Excerpts from a sermon on GENTLENESS
DATE: 31st May 2009
Church: Champions Pariah, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Edmonton, AB Canada
Minister: Joseph Agbi
Bible Nugget 0602 [Psalm 18:36; Hosea 11:1-4]
36Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Children are precious gift and blessing from God. Abraham was blessed with the birth of Isaac; Isaac was blessed with the birth of Jacob and Esau; and Jacob was blessed with 12 sons and a daughter. The bible calls children heritage from God. Psalm 127:3
3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Our focus today is how do you handle children whom God has blessed you with. We will draw our reference with the way God handles his children. Is God tyrannical towards his children? No. He created us in his image so can bring pleasure to him. David acknowledging God’s gentle character said in Psalm 18:36 that God’s gentleness elevated him from a nobody to somebody. We need to be gentle towards others, even if they do not deserve our gentleness because that is God’s character and it is programmed into our heart and since he measures our heart by his heartometer he put in the inside of us, he expects the heart to be gentle towards all men just as he is gentle. Any thing the word of God says we should do it is because God has done it before and he knows that we can do it too.
Peter asking Jesus said, how many times should a man offend me before I run out of patience or my barometer of forgiveness becomes empty and stop forgiving that person. Is it 7 times? Jesus said not 7 times but until 70×7 (490). That is a lot of counting. You either lose count or confuse the offences, so it is not even worth trying to count, that is what Jesus is saying. You can count offences of people easily. I find that when I try to do this at home against my wife after 3 offences I begin to confuse the offences or she reminds me that was on another occasion, so I stop even trying to count. From this it appears my threshold is 3 offences. But it is better to forgive the first time, because we are told in scriptures not to allow the sun to go down before your anger cools off.
God’s character towards man is an embodiment of gentleness. He showed this towards Israel despite their persistent rebellion. Hosea 11:1-4
1When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
2As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
3I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
4I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
How does a father treat a son? v 4 gives us the answer. Shower him with love.
Or what is the best tactic to lead a rebellious child to his senses, be gentle towards that child. Tell him to reason with you just as God told Isearl to reason with him. He said come and let us reason together “although your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, although they as red as crimson, they shall be as wool [Isaiah 1:18].
v2 shows the height of provocation. Imagine the mighty deliverance.
In v1, the sojourn in Egypt was compared to chronological age of a person. God covenanted with Abraham for a seed, conceived in the womb of Isaac, delivered as a baby in the person of Jacob, sojourned in Egypt as a child (in innocence, Hosea 1 v1], grew in adolescence sojourning in the wilderness for 40 years offending God, God forgiving them, offending God again and God forgiving them. Then when they became fully grown, they rebelled completely and started serving other gods and God allowed them to receive punishment by allowing their enemies to rule over them. Yet, he continued to show mercy by sending judges, kings, prophets both major and minor and so on and so on until the fullness of time when he sent Jesus and Israel continues to enjoy God’s mercy, and when they rejected Jesus as their messiah, they became “cut off” so that we can be grafted into the covenant blessings of Abraham too. His continued mercy towards Israel and towards any child of his for that matter is for a divine purpose, marked in God’s agenda with set date.
God’s word says “know that God’s continued goodness (or gentleness) is for that person to have an opportunity to repent.
4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Even till now Israel continue to enjoy the goodness and gentleness of God because God’s continued goodness will eventually lead them to repentance and accept Christ as their Saviour.
5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
So the best way to bring a rebellious child to his senses is to continue to show him love, gentleness and goodness, because he will ultimately come to his senses, before which he periodically reaps a variety of punishment for his action.
Prayer Points 0602
- Father Lord, thank you for your gentleness towards me. I will not take your love for granted in the mighty name of Jesus.
- Oh Lord let your gentleness distinguish me in the land after the order of Isaac in the land of the Philistines and David to all Israel in Jesus Name.
- Oh Lord, mold in my heart the character of Gentleness towards my children; my spouse; the brethren and as many people you bring my way in Jesus Name.