Tender To The Touch | TBN

Tender To The Touch

Watch Tender To The Touch
September 29, 2019
27:29

Touching Lives with James Merritt

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Tender To The Touch

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  • for by the friends and partners of Touching Lives.
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  • James Merritt: God cannot do anything with you if you're
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  • not meek.
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  • God cannot do anything with you if you're not gentle.
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  • God cannot do anything with you if you are not tender
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  • to the touch but he can do anything with you if you are.
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  • announcer: Teaching people everywhere who Jesus is and
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  • why they need him.
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  • This is "Touching Lives" with James Merritt.
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  • James: We're in a series that we're calling "Taste," based
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  • on what is known as the fruit of the spirit and we actually
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  • read these words in a book called Galatians.
  • 00:00:32.270 --> 00:00:35.130
  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
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  • kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
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  • and self control."
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  • God wants your life and my life to be like a
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  • tree that bears fruit.
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  • Now, again, remember fruit is good.
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  • We've been talkin' about this for two reasons: number one,
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  • fruit's good to you, taste's good.
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  • Number two, it's good for you; it's nutritious, it's healthy.
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  • God wants us to live our lives in such a way that people will
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  • be attracted to us because we're tasty, we're good to them,
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  • and we're good for them.
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  • God wants us to be so fruitful that when we come
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  • into a relationship with others we don't only be good to them,
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  • they liked to be around us, but we'll good be good for them.
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  • They want to become just like us.
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  • Well, a part of the fruit that God wants us to bear is
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  • the fruit of what's called meekness or what we just read is
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  • the word gentleness.
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  • Now let me tell you what I mean by meekness or gentleness.
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  • Meekness is trusting God in every circumstance
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  • and treating people like you do.
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  • See it's one thing to trust God.
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  • Everybody says they trust God that believes in God.
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  • "Oh yeah, I trust God."
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  • But do you live your life in such a way?
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  • Do you treat others in such a way that they know
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  • you trust God?
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  • By the way, that's the word that Jesus used on the Sermon
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  • on the Mount in the first beatitude when he said, "Blessed
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  • are the meek for they will inherit the earth."
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  • Incidentally, it's too bad that the meat cannot have already
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  • inherited the earth because the unmeek are
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  • making a mess of it.
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  • I know you'd agree with that.
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  • Well, Jesus said if you will be a meek person, if you'll be
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  • gentle, if you'll be tender to the touch, you will be
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  • blessed and, he said, you'll wind up with everything
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  • that matters.
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  • Now quite frankly this is totally the opposite of what you
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  • hear from Hollywood.
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  • What you hear from Wall Street.
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  • From what you hear from Washington DC.
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  • The world will tell you, you want to be blessed?
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  • You better have money.
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  • You better have missiles.
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  • You better have might.
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  • You better have muscles.
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  • Jesus said no, blessed are people with meekness.
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  • Now if you're like me and you have a Type A personality,
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  • you're very intense, you're extremely driven, your
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  • hyperactive, you're super competitive, and yes, that's me,
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  • you're like me.
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  • If that's true, you need to hear what God says about this fruit
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  • of the Spirit.
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  • Three things I want to share it with all of us today.
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  • Number one, we should emulate gentleness.
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  • We should emulate gentleness.
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  • Now I'm goin' to interchange gentleness and meekness because
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  • they're basically synonymous.
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  • Matter of fact, the most powerful man who ever walked
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  • the face of this earth-- the man, who could have snapped
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  • his fingers and destroyed the universe since he was
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  • the one that spoke a word and created it-- he was a man
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  • of meekness.
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  • The man who could call down ten legions of angels to destroy any
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  • army, who could turn water into wine, who could speak
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  • a word and make an angry mob fall on their faces, who could
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  • feed thousands of people with a few loaves and a few
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  • fish, he was a giant of gentleness.
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  • In fact, this is what he said about himself.
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  • I want you if you're following along with me today,
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  • we're in Matthew chapter 11, and before I read our text, let
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  • me just say this.
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  • We obviously have never walked with Jesus physically.
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  • We didn't have the privilege of spending three years
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  • with him.
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  • We didn't sleep, you know, beside him.
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  • We didn't every hear him speak, we didn't listen to him.
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  • We didn't do anything physically interacting with him.
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  • So the best way we can know anything about him is to listen
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  • how he described himself.
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  • And a very familiar passage of Scripture-- listen to what
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  • Jesus said about himself.
