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Summary: There are two dangers to overcome if we are to let our gentleness be known to all men

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Title: The Spiritual Fruit of Gentleness

Text: Philippians 4:4-7

“Let your gentleness be known to all. The Lord is at hand.” (v5)

1.In order to let our gentleness be known to all we have to first know what gentleness looks like

2.The definition of gentleness

A.A modern day definition of gentleness

To be mild, kindly, not severe, rough, or violent

3.The biblical definition of gentleness is nothing like the modern day definition

It is that attitude of spirit by which we accept God’s dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist

4. Gentleness is the fruit of an unwavering belief in the goodness of God

5. Text: Philippians 4:4-7

V5 “Let your gentleness be known to all. The Lord is at hand.”

That’s why I believe when Paul writes “The Lord is at hand” what he means is the goodness of the Lord is at hand.

“Let your gentleness be known to all. The goodness of the Lord is at hand.”

Paul could have written this verse differently

Instead of putting “the Lord is at hand” at the end, he could put it at the beginning

The Lord is at hand. Let your gentleness be known to all.

But Paul knows from experience most times in life you don’t really see the goodness of the Lord till later…

Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

Shall Follow me –not go before me!

Gentleness is the fruit of an unyielding belief in the goodness of God

Going back to our biblical definition of gentleness

It is that attitude of spirit by which we accept God’s dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist

If we are to let our gentleness be known to all there are 2 dangers we must avoid

Danger 1 is to dispute the goodness of God in his dealings with us

Danger 2 is to resist the goodness of God in his dealings with us

Danger 1

If you want to let your gentleness be known to all - You can’t dispute the goodness of God

Text: Philippians 4:4-7

“Let your gentleness be known to all. The Lord is at hand.” (v5)

Let’s now add the previous verse (v4)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Paul is trying to help us from falling into danger #1

Someone who rejoices in the Lord always is someone who refuses to dispute the goodness of God!

I think Paul again has the goodness of God in mind here in verse 4

Rejoice in the goodness of the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!

Rejoice in the goodness of the Lord always. Again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all. The goodness of the Lord is at hand.”

Notice our text is not telling us to rejoice in the terrible circumstances we may face

What it is telling us is to rejoice in the Lord always.

Of course the enemy tries to uses our terrible circumstances to get us to dispute the goodness of God

That’s why Paul repeats the command

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice.

The interesting thing to remember here is that Paul is writing this from prison.

If anyone had the right to dispute the goodness of God it was Paul.

2 Corinthians 12:24-25

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep

But he never disputed the goodness of the God! Why not?...

Because Paul had a favorite scripture

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Application

Do you desire to let your gentleness be known to all?

Then never dispute the goodness of God in your life?

“When I cannot trace His Hand. I can always trust His heart”

Memorize Romans 8:28

And no matter how bad things look. Look for the goodness of God in bad things

Joseph: you meant it for evil but God turned it around for good.

Determine to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord always.

Danger 2 If you want your gentleness to be known to all you can’t resist the goodness of God

I know what some of you are thinking

Who in their right mind resists the goodness of God?

The reality is lots and lots of people resist the goodness of God all the time

For example everyone who refuses to accept Jesus as savior resists the goodness of God.

The goodness of God that they resist is Peace with God!

Out of his goodness God sent Jesus into the world to bring us peace with God

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