Gentleness is the quality of carefully choosing our words. Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” As believers in Christ we are to cultivate an ability to read a situation and know how to appropriately apply the right words with an overall goal of peacefully living with each other (1 Thessalonians 4: 11). Read 2 Timothy 2: 24-26, James 3: 17 and Galatians 6: 1 – how is gentleness in these verses to be applied in times of conflict?
READ Mathew 28: 1-10
Here we find Mary Magdalene and the other Mary witnessing one of the greatest events in history. In this surreal moment they are given an important task that we carry on today. In what way were these two women faithful to this task? Are you faithful to share the news of Christ’s death and resurrection with others? Christ’s faithfulness at the cross has freed us for all eternity. Let us be faithful to the gospel as disciples in His name!
Gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit will result in transformation. Read Acts 17: 1-4 – how much time did Paul have with those in Thessalonica initially? Read 1 Thessalonians 2: 11-13 – this was a church of radical transformation – how does Paul conclude this happened in verse 13? How are you allowing the gospel to abide in you towards radical transformation?
READ Mathew 14: 25-31
In this moment we find the disciples in fear for their lives. In a moment of strength Peter is faithful to Christ and walks out onto the water. However, his doubt gave way to fear, and his fear eroded his faith as he began to sink. Where in your life do you find you are struggling with doubt and fear? Has your fear caused you to lose faithfulness? Let us learn to lean on Christ’s strength so that we can be faithful in these moments.
READ 2 Corinthians 1: 8-11
The Apostle Paul describes for us the trouble he had in Asia…that we should not trust in ourselves but only in God who raises the dead. Sometimes God allows trials in our life to draw us closer to Him. In what area of your life right now is God testing you to trust only in Him?
READ Exodus Chapters 3 and 4
In chapter 3 verse 10, God says to Moses, “Come now and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” What excuses did Moses have for why the Lord should not choose him? (See specifically chapter 3 verses 11 and 13 and chapter 4 verses 1, 10 and 13). Is God calling you to participate in a ministry area? What excuses are you using?
READ John 15: 1-11
In verse 1, Jesus says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” In verse 5, Jesus says “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” Why must we abide in Jesus? Why does God want us to bear fruit?
READ Galatians 6: 8-10
Consider this passage as to the Fruit of The Spirit. Reflect on your opportunities to do good, especially to a covenanted community (the Church, the Body of Christ). Commit to “sowing” from The Spirit.
READ Galatians 5: 7-9
Paul questions the Galatians as to their “running a good race.” Something or someone has “cut in” and kept them from obeying the truth. This diversion doesn’t need to be a large event, note the leaven reference. Consider yourself, what or who may/might be distracting you from the truth of the gospel?
READ John 15: 5 and Mark 10: 18
True Goodness Is IMPOSSIBLE Without God
If God is calling us to be like Him in being good, we do not stand a chance. It is only through Him we can even reflect what true goodness is to others. As we are talking about the Fruit of the Spirit, it is vital to remember that all of these traits are only possible if you are connected to the vine!
READ Matthew 25: 23
God Calls Us To Be Good
In Jesus’ description of the Day of Judgement, there are two responses He will give to everyone: (1) “Well done, GOOD and FAITHFUL servant.” Or (2) “I did not know you…” We can sometimes tend to think there will be a third option -- “You have done enough to get by…” This is not the case! Christ calls us to be GOOD! How does this call to be good change how we should live?
READ 1 Corinthians 10: 23
Good Things Can Be Perverted
As we know, not everything is good anymore. We have taken what God has made good, twisted it to our own desires, and perverted it. What in your life have you twisted or perverted? Is it a job or relationship that you have allowed to consume your identity? Is it money, health, or a talent that you are grasping onto? Let God search your heart and surrender these things back to the Lord
READ 1 Timothy 4: 4
God Created All Things Good
Because God is good, He, and only He, can make other things good. This is a concept the early church struggled with a lot, i.e., what is good and what is “unclean”. How can we be reminded that God has created ALL things good? Where might we struggle with this?
READ Psalm 145: 5-7
God Is Good
When we stop thinking of good as a scale, but more as a goal, we can see that God is the benchmark of what is good. If God is the example of what we should strive for in being good, is it even possible to reach that goal? How can we strive to be like Him?
READ Psalm 34: 14
Good Is Not a Measurement, But a Goal
When we think of good, we tend to think of it as a scale. On one side there is “bad” and on the other “good.” What if we just viewed good in the way God views good (see Monday’s Devotional). How would that transform your thinking of what is good? How would it have an impact on the “good” you do?
READ Romans 12: 9
How Should We Define Goodness?
If you were to define goodness or good, how would you describe it? What would you say are examples of what is good? How can you tell what is or is not good? Reread Romans 12: 9. How does Paul give us an idea of how God defines good?
Read Matthew 5: 43-48 and Romans 2: 1-4. What does it cost you to be kind to different people in your life, both those close to you and those who “oppose you?” Can you bear the cost? What did God pay to show kindness to you?
In Ephesians 4: 32 we are commanded to forgive, which is an act of kindness. What does kindness (and forgiveness) look like between you and those who are close to you (your parents, children, spouse, siblings, coworkers)? Is it more difficult for you to be kind to strangers, or to those close to you? Why?
Luke 6: 35 makes it clear that we are not only to show kindness to those we like. Who do you not want to be kind to (or even unkind to)? Be specific – who is it, and why do you feel that way? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any changes needed in your heart and actions.
Read 1 John 4: 19 and Philippians 2: 5-8. Most of the time, does kindness come easily for you? What do you typically do to show kindness to others? What motivates you?