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Evangelism
GENEROUS GENTLENESS PDF Print E-mail

Our Evangelism Team has been praying for us, that we would each draw closer to the Lord.  Please join us, as we consider again, the abundant fruit of God's Holy Spirit.



“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such there is no law.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-23)



What first pops into your mind when you think about something that's gentle?  A baby, a kitten or a soft breeze?  Probably not a cactus or porcupine, right?



Let's see what the Bible has to say about God and His gentleness.  Isaiah 40:11 says:  “He (the Lord) tends His flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”  Isn't that a beautiful picture?  You and I are those lambs that He carries close to his heart.  In 1 Kings 19:11-13, the Lord spoke to Elijah:  not in the great and powerful wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire.  God spoke to him in a gentle whisper.  He is whispering to our hearts every day.  We just need to be quiet and listen.  Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matthew 11:28-29)



When others look at us, what do they see?  Are we negative, brash, disagreeable, contrary, irritable?  Do people avoid us because we come across like a walking pricker bush?  Or are folks drawn to us because we radiate God's tenderness and calm?  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1)  My Granny used to say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Now I never understood why someone would want to catch flies, but you get the point.  Being gentle can make us approachable.  Being considerate and sensitive toward others can open the door so we can share about God's saving love, mercy and grace.  Nobody is going to want to listen to someone if they think they'll have their head bit off.  Some might say it's just their way, but 1 Timothy 6:11 says we should pursue gentleness.  Pursue gentleness:  go after it, seek it.  Be deliberate.  Speak a blessing.  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)



Whether we like it or not, people are watching.  Our co-workers, classmates, neighbors, friends, and especially our families are watching and listening to us.  When we respond in a cold, harsh or severe way, we dishonor God's gentleness and lose opportunities to point others toward our Savior.  Paul said:  “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  (Ephesians 4:1-2)  Think about that for a minute.  We are God's children.  That means He wants us to strive every day to be more and more like Him.  We're not in it alone.  The Lord lives within us and He is eager to help us in every situation.  The next time we're tempted to lash out and run rough-shod over an individual or a situation, let's stop and allow God's Holy Spirit to soften our hearts and cause us to be generous with His gentleness.



Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your gentle love and tender mercies.  Thank you for treating us gently and not as we deserve.  Please forgive us when we are harsh, whether with our words or in our hearts.  Remind us that “As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, (we should) clothe ourselves with gentleness.”  (Colossians 3:12)  Each day as we get dressed, may we also put on the sweet gentleness of your Spirit.  May our words be your words, that bring comfort and joy and that soothe troubled souls.  Thank you for carrying us gently and close to your heart.  “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  (Psalm 19:14)  Please enable us to be generous with your gentleness.  In Jesus' precious Name, Amen.        

 
FOREVER FAITHFUL PDF Print E-mail

Our Evangelism team welcomes you to join us as we continue to grow together, learning about the fruit of God's Holy Spirit.  This month we look at the fruit of faithfulness, a sweet and free gift from our loving Lord.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-26)

Most of us aren't big fans of change.  We get comfy with things being a certain way and then, sure enough, something shifts and we have to adjust.  Loved ones move away or pass away.  We change schools or jobs.  Everyone ages and that certainly brings about a lot of change.  Yet the one constant we always have is that God will never change.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)  No matter what we face today or the uncertainty of tomorrow, the Lord will stay the same.  He will always love us and seek to draw us into a closer relationship with Him.  The Bible, God's Word, is full of His promises.  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)  “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!”  (Lamentations 3:22-23) God is forever faithful.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  God's precious Holy Spirit lives within everyone who believes and trusts in Him.  Even our faith is a gift from Him because He loves us so much!  Yet, what are we doing with that gift?  Do we put it on a shelf, feel complacent, and admire it?  Do we take it off of that shelf on Sundays and put it on like a coat that then gets sloughed off when life gets hot?  Or is God's gift of faith something that we exercise and use every day?  Every morning when we open our eyes, we should be thanking the Lord for His unwavering love and forgiveness.  When those hard times come, and they will, we need to run into His arms and ask Him to strengthen our trust in His eternal constancy.  His Holy Spirit empowers us to live lives that are faithful to Him – full of faith.  “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.  And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.  Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  (II Corinthians 1:20-22) How thrilling is that?!  May each one of us be open vessels, allowing God's Holy Spirit to ignite us with His faithfulness.

“Heavenly Father, we praise you for who you are!  Despite everything around us, you stay the same:  all loving, steady, firm, and sure.  Dearest Jesus, thank you for being faithful to your Father and for sacrificing your very life to save us from our sin.  Precious Holy Spirit, how we thank you for living within us, guiding us and blessing us with your fruit.  Dear Lord, we know you are always trustworthy.  Please help us to appreciate your wondrous gifts.  Renew our faith and commitment to you.  “Let love and faithfulness never leave us; bind them around our necks, write them on the tablet of our hearts.”  (Proverbs 3:3)  Please fill us with a passion and devotion for you.  We love you and thank you for your abiding love toward us.  We are faithfully yours, in Jesus' Name.  Amen.”

 
CONTINUING KINDNESS PDF Print E-mail

The Evangelism team has been praying for all of us to deepen our faith and grow closer to the Lord.  Please join us on our discipleship journey as we learn more about the sweet fruit of God's Holy Spirit.