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  • This is so sweet.
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  • Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary, burdened,
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  • stressed out, driven, hyperactive, competitive, gotta
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  • have it all, and I will give you rest.
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  • Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle
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  • and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
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  • Jesus himself said, "I'm gentle.
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  • I'm tender to the touch."
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  • He didn't have to tell us that because you read
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  • in the Scriptures little children were drawn to Jesus
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  • like a magnet draws iron.
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  • He's actually the first Pied Piper in history.
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  • I mean, kids were drawn to his gentleness.
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  • He was the masterpiece of meekness.
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  • By the way, that oughta want to tell us you don't have to be
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  • weak to be meek.
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  • You don't have to be jelly to be gentle 'cause I want you
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  • to understand something about my Lord and my Savior.
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  • He was meek but he wasn't weak.
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  • There was nothing weak about him.
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  • He was not afraid to stand up for what was right and he
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  • wasn't afraid to stand up against what was wrong.
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  • Nobody intimidated him: the religious establishment
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  • didn't, the civil establishment didn't, the government
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  • established didn't, the business establishment didn't.
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  • He would walk into a temple with a whip and chase money
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  • changers out when no one else would.
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  • While everyone else took their head in the sand, he stood
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  • up and he said you know what?
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  • You're not going to make church street Wall Street.
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  • I'm not gonna stick my head in the sand.
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  • I'm not afraid of you, I'm not worried about you.
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  • I realize you can crucify me, as a matter of fact, you're going
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  • to have me crucified, but not in my house.
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  • Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
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  • My house is a house of prayer.
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  • It is not a Las Vegas gambling casino and you're not going
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  • to do that kind of business in my house.
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  • See, you don't have to be weak to be meek.
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  • You don't have to be a wimp to be meek.
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  • 'Cause I wanna be honest when I talk about being meek a lot
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  • of people think that's what I mean.
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  • "Well, you know, you want me to wimp out, you want me to be,
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  • you know, weak."
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  • And I'm not necessarily saying that.
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  • As a matter of fact, don't confuse being meek
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  • with mild mannered.
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  • I thought what I'm talking about either.
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  • You can be meek without being mild mannered.
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  • It doesn't mean that you'll never get your feathers ruffled,
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  • you'll never get upset, you don't-- nobody ever kind of gets
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  • under your skin.
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  • When I talk about being gentle I don't want you to think
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  • about somebody that's short, skinny, has got Coca-Cola bottle
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  • for glasses, flicks his hair back with vaseline, sings--
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  • and looks like a toothpick at both ends.
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  • That is not what I'm talkin' about.
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  • At the same time, you're gonna see in just a moment you can be
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  • gentle but strong.
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  • You can be meek but firm.
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  • You can be gentle and meek and yet have convictions
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  • and speak up and speak out and yet you can do it
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  • with a spirit of gentleness.
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  • You know, Theodore Roosevelt, whether he meant this to be
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  • a theological truth are not, gave a good one when he kinda
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  • put it this way.
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  • Theodore Roosevelt said, "Walk softly but carry a big stick."
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  • It's a great statement.
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  • You don't have to throw your weight around, you don't have
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  • to prove how tough you are, you can be gentle, you can be meek,
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  • you can be tender to the touch but you can carry a big stick.
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  • See, you can come across without coming
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  • across cross.
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  • You can come across without coming
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  • across cross.
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  • You know, when you were with Jesus, you know what you'll
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  • find about people with Jesus?
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  • They were always at ease.
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  • Nobody walked on eggshells, nobody was afraid to approach
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  • him, nobody kinda looked at so, you know, I really can't even
  • 00:08:10.100 --> 00:08:15.010
  • get within talking distance of him.
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  • You know why?
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  • Because even though he was the Son of God, even though he
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  • was most powerful man who ever lived, he had the spirit
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  • of meekness and a spirit of gentleness.
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  • The point is if Jesus was meek and Jesus was gentle then if
  • 00:08:26.180 --> 00:08:32.190
  • we're going to walk in the footsteps of Jesus
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  • and we're going to do it to follow the example of Jesus,
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  • we need to emulate that same fruit in our lives because that
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  • is the way he was and that is the way we ought to be.
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  • Parents, you'll get a lot further with your kids, even
  • 00:08:48.060 --> 00:08:51.270
  • in your discipline, if you'll do it in a spirit of meekness
  • 00:08:51.280 --> 00:08:55.270
  • and gentleness.
