Summary: I must say this, today there is a sadistic and egoistic pleasure in being snobby, overbearing, rude and curt? We have just forgotten to be kind, gentle and pleasant!
Acts 11:2’And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him…’
It is sad that many are skeptical about fasting! Let us not do fasting as a ritual or a religious custom like many do these days without any change in them. Are you listening? A group of ladies walked out of a Saturday fasting prayer meeting from the church carrying a big fat Bible with them and boarded the bus, they spoke boisterously, argued with the conductor and refused to adjust with the people in the bus. Did not Apostle Paul say ‘Let your gentleness be known to all men?’ (Philippians 4:5)
Well, there is a brighter and positive side of fasting too, let me explain to you guys…….
Did you know fasting, prayer and close relationship with God can change your character and attitude? It does. Look at fasting as a ‘tool’ that would help you to live a successful life for Christ. How many of you have made 1000 resolutions to hold your tongue and temper only to fail the next moment? Be honest. This is why precisely Jesus said, ‘without Me you can do nothing.’ (John 15:5)
I must say this, today there is a sadistic and egoistic pleasure in being snobby, overbearing, rude and curt? We have just forgotten to be kind, gentle and pleasant! Let me share a beautiful incident from the Bible: after a great revival at the house of Cornelius, where even the gentile people were filled with the Holy Spirit and while Peter was floating with joy, there comes his own people charging against him for having mixed with the ‘wrong crowd’. Imagine! I certainly enjoyed this portion of reading, struck by Peter’s gentleness and impressed by his style, I got to write this devotion. Peter who is known for his impulsive behavior and tongue, has truly undergone a wonderful transformation after the day of Pentecost! Watch this!
Instead of asking his people to ‘ take a walk’ or say the most famous statement of all Christians, ‘God understands me so I don’t care what you guys think of me’; he said neither of these things, but look what he does: verse 4’But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning.’ Gorgeous! Peter patiently gave them the entire account in order; when you get time later during the day, open your Bible and read this incident for yourself. It would bring healing in your life as well. Further, Peter quotes the words of Christ during his conversation which further adds flavor to his words. He says,16’Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' We should learn to quote scriptures which people can never refute! After his gentle and articulate speech, do you want to know the response of the crowd? “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God!” Praise God!
I want to quote the awesome words of apostle Paul before I talk further to you:
‘Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.’
Ephesians 4:2 ‘with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love..’
Let your gentleness be known to all! Man, that’s a powerful statement! If there is a misunderstanding, don’t scream and yell to argue your point, neither should you prove your skills by having to say the last word on the matter. Learn to say nothing. I repeat, learn to stay silent, when the furnace is seven times heated. That’s the mark of a true Christian! The devil knows how to pull the strings and make you lose your anointing. Beware! Even if you are accused for doing good, stay cool, will you? In the above text, we see Peter being accused by his own men for preaching the Word to the gentile crowd, that’s what will happen for you and me; nevertheless, we need to learn the art of gentleness. Take a look around and you will find aggressiveness, rebelliousness and boisterousness being hailed in reality shows and be it, western or Indian TV dramas, I find the characters being very loud and noisy. Children/adults later ape them. Watch out!
Let us be able to say like Apostle Paul: ‘Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ.’(2 Corinthians 10:!)