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Sunday, December 31, 2017

We show that we are God’s servants by our kindness




Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (KJV)

Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things." (ERV)

Galatians 5:22-23, " But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." (The Message) 


Gentleness.

According to the dictionary, 'gentle' is described as, "kindly; amiable; to calm; to pacify; to soothe."

Having a gentle spirit is something we should all be yearning for. Kindness. A sense of peace us. Since God started changing my heart- one thing He has been impressing on my heart is to be a woman of kindness, a woman of peace, a woman of grace.

I want to be that person individuals feel at rest around. I want to speak kindly. Talk gently. React with love.

Becoming Like Christ.

Psalms 18:35 - "Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great." 

2 Samuel 22:36 - "Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great." 

Nehemiah 9:17- "And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not." 

Psalms 117:2- "For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord."

Isaiah 54:8- "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."

God Almighty shows us kindness every single day. His Word proves it for us. His gentleness (kindness) has made us great. He is a God ready to pardon, slow to anger, of great kindness. His merciful kindness is great towards us. With everlasting kindness, He has mercy on us.

And according to 1 John 2:6, "Anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked." We are called to be like Him. And if He poured out kindness every single day, we should be doing the same thing. 

In A World Where You Can Be Anything- Be Kind.

I'm sure everyone has heard the quote, "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." I have been trying to keep this quote at the forefront of my mind the past few weeks.

The people you meet every day- you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes of their lives. 

The other day, I ran in to someone at the store. I didn't know the person, but they were very short tempered. One of my children kept messing with things in the check out and she instantly snapped at him. Now, the old me-- the me a few months ago- would have instantly judged her as soon as I got to the car. I probably would have picked up my phone, called my husband, started complaining, possibly calling her a few names. 

BUT.

In that moment, God started changing my spirit. (He's been doing that a lot lately! And He has been allowing me to see the hurtful, bitter, spiteful spirit I once had.) 

I wanted to complain. I wanted to get it off of my chest. I wanted to be judgmental. I knew it would make be feel better-- justified.

Trust me, I WANTED to do that. 

BUT.

God spoke to me. I've been asking Him to put His hand over my mouth and guard my words before I speak them because I have a terrible time at keeping my mouth shut! And it was like He was standing next to me-- working on my heart-- and saying, "Alyssa, do you know what she went through today? Do you know how broken she is inside? Do you understand what is taking place in her life-- all the hurt that she has to try and push aside to come in here and work?" And I started looking at this lady standing there-- and my heart started to ache. How many times do I pass judgment on someone for their actions without knowing what is going on at home? Without knowing what situation they are facing? 

He called us to be kind. 

Now, I'm not justifying people's actions. Please do not get me wrong. We are ALL called to be kind. BUT. When someone is unkind, they may just be facing a situation that seems impossible and this is their way of having control over one small situation in their lives. They may not be handling how we think they should, but- instead of lashing out, calling names, being bitter... we need to be loving and a little extra kind.

Instead of being angry, God called me to pray for her. So, the entire drive home, the kids and I prayed for this woman. We prayed that God would heal her situation at home, that He would heal her heart, that He would heal the pain of anything that has hurt her. 

I know I've been posting a lot of situations where God has been changing my heart lately. Please do not think that I somehow think I'm better than others because I reacted this way in a situation where it would have been easy to lash out and speak my mind. I'm not perfect-- just trying to hear His voice and change the person I HAVE been. I've been the gossiper. I've been the complainer. I've been the name caller. I've been the angry spirit. I've been the judgmental woman. I've been the grudge holder. I've been the eye roller. I've been bitter.

I'm just trying to hear His voice... and have a gentle spirit. I'm begging for it.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 6, Paul writes:

"We don’t want people to find anything wrong with our work. So we do nothing that will be a problem to others. But in every way we show that we are servants of God. We never give up, even though we face troubles, difficulties, and problems of every kind. We are beaten and thrown into prison. People get upset at us and fight against us. We work hard, and sometimes we get no sleep or food. We show that we are God’s servants by our pure lives, by our understanding, by our patience, and by our kindness.We show it by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. This right way of living has prepared us to defend ourselves against every kind of attack." 

What are we showing others today?

Our Calling.

"You are never too important to be nice to people."
"Be the reason someone smiles today."
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others... and if you cannot help them, at least don't hurt them."
"When you have a bad day, a really bad day, try and treat the world a little better than it treated you." [Patrick Stump]
"Be kind to unkind people. They need it most."

All of these sum up our calling. Write these on note cards, post them around your house, in your car.. whatever it takes to remind yourself that the world needs less judgment, less self-righteousness... and a lot more kindness, gentleness, and love.

Think about how you could affect someone.. change their day.. with a gentle spirit. A spirit that is not fueled by what happened to you that day, but by your genuine happiness.

Let us pray today that God will give us a gentle spirit. That He will let kindness pour out of us. Jesus, I pray that You change our spirits today. I pray that You will give us unspeakable joy that will give us overwhelming kindness. We cannot be kind to others if we are not being kind to ourselves. Help us to love who we are... find what makes us happy... trust in You in all situations.. rest in You regardless of the circumstances.. and help us to be kind to everyone that we meet. Help us to love like You love. Help us to show mercy like you show mercy. We love You, Jesus.

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