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  • Husbands, wives, you'll get a lot further along in your
  • 00:08:57.140 --> 00:09:00.230
  • communication even when you're upset with each other.
  • 00:09:00.240 --> 00:09:03.150
  • If you'll talk to each other with a spirit of meekness
  • 00:09:03.160 --> 00:09:06.210
  • and gentleness.
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  • Your business will do better if you'll treat every customer
  • 00:09:07.280 --> 00:09:11.090
  • with the spirit of meekness and gentleness.
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  • So first of all, we should emulate gentleness.
  • 00:09:15.220 --> 00:09:21.140
  • Second thing, we should cultivate gentleness.
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  • We should cultivate gentleness.
  • 00:09:26.170 --> 00:09:28.070
  • Now, I wanna remind you that this quality being gentle
  • 00:09:28.080 --> 00:09:31.250
  • and being meek keeping your ego in check, I just want to remind
  • 00:09:31.260 --> 00:09:34.250
  • you, it is a fruit of the Spirit.
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  • 'Cause let me tell you something, we're not--
  • 00:09:36.270 --> 00:09:38.130
  • most of us are not born with a spirit of meekness.
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  • We're not born with a spirit of gentleness.
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  • I'll prove it to you.
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  • Not long after we're born, not long after we become babies, not
  • 00:09:44.270 --> 00:09:47.200
  • long after we recognize what toys are, you know what we want?
  • 00:09:47.210 --> 00:09:51.100
  • We want every toy to be our toy.
  • 00:09:51.110 --> 00:09:53.090
  • We don't want any other kid playing with our toy.
  • 00:09:53.100 --> 00:09:55.090
  • We don't want to share with any other toy.
  • 00:09:55.100 --> 00:09:57.020
  • We want to get our way, when we don't get our way, we scream, we
  • 00:09:57.030 --> 00:10:01.000
  • yell, we cry, we throw tantrums, we, you know, wallow
  • 00:10:01.010 --> 00:10:04.130
  • around in the floor.
  • 00:10:04.140 --> 00:10:05.190
  • We're not born normally with a spirit of meekness
  • 00:10:05.200 --> 00:10:08.270
  • and gentleness 'cause it's just not natural.
  • 00:10:08.280 --> 00:10:11.080
  • As a matter of fact, we're even living in a culture that says
  • 00:10:11.090 --> 00:10:14.090
  • to us you should not be meek, you should not be gentle.
  • 00:10:14.100 --> 00:10:18.010
  • Now here's what I mean by that.
  • 00:10:18.020 --> 00:10:20.010
  • The very opposite of meekness is demanding your rights and we're
  • 00:10:20.020 --> 00:10:24.290
  • living in a demand you're right culture.
  • 00:10:25.000 --> 00:10:27.250
  • Today, you can't even turn right without running into
  • 00:10:27.260 --> 00:10:31.070
  • somebody's rights.
  • 00:10:31.080 --> 00:10:32.180
  • And there are rights for everybody: children have
  • 00:10:32.190 --> 00:10:35.180
  • rights, the elderly have rights, disabled workers under 25 have
  • 00:10:35.190 --> 00:10:40.110
  • rights, workers over 40 have rights, felons have rights,
  • 00:10:40.120 --> 00:10:45.140
  • alcoholics have rights.
  • 00:10:45.150 --> 00:10:47.020
  • The addicted have rights, homeless people have rights,
  • 00:10:47.030 --> 00:10:50.060
  • spotted owls have rights, snail darters have rights.
  • 00:10:50.070 --> 00:10:53.230
  • As a matter of fact, there seemed to be rights
  • 00:10:53.240 --> 00:10:55.270
  • for everybody except unborn children.
  • 00:10:55.280 --> 00:11:02.240
  • Everybody's got their rights.
  • 00:11:02.250 --> 00:11:04.200
  • Rights are considered as American as apple pie.
  • 00:11:04.210 --> 00:11:06.290
  • As a matter of fact, what is the best known part
  • 00:11:07.000 --> 00:11:09.190
  • of the Constitution?
  • 00:11:09.200 --> 00:11:10.190
  • You know what it is in four words.
  • 00:11:10.200 --> 00:11:12.010
  • It's the Bill of Rights.
  • 00:11:12.020 --> 00:11:15.080
  • They realized right after they wrote the Constitution that they
  • 00:11:15.090 --> 00:11:17.250
  • had to put into that sacred document, we've gotta make sure
  • 00:11:17.260 --> 00:11:20.200
  • people understand their rights.