“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.”
(Galatians 5:22-26)



OK, I know you're reading this, but take a minute and close your eyes.  Think about when someone was kind to you.  I bet the memory made you smile.  Now think about when you were kind to someone else.  Hmmm, is it taking some serious thought?  Let's hope not – and let's all strive to improve.  How?  Well, let's start by remembering the greatest kindness ever shown to us.  “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.”  (Titus 3:4-5a)  Jesus came to earth and took our punishment so we could be in a relationship with Him and live eternally with Him!  Jesus' life is our best example.



Don't panic.  God knows we can't match His love, but what can we do?  The easiest thing is to share a smile.  Everyone carries some kind of burden, whether it's their own or for someone they love.  The simple act of a warm smile can lift someone's heart.  Make eye contact with people and ask them how they are.  God can use your smile and your kind words to bring comfort, and to help others not feel so alone.  Tell someone you'll pray for them, actually do it, and then check back with them.  Share a Bible verse and a word of encouragement ~~ say thank you ~~ listen ~~ be helpful ~~ offer a hug ~~ send a card ~~  give someone a ride ~~ make an unexpected phone call ~~ go with someone to a doctor's appointment... be creative as you think of ways to share God's kindness with everyone you meet.  Ask the Lord for opportunities and then be on the lookout for them.  Be intentional.  Do you remember the bank commercial where someone did something nice?  Somebody else was watching, so they did something nice and then the next person did too, and then it kept on going.  That's continuing kindness.  It all started with God's sacrificial love and we have the joy of sharing His love with others!  Jesus said:  “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

(Matthew 25:40)



“Dear Lord, praise you for the gift of your salvation!  Thank you for constantly showering me with your loving-kindness.  Please forgive me for getting so caught up in my own life that I forget about all of your other children.  Help me to seek out ways to show your kindness.  Others are watching and when they look at me, I want them to see you.  Please help me to be caring, compassionate and committed.  Use the power of your Holy Spirit to make me a blessing to someone, to many someone’s, today and every day.  May all I do continue your kindness and bring glory to you.  I thank you kindly, and pray this in Jesus' name.  Amen.”

 
PRACTICING PATIENCE PDF Print E-mail

The Evangelism team desires for each one of us to grow closer in our relationship with the Lord.  We are traveling along a discipleship journey together and focusing on the fruit of God's Holy Spirit.



“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.”
(Galatians 5:22-26)



“I don't have time to practice anything, I want patience now!”  Ohhh-kaay.  Haven't we all felt that way at times?  “Hurry up!  This line will take forever!  I have to wait how long?”  Life is full of circumstances and people that try our patience.  Some things just take time, but sometimes we could have planned better.  Whatever we're facing, we're to do it with patience. Sigh.  Patience has a lot to do with our relationship with the Lord.  We need to draw close to Him.  When we keep our eyes on Him, it changes our perspective on what's going on around us.  We are blessed with a contentment that earthly things can't provide.  When we're centered in Him, the yuk can't get in.  “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  (Psalm 37:7a)  He has perfect timing.  Is it the same as ours?  Not always, but when we rest in Him and trust that He only wants the best for us, His Holy Spirit blesses us with His peace.  “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  (II Peter 3:8-9)  “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11a)  “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, You are my God.  My times are in your hands.”  (Psalm 14-15a)  Let's stop looking at the clock and take one day at a time with Jesus walking beside us.



“Dear Lord, I'm sorry that I let things bother me and that I get so impatient.  Please change my attitude.  Help me to see situations through your eyes.  Help me to let go of the things that irritate me and to give them over to you.  Thank you that you are God – the Holy Creator of all things.  I know I can trust you.  When I take a deep breath, cause me to breathe in the calmness of you, Holy Spirit, and then to breathe out your patience onto whatever I'm facing.  May your tranquility abide in me.  May the patient fruit of your Spirit flourish and grow in me so others will be directed to you.  Thanks for always taking time to listen to me, even when I'm in a hurry.  I love you Lord and I patiently put everything into your strong, capable hands.  In Jesus' name, Amen.”

 
PROMOTING PEACE PDF Print E-mail

The Evangelism team desires for each of us to walk closer with the Lord.  We are traveling along a discipleship journey together, by focusing on the fruit of God's Holy Spirit.

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 

Since we live by the Spirit, let up keep step with the Spirit.” 
(Galatians 5:22-26)

 

God's peace isn't the absence of turmoil; it's the presence of Himself.  God will never leave us or forsake us.  Even in the midst of difficulty, God is and always will reign upon His throne.  When the storms of life toss us to and fro, Jesus says “Peace, be still.”  Jesus said:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).  God, our Heavenly Father and Creator; Jesus, our Risen Savior; and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter are the source of our peace.  Turn to the Lord.  Pour your heart out to Him for He is always listening.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

“Dearest Lord, thank you for being who you are:  strong in your power and gentle in your love.  We praise you that you have conquered sin and death.  Our peace is found in you.  Lord, sometimes life is so hard.  We get upset and worry and fret.  Rotten things happen.  We let “stuff” pull us away from you.  We're sorry.  Please forgive us.  Remind us that you are able to carry us over any storm, close to your heart.  Lord, I know others are watching.  They notice when I carry on and allow life to stress me out.  Instead, please cause the fruit of your peace to grow and flourish in my life.  “Make me an instrument of your peace.”  Help me to diffuse difficult situations with your words.  Thank you that you are more than enough for any situation.  Thank you that you wrap me in the blanket of your peace.  I love you, Lord, and I pray these things with love, joy and peace. 

 

In Jesus' name.  Amen.”  

 
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