Category Archives: GENTLE

JUST SAY YES.012516

Yes Pink Squares Burst             I was inspired by a devotional I read last week (01.21.16) by Charles Stanley.  He said, in part, “When we encounter opportunities to serve God, we don’t always respond in the way He desires.” Maybe “our schedule is too busy or we don’t feel qualified.” . . . “You probably never thought of a refusal to serve God as a type of idolatry, but that’s what it is—bowing down to self instead of submitting to Him.” . . . “when we’ve already decided what we can’t do, won’t do, or are ill-equipped to do, then we’re acting by our own will.  That doesn’t work.” . . .”Laying down our excuses is the wisest thing to do when serving the Lord.”  . . . “All He asks is that you say ‘Yes’.”

I say “Glory Hallelujah!!!” to that.  The reason I was so inspired by this message from Rev. Stanley is that it made me think about my experience with a couple of ‘extra-church’ ministries I’m involved with.  In both of these ministries, one called “Walk to Emmaus” and the other called “Kairos Prison Ministry”, the characteristic that is most remarkable, I mean really REMARKABLE, is the willingness of the participants (that is the workers/servants/team-members) to say “Yes!” in serving in whatever way they are called upon to serve.  I’ve worked at several different levels in each of those ministries, and I’ve been truly astounded at how humble, how self-deprecating, the members are.

Whether it’s to lead a meeting, or give a talk, or counsel, or teach, or prepare or serve food, or wash dishes, or carry out the trash, or clean toilets and make beds; or pray; they’re ready to go. And they’re ready to do it voluntarily and with a good attitude.  Makes me think of that line in Phlippians 2:5, “Let this attitude be in you that was also in Christ Jesus!”  They’re “humble and obedient, kind and gentle, never jealous or boastful or proud or rude, never demanding their own way.” (Right out of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) When you ask them if they’d be willing to do _____; their answer is always “Yes!” with no qualifications.  It really “rang my bell” when I heard Rev. Stanley say that same thing about our attitude about service to, with and for Jesus.  I can truly say that for me, people saying “Yes” to Jesus is the best evidence of the presence of His Holy Spirit in our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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SHEEP, WOLVES, SNAKES AND DOVES.102015

SHEEP CLOSE UP.102015Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as snakes and harmless [innocent and gentle] as doves.”  In this passage, Jesus is talking to his twelve disciples.  He tells them they will suffer persecution, but the reason they’re going is to be a testimony [for Jesus], particularly in the councils and the synagogues, before governors and kings.  Some versions say “to be a testimony against them.”  This is the beginning of the apostles “going out to preach the Gospel.” (At first it’s only to the people of Israel; but later, unto all the world.) Grey Wolf Pack at PlaySome people think this was just for the apostles, or just for the Christians in the First Century.  But I always think this passage is applicable to us, the Christians who are alive on the earth today.  It is especially evident when you think of all the Christians in Asia and elsewhere, who are under persecution from Muslim, Communist and other totalitarian regimes.  We really are like sheep among wolves; and we really must be as clever as snakes, and as gentle as doves, just in order to survive and continue to be witnesses for our Lord Jesus. Continue reading