  • 00:11:20.210 --> 00:11:23.090
  • When somebody's arrested we have to read them their rights.
  • 00:11:23.100 --> 00:11:27.010
  • We're a society today all about rights.
  • 00:11:27.020 --> 00:11:29.130
  • Now, let me just say this, I want you to understand in some
  • 00:11:29.140 --> 00:11:31.260
  • ways I get it.
  • 00:11:31.270 --> 00:11:33.260
  • Rights are the bedrock of our society and we oughta have
  • 00:11:33.270 --> 00:11:38.020
  • rights and we do have God-given rights.
  • 00:11:38.030 --> 00:11:41.050
  • We do have, as Thomas Jefferson put it, the inalienable rights
  • 00:11:41.060 --> 00:11:44.240
  • that our creator has given to us.
  • 00:11:44.250 --> 00:11:47.000
  • So yes, we ought to have the right to worship as we
  • 00:11:47.010 --> 00:11:49.120
  • please or not to worship.
  • 00:11:49.130 --> 00:11:51.150
  • We oughta have the right to free speech.
  • 00:11:51.160 --> 00:11:53.270
  • We oughta have the right to address the government
  • 00:11:53.280 --> 00:11:55.270
  • with things we don't like.
  • 00:11:55.280 --> 00:11:57.200
  • We oughta have the right to run for office, we oughta have
  • 00:11:57.210 --> 00:12:00.030
  • the right to vote for whomever we please.
  • 00:12:00.040 --> 00:12:02.030
  • We oughta have the right to disagree.
  • 00:12:02.040 --> 00:12:04.000
  • We oughta have the right to agree to disagree but here
  • 00:12:04.010 --> 00:12:07.060
  • is the difference.
  • 00:12:07.070 --> 00:12:08.100
  • When you are controlled by the spirit of gentleness
  • 00:12:08.110 --> 00:12:11.030
  • and you are controlled by the spirit of meekness, your
  • 00:12:11.040 --> 00:12:14.000
  • number one concern will always be not for the rights you want
  • 00:12:14.010 --> 00:12:19.240
  • someone else to give you.
  • 00:12:19.250 --> 00:12:22.060
  • Your number one concern will be the responsibilities you have
  • 00:12:22.070 --> 00:12:25.270
  • towards someone else.
  • 00:12:25.280 --> 00:12:27.130
  • You'll know you've got the right spirit when every day you get
  • 00:12:27.140 --> 00:12:30.080
  • up more concerned about your responsibility to others then
  • 00:12:30.090 --> 00:12:34.110
  • your rights from others.
  • 00:12:34.120 --> 00:12:36.210
  • And by the way, if you want to see what happens when you
  • 00:12:36.220 --> 00:12:40.050
  • don't have a spirit of meekness and you don't have a spirit
  • 00:12:40.060 --> 00:12:42.260
  • of gentleness.
  • 00:12:42.270 --> 00:12:45.070
  • Real easy, look at the society we live in.
  • 00:12:45.080 --> 00:12:48.180
  • Look at what happens in the courts.
  • 00:12:48.190 --> 00:12:51.020
  • Everybody is suing everybody for everything.
  • 00:12:51.030 --> 00:12:54.250
  • You've gotta be insured against almost everything
  • 00:12:54.260 --> 00:12:58.150
  • and you gotta protect yourself from being sued for just
  • 00:12:58.160 --> 00:13:01.060
  • about anything or any reason because something may go wrong.
  • 00:13:01.070 --> 00:13:05.140
  • As a matter of fact, let's go back--let me go back to study
  • 00:13:05.150 --> 00:13:07.130
  • this word again.
  • 00:13:07.140 --> 00:13:08.170
  • The word that is used for gentleness in the original
  • 00:13:08.180 --> 00:13:11.190
  • language, it's a word that means mild or it means soft.
  • 00:13:11.200 --> 00:13:16.130
  • It was used to describe a soothing medicine or
  • 00:13:16.140 --> 00:13:20.240
  • a soft breeze.
  • 00:13:20.250 --> 00:13:22.010
  • It was used on wild horses who would be broken by a trainer
  • 00:13:22.020 --> 00:13:25.130
  • so that they could be useful in work.
  • 00:13:25.140 --> 00:13:28.140
  • In other words, gentleness means power under control.
  • 00:13:28.150 --> 00:13:34.210
  • And unbroken horse is useless.
