Summary: Gentleness is a trait that we need to display to everyone. We need the help of God's Holy Spirit to be able to do so!
• SLIDE #1
• Over the past few weeks we have been examining some of the characteristics that should be growing in the life of one who is being transformed into the image of Jesus.
• One thing that should be obvious as we have been examining the assorted characteristics that we need HELP!
• When you start to dig down deep into each of the characteristics we have inspected, the task is scary and intimidating.
• I cannot tell you how many people I have dealt with during my ministry who were trying live some semblance of a life for Jesus before they were in Christ.
• We can try develop all of the traits we have been inspecting without having the Holy Spirit within us; however, our endeavor will experience limited success because we cannot do this on our own.
• The characteristic we will cover today is no different. Because of the nature of gentleness, we really need to help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to master this one.
• The term GENTLENESS is not an easy word to translate into one word in English. The basic flavor of the word refers to a gracious and reasonable spirit. In particular it forsakes insistence on one’s own rights in order to benefit others.
• GENTLENESS does not insist on every right of the letter of the law of custom.
• Some translations use the word GRACIOUSNESS, UNSELFISH, REASONABLE, MODERATION.
• A gentle person would even be willing to bear unpleasant treatment if that were warranted. This was not a browbeat attitude, showing lack of courage. Rather it was a response of strength, inspired by the relation to Christ.
• When we start thinking about the possibility of yielding our rights for the benefit of others, THAT IS DIFFICULT TO DO ONE OUR OWN, we need help!
• Jesus was the ultimate example of what it meant to be gentle. Jesus was no wimp, Jesus was full of power and love.
• Jesus said in Matthew 11:29
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 11:29 (NET) Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
• A weak person cannot take on the burdens of other folks, they cannot allow anyone to lean on them. Gentleness is not weakness, but rather it is power that is restrained.
• WE will be in Philippians 4:4-6 this morning as we seek to understand the characteristic of gentleness.
• SLIDE #3
• Philippians 4:4 (NET) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!
• SLIDE #4
I. The right attitude is the ground where gentleness is planted.
• The context of our passage is important to grasp. In verse 2, we see that there was some sort of division that was beginning to affect the church. We do not know what was going on with the ladies, but we know the dispute was to a level that Paul felt he needed to offer his precious time to address.
• When you think of strife and division that happens between people and groups of people, it usually involves some sort of real or perceived injustice.
• So when we look at verses 4-6 and even those deeper in the chapter we need to understand the context that brings it together.
• Ok, now let’s go to the passage.
• At first glance, verses 4,5,6 seem to be some disjointed statements that Paul offers to us. To REJOICE ALWAYS, TO LET EVERYONE SEE YOUR GENTLENESS, and in verse 6, NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING.
• However, these verses tie together. I see them all related to the issue of gentleness because of the context from which Paul is writing.
• If one is going to be willing to not enforce their real or perceived rights in a given situation, they must have an overarching attitude rejoicing.
• Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Notice the word ALWAYS!
• When we are focused on rejoicing in our Lord, it is much easier not to allow the negatives of life put us into a positon where everything is life or death to us.
• The tow ladies in the Philippians church, had they been rejoicing in the Lord as instructed, would not have been focusing their energy of fighting with one another.
• When we rejoice in the Lord, we will be filled with joy, versus being filled with thoughts of negativity and revenge. If one is not able to rejoice in the Lord, their life will rise and fall with circumstances instead of being rooting in the Lord.
• I am going to GENTLY and carefully use the Presidential election and what has gone in the aftermath of the election to bring some rubber meets the road to this message.