holy Spirit who resides in us.
The Lord Jesus had defining moments during His time on earth. He always had moments when He was just alone with the Father – different from His time of prayer and study. I believe He virtually drew His strengthen from those moments that He had to stay away from the crowd to listen to His heart and the heart of the Father. Having defining moments is not an option for people who want to step into the fullness of God’s plans and purpose for their lives. It brings about an unusually focus, direction and progress. There was something about the life of Jesus on earth. He was a wonder to everyone He came in contact with. He had a word for everyone He met. He had a solution for every problem He encountered. He was always on top of circumstances. He was simply in charge! When men met Him, they were changed. Just something about His life! But of course, these things did not just happen. They happened because He cared enough to step out from the crowd from time to time to get things straight. Friends, you know as much as I do that this world is a noisy place – full of distraction – and if we’re not careful we’d lose what we’ve got in a bid to achieve much. Before the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He had a defining moment at the Garden of Gethsemane where He settled it once and for all that He will fulfil His purpose – the death on the cross – no matter what! Jesus is not just the Son of God but He is the pattern-Son of God. We must follow His example to please the Father.
In order to get the best out of our defining moments, we must ensure that the following are considered during defining moment:
1. Check your motives – why do you do what you do, are you a ‘man pleaser’ or a God pleaser? Are you doing things for love sake or for selfish reasons?
2. Ask yourself the right questions.
3. Be sincere with yourself – just tell yourself the truth about you even if it hurts.
4. Give yourself a sincere evaluation of how far you’ve gone in fulfilling God’s dream (purpose) for your life on earth.
5. Be sure you’re alone with the Holy Spirit.
6. Just think, write and pray – nothing else! You might also want to fast during those moments. Please do, it will help greatly!
7. It is so important you pray in preparation for those moments because God must be involved in it if it must be worth the while.
With these things rightly in place, you’re sure to always come out a different and better person than you went in. The Word of God actually says that we should judge ourselves so that we will not be judged (1Cor. 11:31) and that is one of the things defining moments will help us to do. Note, it didn’t say for us to condemn ourselves but to judge (discern, evaluate or weigh) ourselves. So when we do it properly, it improves the quality of our lives and service to God.
How often should we have defining moments? This could be done as often as possible especially when at the point of making major decisions that affect our lives. For instance, Jesus had it just before going to the cross, Abraham had it before taking Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice him in obedience to God, Jacob had it before going to meet (reconcile with) his brother – Esau. For me, apart from other times I set aside to re-define things in my life, I find my birthdays the best days for it. Reality dawns on me the most on that day of the year. I ask myself questions like “having spent so and so years on earth, what’s my life really worth for the Lord and His Kingdom? Am I really fulfilling purpose on a daily basis?” etc. I know it doesn’t have to be the same for you but whatever time it is, be sure to get the best out of it. I believe that the Lord gets the best of our attention and speaks to us during defining moments. In fact, one thing you’ll never miss during defining moments is the voice of God! The Holy Spirit will speak expressly to you if you’re sincere and open to Him!
There is one thing we must do which would enable us to have the right definition in life on a daily basis. This all important thing is seen in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ during His time here on earth. We see that in Mark 1:35 which says “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (NKJV). If we would simply get ourselves to do this everyday, everyday will be purposeful, fulfilling and well maximized to the glory of God. Friend, let’s not waste our time here on earth. Everyday, hour, minute, second, micro second matter and must matter to us as they matter to the Father. Hope this helps. Blessings!