  • 00:13:34.220 --> 00:13:38.180
  • Nobody can ride it.
  • 00:13:38.190 --> 00:13:40.120
  • Nobody can work it.
  • 00:13:40.130 --> 00:13:42.030
  • You can't do anything with an unbroken horse.
  • 00:13:42.040 --> 00:13:44.200
  • You know what an unbroken horse needs?
  • 00:13:44.210 --> 00:13:46.070
  • He needs a spirit of meekness.
  • 00:13:46.080 --> 00:13:49.090
  • He needs a spirit of gentleness.
  • 00:13:49.100 --> 00:13:52.130
  • Medicine that is too strong kills rather than cures.
  • 00:13:52.140 --> 00:13:56.070
  • A wind that is out of control destroys everything in its path.
  • 00:13:56.080 --> 00:14:00.150
  • So when you dig down deep and you ask yourself
  • 00:14:00.160 --> 00:14:03.130
  • the question so how meek am I?
  • 00:14:03.140 --> 00:14:06.080
  • How gentle am I?
  • 00:14:06.090 --> 00:14:07.170
  • Let's give ourselves a meekness test, let's give ourselves
  • 00:14:07.180 --> 00:14:10.250
  • a gentleness test, okay?
  • 00:14:10.260 --> 00:14:12.260
  • Answer this question, do I on a 24/7 basis, as much as
  • 00:14:12.270 --> 00:14:19.150
  • possible, let God be in control of every area of my life?
  • 00:14:19.160 --> 00:14:25.200
  • That is the meekness test.
  • 00:14:25.210 --> 00:14:27.200
  • That is the gentleness test.
  • 00:14:27.210 --> 00:14:29.150
  • Do I really and truly on a 24/7 basis, as much as possible, let
  • 00:14:29.160 --> 00:14:33.210
  • God be in control of every example of my life?
  • 00:14:33.220 --> 00:14:38.170
  • Now, I want to show you just how practical this is.
  • 00:14:38.180 --> 00:14:40.180
  • I'm going to give you some examples.
  • 00:14:40.190 --> 00:14:43.230
  • If you really have a spirit of meekness you will open
  • 00:14:43.240 --> 00:14:48.060
  • up your wallet and say, "Lord, how much of this do you want me
  • 00:14:48.070 --> 00:14:52.130
  • to keep?"
  • 00:14:52.140 --> 00:14:54.010
  • If you really have a spirit of meekness you'll take your
  • 00:14:54.020 --> 00:14:57.080
  • clock and you'll say to God, "Lord, how do you want me
  • 00:14:57.090 --> 00:15:00.180
  • to spend my time?"
  • 00:15:00.190 --> 00:15:03.030
  • You'll take your gifts and your abilities and you'll say, Lord,
  • 00:15:03.040 --> 00:15:07.260
  • how do you want me to use these for your glory?
  • 00:15:07.270 --> 00:15:12.070
  • I'm going to be very honest as a pastor, even the vast majority
  • 00:15:12.080 --> 00:15:14.230
  • of Christ's followers I pastor through the years, I call them
  • 00:15:14.240 --> 00:15:17.130
  • "Frank Sinatra Christians."
  • 00:15:17.140 --> 00:15:19.120
  • Their attitude is, "I'm gonna do it my way.
  • 00:15:19.130 --> 00:15:23.090
  • I don't care what you say, pastor.
  • 00:15:23.100 --> 00:15:25.080
  • I don't care what Jesus says.
  • 00:15:25.090 --> 00:15:26.200
  • I don't care what God says.
  • 00:15:26.210 --> 00:15:28.010
  • I don't care what the Word of God says.
  • 00:15:28.020 --> 00:15:29.260
  • I'm going to do it my way.
  • 00:15:29.270 --> 00:15:32.180
  • I'm going to determine how I live my life.
  • 00:15:32.190 --> 00:15:35.130
  • I'm going to decide whether or not I'm gonna serve God
  • 00:15:35.140 --> 00:15:38.010
  • and the church.
  • 00:15:38.020 --> 00:15:39.070
  • I'm going to determine whether I give to God's work or not
  • 00:15:39.080 --> 00:15:42.030
  • and how much I'm going to give, if anything.
  • 00:15:42.040 --> 00:15:44.230
  • I'm going to decide how often I'm in the house of God.
  • 00:15:44.240 --> 00:15:47.240
  • In other words, I'm going to live the Christian life my way.
