Gentleness & Meekness

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INTRODUCTION:

As we continue in our series, Fruitology on the Fruit of the Spirit, let’s say together our text from Galatians 5:22-25.

22 The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control 

Story: Angelia being locked out at the Stranburg’s

When we first arrived here in Ashland, we had the opportunity to stay at the Stranburg’s vacation home. What a great place to stay!  In those early days, we spent a lot of time working at the parsonage. On one occasion, we were working at the parsonage into the evening and I took the kids back the to Stranburg’s and Angelia stayed behind and continued to work.

When I got to their home, I brought the kids in and got them ready for bed and turned on the sound machine. Soon they were asleep and so was I. Suddenly, I was startled from my peaceful slumber by the harsh banging on the bedroom window. I feverishly tried to wake up and comprehend what was going on and I opened the blinds to find Angelia standing outside.  It was near 1:00am and according to my phone I had missed 15 calls from her and a few text messages.

As I quickly made my way to the front door, I tried to ready myself because of course my beautiful bride was not happy. She had been stuck outside for 30 minutes, trying to wake me up. It first started with a text and a phone call. But then it was a soft knock on the window, then a stronger knock, then louder and harder, and then an all-out bang once she started hearing the neighboring coyotes.

While someone was in a panic, I was peacefully snoozing away. But I remained calm and gentle after being so rudely awakened.

Today we are heading toward the conclusion of our series and will be looking at gentleness or meekness.

Movement 1:

The definition of the Greek prauths: (prautés) (prah-oo’-tace)

  1. Kind and Forgiving POWER.
  2. Under God’s CONTROL.

There are only two people in all of Scripture described as meek:

  1. MOSES (Numbers 12:3).
  2. JESUS (Matthew 21:5; 11:28-29).

Consider Moses:

Now the man Moses was very MEEKabove all the men which were upon the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3

As Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he gives us a perfect picture of a meek man:

See, your king comes to you, GENTLE and riding on a donkey…Matthew 21:5

Think about this picture of meekness:  Jesus riding into Jerusalem…

  1. Riding a donkey symbolized PEACE (vs. 5-7).
  2. His PRESENCE caused such a stir; everyone asked “Who is this” (vs.8-11).
  3. PURITY and PRAYER dominated his desire for the temple’s cleansing (vs.12-13).
  4. POWER flowed from him as he miraculously healed the blind and lame (vs. 14-15).
  5. PROFICIENCY with the Word (v. 16).

Meekness has nothing to do with lacking power… it is simply power under God’s control.  Jesus, the meek one, calls us to be as he is:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am MEEK and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29

Movement 2:

FIVE ELEMENTS OF MEEK PEOPLE:

PERSONALITY . . . under God’s control (Luke 9:46, 54; Matthew 20:21).

James and John (known as the sons of thunder) were far from meek before they received God’s Spirit:  James and John wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans to destroy them because they did not receive Jesus (Luke 9:54).  On another occasion they wanted to insure that they would be properly enthroned in Jesus’ Kingdom . . . one on his right and the other at his left (Matthew 20:21).  There were arguments amongst them as to who would be the greatest (Luke 9:46).  These two had powerful personalities.

Once they received the Spirit, God did not change the power of their personalities; he brought their personality under his kind, forgiving, powerful control.

God doesn’t change our personality… he just brings it under his control.

Look briefly at Revelation chapter 1.  John now describes himself in Revelation 1:1 as a servant.  In verse 9 he calls himself your brother and companion.  He is no longer thinking of himself as the top dog, there is a gentleness and humility that has come over his personality.

Look at Revelation 1:17:  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.  He isn’t thinking of himself as the one who should be enthroned alongside Jesus.   The Holy Spirit has brought John’s powerful personality under God’s control and he has embraced true worship.

OUTLOOK    . . . under God’s control (Philippians 2:4-5).

The meek person sees not just from his/her own view.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: [Meek and gentle in heart].
-Philippians 2:4-5

Jesus’ outlook was not to be served but to serve.  His outlook on Palm Sunday was our need for a savior.  He resolutely set his face to go to Jerusalem, knowing – that for our sake – he was riding to the cross.

WORDS   . . . under God’s control (Ephesians 4:29).

