Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fruits of the Spirit Series – Part 5 Gentleness


Galatians 5
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gentleness = Merciful and Kindness

In other words, God does not have to be kind to us and we don’t deserve it nor could we earn it, yet God is mercifully kind to us. The Apostle Paul explained this truth to us in:

Romans 2:4  Do you despise the riches of His goodness (merciful kindness), forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness (merciful kindness) of God leads you to repentance?

God is mercifully kind, tolerant and patient with us. Without these attributes being clearly and continually displayed towards man, who would want to willingly repent of their sins and turn their lives over to Him? Serving God out of fear is not the same as serving God from a heart of love. We love Him because He first loved us. This God did only from his overwhelming and overriding heart of merciful kindness towards us when He gave us His Son. It is God’s hope that others would see Christ in us.

Romans 11:22  Therefore consider the goodness (merciful kindness) and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness (merciful kindness) if you continue in His goodness (merciful kindness). Otherwise you also will be cut off.

Titus 3
3  For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
4  But when the kindness (merciful kindness) and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7  that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Just as God shows us merciful kindness it is His desire that we grow and show this same merciful kindness to others. Not because they have earned it, deserve it or simply because we are having a good day. Rather, it is God’s hope that we have an abundance of merciful kindness in our lives so that we can show it to people when they least deserve it.

This gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit.
1.   It takes time to grow fruit.
2.   Fruit is meant to be consumed.
3.   This fruit is grown to meet the needs of others.
4.   The fruit on your tree of life cannot be taken by others, it must be grown and given to others by an act of your will.
5.   We disappoint God when we are not mercifully kind to others.
6.   We should be disappointed in ourselves when we do not have enough of this fruit to share with others.
7.   When we are mercifully kind it gives others a chance to change.

Proverbs 31:26  She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. (merciful lovingkindness)

Both Psalms 18 and 2 Samuel 22 record a song of David. This song is one of the most beautiful in all the collection of songs throughout the Bible. It was written late in the life of David, perhaps even as a farewell testimony to the goodness of God. The song recounts events earlier in David’s life wherein God blessed and favored David. One particular verse concludes with this declaration:

Psalms 18:35 … “Thy gentleness has made me great.”

David recognized he did not deserve the merciful kindness of God but nonetheless that gentle quality of God allowed David to rise from a shepherd boy to a King and recover from a murderous and adulterous past to be a man after God’s own heart.