  • 00:15:47.250 --> 00:15:51.270
  • I'm going to live the Christian life the way I want to live it."
  • 00:15:51.280 --> 00:15:54.290
  • Well, the spirit of gentleness begins not with your
  • 00:15:55.000 --> 00:15:58.150
  • relationship toward others, it begins with your relationship
  • 00:15:58.160 --> 00:16:02.070
  • to God.
  • 00:16:02.080 --> 00:16:03.120
  • There's an old hymn that we used to sing.
  • 00:16:03.130 --> 00:16:05.030
  • It's a beautiful hymn, we don't sing it much anymore but it's
  • 00:16:05.040 --> 00:16:08.190
  • got such a great message to it and some of you will remember if
  • 00:16:08.200 --> 00:16:11.050
  • you grew up in church as I did.
  • 00:16:11.060 --> 00:16:13.190
  • The title of it was "I Surrender All."
  • 00:16:13.200 --> 00:16:17.130
  • It's a great song.
  • 00:16:17.140 --> 00:16:18.210
  • And you know what that song is all about?
  • 00:16:18.220 --> 00:16:20.020
  • It's all about meekness.
  • 00:16:20.030 --> 00:16:21.260
  • It's all about-- that's what meekness is; it is the spirit
  • 00:16:21.270 --> 00:16:24.250
  • of surrender.
  • 00:16:24.260 --> 00:16:26.020
  • So if you really want to know what the spirit of gentleness is
  • 00:16:26.030 --> 00:16:28.030
  • it's three words: I surrender all.
  • 00:16:28.040 --> 00:16:31.170
  • It's when you honestly come from the Lord and you say,
  • 00:16:31.180 --> 00:16:33.240
  • "Lord, I really do, today, surrender everything to you.
  • 00:16:33.250 --> 00:16:37.210
  • I'm surrendering all of my rights to you.
  • 00:16:37.220 --> 00:16:41.030
  • I'm surrendering all of my desires to you, I'm surrendering
  • 00:16:41.040 --> 00:16:45.030
  • all of my wants to you.
  • 00:16:45.040 --> 00:16:46.290
  • I'm going to surrender the way I react to other people no matter
  • 00:16:47.000 --> 00:16:50.130
  • how they treat me.
  • 00:16:50.140 --> 00:16:51.190
  • I'm going to surrender-- listen, I'm gonna surrender my right
  • 00:16:51.200 --> 00:16:54.190
  • to revenge.
  • 00:16:54.200 --> 00:16:56.270
  • My right to retaliation.
  • 00:16:56.280 --> 00:16:59.170
  • I'm gonna surrender my right to what I want that I think is
  • 00:16:59.180 --> 00:17:02.290
  • best for me."
  • 00:17:03.000 --> 00:17:04.090
  • That's the spirit of gentleness and look, that's why you have
  • 00:17:04.100 --> 00:17:07.150
  • to cultivate it.
  • 00:17:07.160 --> 00:17:08.260
  • If you don't cultivate it it will die and there's only one
  • 00:17:08.270 --> 00:17:13.120
  • way that you can do that which is beginning every day
  • 00:17:13.130 --> 00:17:18.130
  • with a complete, unequivocal, unconditional surrender
  • 00:17:18.140 --> 00:17:22.210
  • of everything you have and everything you are
  • 00:17:22.220 --> 00:17:25.170
  • to the heavenly Father that made you with one desire, Lord,
  • 00:17:25.180 --> 00:17:29.050
  • I want you to be glorified in my life.
  • 00:17:29.060 --> 00:17:33.020
  • So number one, we are to emulate gentleness.
  • 00:17:33.030 --> 00:17:38.200
  • And then Paul says this: we should cultivate gentleness.
  • 00:17:38.210 --> 00:17:44.080
  • Now when you do those two things here's what will happen.
  • 00:17:44.090 --> 00:17:46.270
  • We should demonstrate gentleness.
  • 00:17:46.280 --> 00:17:49.050
  • We should demonstrate gentleness.
  • 00:17:49.060 --> 00:17:50.230
  • Now understand, listen, this is important, a gentle person is
  • 00:17:50.240 --> 00:17:54.150
  • not passive.
  • 00:17:54.160 --> 00:17:55.270
  • You're not just sitting back in an easy chair doing nothing,
  • 00:17:55.280 --> 00:17:58.010
  • say nothing, hearing nothing, and experiencing nothing.
