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Recycling In Life Series - 10 - Gentleness Study

When we think of gentleness we often think of a soft heart and a quiet personality. We may see men in this role sometimes, but often it's easier to see women. It seems to come more naturally for them. Or take for instance a situation in which your car is hit by someone else's car. You pry open your door, jump out and go around to your trunk and get your baseball bat and begin beating on the offending car. That would be an extreme reaction, don't you think? But neither of these illustrations is the gentleness we are talking about, because Galatians says it is a fruit of the Spirit, not the soul. Gentleness is a mellowing of all within you to the glory of God. It is a spiritual "acid" working in our lives to mellow the remnants of our old nature: habits, attitudes, and behaviors, that still want to exalt themselves. They are harsh and self-centered. In Christ we have a new nature that responds to the gentle Holy Spirit who is responsible for conforming us to the ima…

Recycling In Life Series - 9- Longsuffering Study

Paul gives us a great example of the ability to be longsuffering. We know God says when Christians are hurt it's like God is being hurt. Through the whole period of Paul's non-Christian life, God was longsuffering and this allowed Him to patiently wait out Paul and what he was doing to His people. Our study reveals much about this word and the way it is lived out. Examples to Study: God "waited patiently while Noah was building his boat." 1 Pet. 3:20 That was 100 years in Earth years!It was true of Job also as his whole story is covered with longsuffering moments. He is said by James to be a "man of great endurance." James 5:11 It was characteristic of the Old Testament prophets, for they were examples of patience in suffering. James 5:10Paul was definitely an example of longsuffering as was God in working on Paul. 2 Cor. 6:6; 2 Tim. 3:10; 1 Tim. 1:16Definition of Longsuffering / Patience: Longsuffering is the …

Recycling In Life Series - 8 - Longsuffering

Longsuffering is necessary to a way of life testimony. That may sound like a bold statement but as you read on I'm sure you will see the rationale. A graduate professor I sat under said, "There is a difference between spiritual maturity and spirituality." What he meant by that was that spirituality is a daily activity, whereas spiritual maturity is many years of spirituality and the experiences that test it. When we start talking about a way of life testimony, we are taking about daily life activity that is consistent with a Christ-centered life. Therefore, even if you are not allowed to speak to a person about Christ, your life testifies for you and makes them wonder what makes you different and what the source of your strength is. This so called silent witness is best revealed to others in the midst of personal crisis. In situations where you act with great patience, also known as longsuffering, your actions are viewed by those around you as more than natural, even super…

Unprincipled Principle of Gluttony

What do you do when you are invited to a friend's house for a meal? There is a tendency to eat everything in sight, after all he did invite your over and must want you to enjoy yourself, right? Well, that maybe true, but how would you know if you crossed the line that would make him resent you rather than respect you? King Solomon invited many people to his table and I'm sure once in a while he felt that some were taking advantage of him. Understanding that he was in the process of gaining wisdom every day, there certainly were times when he could push back in his chair and look over the "grazing" crowd. It was easy to find those who were susceptible to gluttony. Just look at how they ate. He wrote a guideline for those who might be gluttonous. He said, "While dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you. If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat; don't desire all the delicacies, for he might be trying to trick you." (Proverbs 23:…

Pride

As the Roman Empire continued to triumph in foreign wars, each major victory was celebrated in Rome by the victorious general driving his four-horse drawn chariot toward the temple of Jupiter, on the Capitoline Hill, where he would offer sacrifice. He was decorated with gold and ivory, followed by his troops, and preceded by the most glamorous prisoners and plunder taken in battle. A curious person was standing behind him, a slave, holding a golden crown over his head and whispering continually in his ear, "Remember you are mortal!" This whispering was done to keep his pride in check which would obviously be bolstered by the praise of the people, the recognition of the parade, and the garments and jewelry accessories (bling today) he wore. Pride is a sneaky thing, an inwardly directed emotion that can have at least two meanings. It could positively be a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction about your own achievements or the achievements of those with whom you are closely a…

Purpose

When someone asks you, “What is your purpose in living every day?” or “What brings meaning to your life?” How do you answer?Will your answer be concise, understandable, and reasonable to others? It can be only if you have taken the time to identify what your purpose is. In being a coach of men and women over the last decade, I have come to the conclusion that not much can be accomplished until each person has clearly identified their values built on their past, the purpose they are accomplishing in the present, and their vision for their future. Here is a story that affirms this as well. Elijah is remembered for the great spiritual battle he fought on Mount Carmel against 850 false prophets that had deterred the people of Israel from serving God. Two altars were built and two sacrifices prepared but only one was accepted. (Much like the offerings Cain and Abel brought to God) God by fire from heaven burned up the drenched sacrifice, stone altar, and water in the trench around it, answer…

Faith

Although we would not think of it in this way, we exhibit faith continually through our days and nights. Sitting in a chair suggests faith in that chair. Driving a car requires believing that car can take us where we want to go. Drinking water from the tap is a leap of faith in the pipes and the government that regulates and purifies the water to be clean of anything dangerous to our health. It is described by the writer of Hebrews as "the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (Hebrews 11:1) It is grasping tightly to something intangible in true belief that it is worthy of hanging on to. It is called something unshakeable by Paul as he writes to Timothy and says, "The purpose….is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith." (1 Timothy 1:5) This is a faith that is unfeigned, which means real, genuine and sincere. It has also been no…