God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Gentleness of Christ

The Fruit of the Spirit series –Gentleness
by Barbara Latta

The fruit of the spirit
The harshness of parts of our world and society create the wrong image of gentleness. This trait from the Fruit of the Spirit may sometimes be overlooked because we attribute being gentle with weakness or letting someone run rough shod over us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).

Here are some examples of how Jesus used gentleness when dealing with sinners:
  • The rich young ruler – Jesus told him what to do to have eternal life. The way He demonstrated this fruit didn’t condemn the seeker, yet Jesus was able to expose the condition of the man’s heart. The youth made the decision to turn away and Jesus was saddened by his response (Matthew 19:16-23).
  • The adulterous woman – Jesus was gentle toward her, yet he didn’t condone her sin. She was given the option to stop sinning and we assume she went away and did what Jesus said (John 8:1-11).
  • The tax collector – Zacchaeus was not condemned for being a tax collector which was what the small man expected. Jesus invited Himself to the house of this sinner and because of His willingness to do so, Zacchaeus saw God looking back at him and he repented (Luke 19:1-10).
  • Peter - When this impulsive follower denied Christ, all the Savior had to do was look at His disciple and realization impaled Peter with the knife of regret. Yet after the Lord’s resurrection, Jesus restored Peter and made sure His follower knew forgiveness had been extended.

Every instance in the Bible where Jesus met sinners, He changed their lives by showing them the gentleness of the Spirit of God. Sin was not overlooked; rather, sin was repented of because of gentleness. You have also given me the shield of your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great (Psalm 18:35 NKJV).

Jesus changed the lives of sinners through gentleness.
But the Pharisees were treated differently because their hearts were hardened toward God. They had already decided in their hearts to reject Jesus so gentleness wouldn’t have worked with them. They had made themselves god by adding their own set of rules to the Law of Moses. Jesus knew what was in their hearts and He knew they were not going to change, so judgment was meted out to them (Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 23:1-36).

He was not gentle when dealing with the money changers who were abusing the Temple with their greed (Matthew 21:12-13).

We are told to restore those who have fallen with gentleness (Galatians 6:1-2). Someone coming out of sin doesn’t need judgment, they need restoration. This doesn’t mean sin is swept under the rug. If they are truly repentant, they have probably already beat themselves up with guilt. They don’t need others in the church helping them do more.

Restoring them in gentleness means giving them the Word of God to show Christ’s forgiveness. Showing kindness toward them without reminding them of their sin, and discipling them back into fellowship to grow in the Word will keep them out of future sin.

While someday there will be judgment extended to those who have rejected Christ, right now God is dealing with sinners with gentleness and mercy.

What does gentleness mean to you? Share your thoughts.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

8 Ways to Hear and Receive From God

by Barbara Latta

Do you have difficulty making decisions? Does God sometimes seem silent and your prayers
8 ways to hear and receive from God
unanswered? Most of us have gone through this in our Christian lives. Sometimes God is silent for a season because what we are asking for may not be in His timing yet. The key is to not give up. We need to continue to seek Him and listen for His voice.

Here are 8 ways I have found helpful to hear from God:

  1. Be available. Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice and renewing our minds in His Word places us in a position to hear from Him. (Romans 12:1-2). Putting ourselves in a worship mindset will take the focus off self.
  2. Leave the past behind. We can’t move forward when we live in the past and dwell on mistakes and sins. This hinders our ability to hear what God is saying now (Philippians 3:13-14).
  3. Ask for revelation knowledge. (Colossians 1:9-10). He will give us understanding when we ask for it.
  4. Know that His will is available through His Spirit. He does want to reveal things to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
  5. Believe we receive our answer when we pray. Make sure prayers line up with His will and are not selfish (James 1:5-8).
  6. Be quiet, listen and get rid of distractions. (Psalm 46:10). We cannot hear God’s voice in the middle of TV shows, a radio blaring or social media streaming through the computer.
  7. Pray in the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). Many times in scripture praying in the Spirit is associated with praying in tongues. When the Spirit of God is praying from our spirit to God the Father, our mind is bypassed, and our reasoning cannot get in the way.
  8. Let peace be the guide (Colossians 3:15). When trying to make a decision and unsure which way to go, test the options with which one gives peace in the soul. When God is directing, there will be calmness and not anxiety or confusion.

What are some ways you have found helpful to hear and receive from God? Share your thoughts.