Monday, November 2nd

Monday, November 2nd

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (NASB)

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We move on this week to gentleness and self control in our list of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. We will focus on gentleness first. Gentleness is tenderness. Our verse today is a part of the beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Most of what Jesus had to say in his message came up against the status quo of conventional living and religious practice of that day. Here's an illustration that captures the dynamic of the situation. Picture the owner of a business that has been away oversees for several years. He had established his business, got it fully operational, and left others in charge who were to lead in ways that were in keeping with his purposes and intentions for the business. Now he returns with full awareness that the business is far afield from the game plan he had for it.

This captures what it was like for Jesus when he came on the scene. The Sermon on the Mount is the equivalent of the business owner addressing his work force and laying out all his expectations in contrast to all that has and is taking place. So when Jesus talks about gentleness, he is informing the inhabitants of earth of a very important Divine expectation. In doing so he is both challenging them with the reality that gentleness has been missing and warning them that all that has been allowed into the mix of life of earth that stands in contrast to gentleness will keep them from Divine blessing now and a good outcome in the end.

God never intended our world to be a "dog eat dog" kind of place. It is telling that religious practice in our world throughout time has often done more to foster the problem than alleviate it. Unfortunately, this has been all to true of many applications of Christianity that our world has had to endure. Even at this very moment right here in our own country this is happening as Christians promote their own forceful religious agenda at the expense of Christ's agenda of gentleness. If Christ were to show up on the scene today and address the adherents of Christianity, he would probably just preach the Sermon on Mount with its beatitudes all over again. We will look more closely at the specifics of what gentleness looks like over the next couple of days.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I want to be a gentle person with a tender-heart. I am sorry for the harsh and forceful ways that have come from me to others. Teach me all about gentleness and deliver me from the status quo stuff I have justified and allowed in my life. I truly want to be a part of your game plan for changing the world and not any other. I give myself afresh to you and your intentions for my life. Amen!

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