Strength Under Control

The 8th Fruit of Spirit1) Gentleness Gentleness is mocked & derided in our culture. It’s seen as a weakness, rather than a strength. Our world believes that anger & retaliation  show how tough you are. God sees it differently. He sees anger & retaliation  as a weakness. 2) Gentleness (Prates)- Strength under control. It’s being emotionally hurt  & not retaliating. It’s being offended & praying for the offender. People say: “I could never do that.” My answer: “You’re correct.” “But, the Holy Spirit CAN." Like self-control, Gentleness is a Fruit of Spirit. When we allow Holy Spirit to change us, We become different people. Here’s the question: 3) Do you want the Holy Spirit      to change you? My question: “Why wouldn’t you?” Enraged and angry people  are all around us. Anybody can be a hot-head. That takes no effort. The really strong person retains control over their emotions. We’ll talk about that more  In next week’s sermon SELF CONTROL 4) Gentleness (Prates) involves: -Submissive & teachable spirit towards God -Consideration of others -Personal humility Submission means that you  place yourself under their leadership. A teachable spirit recognizes that They don’t know everything. God can’t work with a proud heart. Jesus drew a word picture of that: 5) Mt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. Jesus says,  “I am gentle & humble in heart.” If we will come to Him in this fashion,  there’s a promise…… You will find rest for your souls. "Take my yoke and learn from me” Jesus has a lot to teach us about gentleness. This past week, I got a fiery email  from a coworker. She overreacted to  a suggestion I had. When I read it, I was furious. Then, God laid Proverbs 15:1 on my heart. 6) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I spent the next 30 minutes  composing a kind response. She later called me to apologize. Had I composed my first thoughts, I would have started a war. Instead, it had a peaceful resolution. That’s what we want. The problem is that we’re human. We offend one another. The problem with texting & emails is: We don’t see other person’s true intent. Sometimes what comes through  isn’t what they intended. As hard as we try not to, We’re going to offend someone. 7) Eph 4:2  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Humility says:  “Sometimes, I’m also jerk.” Humility takes us off our high horse. Humility says: “I’m a sinner saved by grace." Being patient,  allows others to have a bad day. If we took this approach, We would be more understanding. Sometimes, we don’t know what  the other person is going through. I work with someone whose dad  has terminal cancer. She’s entitled to be grouchy. Bearing with one another means: 1. Sometimes you’re a bear 2. Sometimes they’re a bear Your bear with them in LOVE. 8) 2 Timothy 2:23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. All around us, people try to  draw us into arguments. Paul tells Timothy: "the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome.” Instead: "They must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”  You may not like your anti-Christian co-worker. They may Say or Do things  to get a reaction. 9) 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. You don’t want to win the argument,  you want them to go to Heaven. Even if they never change,  they’ve seen Jesus in you. We’re not responsible for the outcome, but  We're responsible for our actions. When we respond gently,  we show them Jesus. In conclusion, listen to Isaiah 53 Here’s the picture of true strength. 10) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. That’s strength under control! 11) Let your strength be  under God’s control. You may not have the power to  Bite your tongue,  But God does. You may not have the power to Respond with Kindness, But God does. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can! Let me pray for you.

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