Be Gentle

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.(Col 3:12 nlt) Notice the word gentleness. What does it mean to be a person of gentleness?

Gentleness is a quality of character. It is a behavior that is deliberate, a behavior we choose to demonstrate that isn’t always natural to us. We show gentleness when we act or respond in a kind and quiet way. With gentleness, there is calm in the storms of oursheep-451981_640 relationships.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Eph 4:2 niv

Some may think that gentleness is soft and weak but in truth to be gentle takes strength and thought. Not only our actions are to be gentle but also our speech is to be gentle. Sometimes we must say something to another that is hard or unpleasant; at those times we may need strong words. When strong words are needed it is best to have a soft voice, guarding our tongues and expressions so our words are expressed in a way that can be accepted without anger or hurt feelings.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Prov 15:1 nlt

Some people are gentle by nature and find it easy to show and express gentleness. They at heart are kind and merciful. I have talked to Jesus about this on many occasions when I have not felt merciful or kind, patient or humble, times when I have not shown gentleness where it was needed. He knows these traits are not necessarily inherent in us and it is essential that we develop them.  He will help us;

Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt 11:29

To help us He tells us to take His yoke and asks us to let Him teach us. He doesn’t force these lessons but He wants to teach them. When we look to Him as our Teacher we learn to be like Him, humble and gentle at heart. Is that not what we want, too?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

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Self-Control

It seems it would not require any great difficulty or hard work to have self-control. We all know it is important and needed in our lives. Yet, it is difficult and takes a lot of work to exercise self-control. Maybe it is because it is something to be exercised that we find it challenging.

Self-control is expected of us not just by our families, friends, and communities but the Lord expects it of us, too. Whatever we enjoy or desire that is not in line with the life Jesus prepared for us must be done away with. It’s no easy task! But we are not left to our own devices to accomplish the work of exercising self-control. We have what we need for willpower to overcome what is not meant to be part of who we are.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him who called us
by his own glory and goodness.
2 Pet 1:3 niv
We have been given minds to use to work through our problems and struggles. We need to remember to think before we act. We need to seek the advice of people who know and love the Lord to help us overcome our adversities and to help us think decisively and with determination.
So think clearly and exercise self-control.
1 Pet 1:13a nlt
A godly life may seem to be beyond our abilities but it is not. Yes, it is not easy trying to live as the Lord would have us live. We often fall short and even fail in our efforts. We are imperfect and live in a world that does everything it can to distract us from the righteous life we are called to live. But, again, we are encouraged by God’s Word;
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted,
he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Cor 10:13 nlt
Sometimes when I am faced with something that I need to exercise self-discipline about I think maybe God has me mixed up with someone else for surely whatever I may have inathlete-1296472_640 my path is more than I can resist. This often makes me afraid and discouraged and I want to just give up, quit trying and go with the ungodly flow. That’s when I know I need to talk with Jesus. Most often He takes me to this verse,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:7 nlt
Then I know it’s time to polish the armor and get to exercising.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor
so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Eph 6:13 nlt
Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Faithfulness

We are all called to be faithful and to make that happen the seed of faithfulness is given to us and planted in our hearts. How we nurture that seed and what we do with it is up to us. Jesus makes it clear in the Parable of the Three Servants (Matt 24:16-30) that being faithful is not something to take for granted.

In the Parable, Jesus told the disciples a story of a rich man going on a journey. Before he left he called three of his servants to him and gave each servant a bag of money. (To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.v 15) Notice each was given an amount according to his ability. Nothing more or less than he could handle.

Each servant took what his master gave him and did with the money what he thought the master would want him to do. (The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.vs 16-18)

When the master returned he asked the servants to give an account of what they did with the money. The first two servants doubled the money making their master happy. (“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’vs 21,23) The third servant came to his master with the one bag of money he had been given. The master was not happy.(“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. vs 26a,28) The first two servants did what they were able with the money and it multiplied. The third did nothing with the money except bury it and gave back to the master exactly what he had been given.

How often do we do that? Do we take what God gives us and use it to grow so we have more to give to Him and others? Or do we do nothing and therefore, have nothing more to give back to Him or to give to others? Are we making the Lord and others happy or are we concerned only for our own happiness?

Jesus tells us that we are to nurture and grow the faith He has given us so that what we have will become more not just for ourselves but for others. When we do this there aresapling-154734_640 bountiful blessings.

To those who use well what they are given,
even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.
But from those who do nothing,
even what little they have will be taken away.
Matt 25:29

There are days when my faithfulness is small and seems dry and withered and I feel I have nothing in me to give. Then I am reminded that this is not true and that I am to trust God, and to listen to His voice.

For if we are faithful to the end,
trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed,
we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
Heb 3:14

All that is needed is a talk with Jesus.

All scripture from NLT

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Live in Harmony and Peace

I consider myself pretty even tempered and easy to get along with. I rarely get angry to the point of raising my voice or interrupting others when they are saying things I don’t agree with or like. I try to listen and consider what others have to say before I respond. When no agreement can be reached to a mutual satisfaction I can agree to disagree and not be mad or hold a grudge.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Jas 1:19-20

However, this has been tested recently and I have had to talk to Jesus about an issue that concerns many people and is causing conflict among friends and neighbors. Tempers have flared and angry words exchanged. I have my opinion that tends to align itself with one side of the conflict but I understand the concerns of the other side. Conversations have become contentious…and loud. I have done fairly well keeping my comments fair and quiet, but I have been complaining! Jesus is clear about this,

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.
Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, 
Phil 2:14-15a

Interesting that I can pat myself on the back for being so reasonable and able to see bothheart-1463421_640 sides of the issue and yet complain about the advocates on both sides. Seems I have some work to do on my attitude.

In a few days, this will be decided. Some will be happy and some not happy. All will be well in the eyes of those who have their thoughts confirmed and those who do not will be upset and angry. I wonder what the cost of this controversy will be. Loss of friendliness and goodwill, cordiality and peace?

Live in harmony with each other.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Ro 12:16a,18

To live in harmony understanding of our differences is needed and to live in peace acceptance of our differences is needed. Jesus tells us how we are to do this and I am praying that we will listen and take to heart what He has to say.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Jo 13:34

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture from the
New Living Translation

Don’t Be Afraid, Don’t Worry

There are times when I am worried and afraid. Not crying, shaking, hiding in the closet worried and afraid just a bit fearful or anxious and nervous. When I talk about it to Jesus He reminds me,

       Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.baby-20339_640                                                                Isa 41:10

Reading this I see the reason I am sometimes worried.  It’s because I forget that He is with me, He holds me in His hand. But why do I forget this?

I forget because I get busy with life. I put off praying and meditating until I have the time. I don’t put Him first because there are other things that need to be done or more honestly, things I want to do. When I don’t say good morning to Him putting Him first, when I don’t talk with Him throughout the day, when I go to sleep without thanking Him for the day and saying good night to Him I am not the woman He created me to be. I am weak and easily shaken, I get discouraged and lazy, I am filled with anxiety. God has given me and you all we need to be the people He wants us to be.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:7

I think, really I know, the devil is the pushy-in-your-face sort who charges in uninvited anytime he wants but Jesus is not like that. Jesus knows that I struggle with worry and anxiety and will help me when I ask. He will step in whenever He sees a child of God in need but He will not force His way. He shows us the way but whether we go with Him or not is our choice. We have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline we have but to access that power.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Blessings this day of grace
patricia

Image:pixabay
Scripture: NLT