  • 00:17:58.020 --> 00:18:01.020
  • You're proactive because gentleness doesn't affects
  • 00:18:01.030 --> 00:18:03.210
  • so much what you do as it affects how you do it.
  • 00:18:03.220 --> 00:18:08.200
  • So let me just, for example give you some-- let me give you some
  • 00:18:08.210 --> 00:18:11.180
  • specific examples.
  • 00:18:11.190 --> 00:18:13.050
  • The apostle Peter said this, "In your hearts set
  • 00:18:13.060 --> 00:18:16.280
  • apart Christ as Lord."
  • 00:18:16.290 --> 00:18:17.280
  • Well, how do you know?
  • 00:18:17.290 --> 00:18:18.290
  • How do you know when you do that?
  • 00:18:19.000 --> 00:18:20.180
  • He said because you'll "always be prepared to give an answer
  • 00:18:20.190 --> 00:18:23.240
  • to everyone who asks you to give the reason for
  • 00:18:23.250 --> 00:18:25.150
  • the hope that you have."
  • 00:18:25.160 --> 00:18:26.250
  • He's talkin' about skeptics, unbelievers, doubters, people
  • 00:18:26.260 --> 00:18:30.000
  • who are tryin' to challenge.
  • 00:18:30.010 --> 00:18:31.080
  • You people saying you know, "Why do you believe what you believe?
  • 00:18:31.090 --> 00:18:33.070
  • You really believe that kind of stuff?"
  • 00:18:33.080 --> 00:18:34.170
  • He said listen, "Do this with gentleness and respect,
  • 00:18:34.180 --> 00:18:39.240
  • keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak
  • 00:18:39.250 --> 00:18:42.170
  • maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be
  • 00:18:42.180 --> 00:18:45.170
  • ashamed of their slander."
  • 00:18:45.180 --> 00:18:48.120
  • I want to tell you something as a follower of Jesus.
  • 00:18:48.130 --> 00:18:50.250
  • We're gonna be pressed more and more and more.
  • 00:18:50.260 --> 00:18:53.170
  • We're gonna be pushed against the wall more and more
  • 00:18:53.180 --> 00:18:56.020
  • and more to defend what we believe and to defend why we
  • 00:18:56.030 --> 00:19:00.260
  • believe it.
  • 00:19:00.270 --> 00:19:01.260
  • And you're going to run into people who are
  • 00:19:01.270 --> 00:19:03.260
  • recalcitrant, they're argumentative, they're stubborn,
  • 00:19:03.270 --> 00:19:08.230
  • they're ridiculing, they're criticizing, they're agitated,
  • 00:19:08.240 --> 00:19:13.150
  • and you've got to remember those times-- and this is
  • 00:19:13.160 --> 00:19:15.110
  • so important, you are not trying to win an argument.
  • 00:19:15.120 --> 00:19:20.070
  • You're trying to win a heart.
  • 00:19:20.080 --> 00:19:22.150
  • I can tell you in all of my ministry I've never debated
  • 00:19:22.160 --> 00:19:25.220
  • anybody into the kingdom of God.
  • 00:19:25.230 --> 00:19:28.030
  • I've never argued anybody into the kingdom of God.
  • 00:19:28.040 --> 00:19:31.070
  • I've never brow beat anybody into the kingdom of God.
  • 00:19:31.080 --> 00:19:34.050
  • I've never intimidated anybody into the kingdom of God.
  • 00:19:34.060 --> 00:19:38.030
  • We're not trying to win arguments, we're trying to win
  • 00:19:38.040 --> 00:19:40.150
  • hearts and they're just simply isn't any need to get angry
  • 00:19:40.160 --> 00:19:43.230
  • with a blind man who can't see.
  • 00:19:43.240 --> 00:19:46.140
  • Why get into a fight with a deaf man who can't hear?
  • 00:19:46.150 --> 00:19:50.050
  • Why get into a battle with the lame man who can't walk?
  • 00:19:50.060 --> 00:19:53.230
  • And by the way, it's the same way that we minister to people
  • 00:19:53.240 --> 00:19:56.020
  • who have failures in their life, who fall short of what they
  • 00:19:56.030 --> 00:19:59.150
  • ought to be, who do things they shouldn't do.
  • 00:19:59.160 --> 00:20:01.260
  • Who are down and out.
  • 00:20:01.270 --> 00:20:03.140
  • Listen, how do you respond to those kind of people?