It isn’t the things that go in one ear and out the other that hurt, as much as the things that go in one ear, get all mixed up, then slip out the mouth. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
-Ephesians 4:29

As you put your words under God’s control, his fruit of gentleness or meekness will begin to grow out of your life.  Your tongue can still be powerful, but now it’s a power under God’s control.

EXPECTATIONS . . . under God’s control (Ephesians 4:2).

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 4:2

When our expectations are under God’s control the focus comes off our expectations of others – they should do this, or have said that, or have been this way or that way – and it places the focus of our expectations upon ourselves.  What am I doing to contribute to this relationship?  How can God use me in this situation?

You show me a relationship in trouble, and I’ll show you someone who’s expectations are centered upon the other person.  “Why don’t they start doing this?”  “What is wrong with them?”

You show me a person who has a mediocre relationship with God and I’ll show you someone who’s expectations sound like: “Why are you letting this happen to me?”  “When are you going to save me from this?”

When the Spirit of God works the fruit of meekness in our lives, our expectations shift onto one’s self: “What can I do to improve this situation?”  “What can I learn in the midst of this problem?”

RESPONSES . . . under God’s control (Proverbs 16.32; 15.4).

The meek and gentle person has their responses under God’s control.

Meek prauths (prautés) people are PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE.

A proactive person is SPIRIT controlled.

A reactive person is OTHERS controlled.

To be proactive means to be prepared ahead of time.  It means the Holy Spirit has filled you so that you can respond with kind, forgiving power under God’s control no matter what nonsense people throw at you.  How are you responding to those that are driving you crazy?

If you are reacting with the kind of treatment that they are giving you–then you are allowing that other person’s actions to control you.  You are not being controlled by God . . . you are being controlled by somebody – everybody – else.  You are not bearing the Fruit of the Spirit . . . you are loaded down with everybody else’s rotten fruit.

Whose fruit are you bearing?

Put together…   Personality, Outlook, Words, Expectations, Responses

All under God’s kind, forgiving control and you get prauths (prah-oo’-tace) power!

Story: Andre the Giant:

Famous wrestler and actor, French farm boy who suffered from gigantism. By the age of 12 he was already 6’ 3”. He was most famous for his feud with Hulk Hogan and as Fezzik in Princess Bride. Because of his imposing size he was also called the “eighth wonder of the world”.

But despite his overwhelming size and strength, William Goldman, the author of the novel and the screenplay of The Princess Bride, wrote that André was one of the gentlest and most generous people he ever knew.

Here we have a real life giant being called one of the most gentle people he had ever known.

We may not all physically be giants like Andre René Roussimoff but we all have the same power whether in the physical sense like in this case, or power in our words, or influence, our finances, or even in the power of the simple decisions of each day.

Meekness has nothing to do with lacking power… it is simply power under God’s control.

 

Movement 3:

Sheryl Fish Testimony

Conclusion:

Whose fruit are you bearing?  The same rotten fruit that people are giving you, or the kind, forgiving powerful fruit of the Spirit?

Response:

Today, will you put your life totally under God’s control so that you yield His fruit, not someone else’s?  Ask him to place your Personality, Outlook, Words, Expectations, and Responses under his control.  Think of how Jesus gave of himself for your sake.

Communion:

The Lord’s Supper reminds us that suffering and death are involved in our redemption and in the redemption of the world. That Christ yielded His power to God the Father and came under his authority in order to become the atoning sacrifice for all of humanity. This meal focuses our attention on the amazing love of God to pay such a price for our lives and reminds us of the freedom that we can have in Christ when we yield power and control to Him.

Words of Institution:

We are reminded that in the night that our Lord gave himself up for us, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to His disciples, and said, “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice in union with Christ’s offering for us.

Let’s pray together.

 

Prayer of Consecration (Epiclesis):

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathering here, and on these gifts of the bread and cup. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ that we may be for the world the body of Christ redeemed by the blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world. All honor and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forever. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

Body of Christ

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was broken for you, preserve you blameless, unto ever- lasting life. Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for you.

Blood of Christ

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you, preserve you blameless unto ever- lasting life. Drink this, in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

Benediction:

“Go with confidence into the days ahead,
trusting in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
God will not abandon you, for you are the work of His hands—His own creation— and His love endures forever. So go in joy to love and serve the Lord!”

Fruitology: Elements of a Transformed Life
Fruitology: Elements of a Transformed Life
Fruitology: Elements of a Transformed Life

Goodness