  • 00:20:03.150 --> 00:20:06.080
  • Listen to this statement: "Brothers and sisters, if
  • 00:20:06.090 --> 00:20:09.190
  • someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should
  • 00:20:09.200 --> 00:20:15.010
  • restore that person gently.
  • 00:20:15.020 --> 00:20:18.000
  • But watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.
  • 00:20:18.010 --> 00:20:21.080
  • Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill
  • 00:20:21.090 --> 00:20:24.190
  • the law of Christ."
  • 00:20:24.200 --> 00:20:26.060
  • Now this is not referring to an unbeliever who's living
  • 00:20:26.070 --> 00:20:29.270
  • in unbroken sin, it's referring to a believer who's been broken
  • 00:20:29.280 --> 00:20:34.140
  • by sin.
  • 00:20:34.150 --> 00:20:35.210
  • And the Bible says, God's Word says the apostle Paul here said,
  • 00:20:35.220 --> 00:20:39.010
  • when there's a brother or sister, when there's a fella
  • 00:20:39.020 --> 00:20:41.050
  • follower of Christ and they blown it, they've tripped, they
  • 00:20:41.060 --> 00:20:44.240
  • fallen flat on their face, they have royally messed up.
  • 00:20:44.250 --> 00:20:49.090
  • He said you know what our job is?
  • 00:20:49.100 --> 00:20:50.230
  • It is not to kick them when they're down, it's not a pointed
  • 00:20:50.240 --> 00:20:53.170
  • finger and said "I'm glad I'm not like you," it's not to be
  • 00:20:53.180 --> 00:20:56.130
  • judgmental in any way.
  • 00:20:56.140 --> 00:20:58.000
  • He said we are to restore those kind of people gently.
  • 00:20:58.010 --> 00:21:01.270
  • That word restore is a surgeon's term.
  • 00:21:01.280 --> 00:21:04.130
  • It refers to the setting of a broken bone or a
  • 00:21:04.140 --> 00:21:07.100
  • dislocated joy.
  • 00:21:07.110 --> 00:21:08.170
  • You know, when a doctor sets a broken bone, you wanna make
  • 00:21:08.180 --> 00:21:12.070
  • sure that doctor's a doctor that does it gently, softly, tenderly
  • 00:21:12.080 --> 00:21:19.240
  • 'cause I want to be honest and I'm guilty of this sometimes
  • 00:21:19.250 --> 00:21:22.030
  • too, we all have a tendency to be so judgmental of others.
  • 00:21:22.040 --> 00:21:26.050
  • So condemning of others.
  • 00:21:26.060 --> 00:21:27.290
  • Our first reaction so many times when somebody fails is to point
  • 00:21:28.000 --> 00:21:31.000
  • our finger.
  • 00:21:31.010 --> 00:21:32.070
  • Well, if you've got a spirit of gentleness the first thing
  • 00:21:32.080 --> 00:21:33.180
  • you'll say to yourself is, "Well, you know,
  • 00:21:33.190 --> 00:21:35.060
  • except for the grace of God, that would be me."
  • 00:21:35.070 --> 00:21:37.170
  • You know, one of the biggest problems the church's had
  • 00:21:37.180 --> 00:21:39.050
  • for 2.000 years, we shoot our own soldiers and we
  • 00:21:39.060 --> 00:21:42.100
  • kill our own wounded.
  • 00:21:42.110 --> 00:21:44.000
  • Paul said restore them in a gentle spirit and then you
  • 00:21:44.010 --> 00:21:48.080
  • should receive the teaching of the Word of God in a spirit
  • 00:21:48.090 --> 00:21:51.190
  • of gentleness.
  • 00:21:51.200 --> 00:21:52.250
  • Listen to this, James said, "Therefore, get rid of all moral
  • 00:21:52.260 --> 00:21:55.240
  • filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept
  • 00:21:55.250 --> 00:21:59.060
  • the Word planted in you, which can save you."
  • 00:21:59.070 --> 00:22:03.020
  • That word humbly is the same word used for gentleness
  • 00:22:03.030 --> 00:22:06.200
  • and what James was saying was you ought to come to church,
  • 00:22:06.210 --> 00:22:09.120
  • when you do come to church ready to hear whatever God's truth has
  • 00:22:09.130 --> 00:22:13.080
  • for you, but with a pre-determination
  • 00:22:13.090 --> 00:22:15.250
  • whatever that truth is I'm going to apply it in my life no matter
  • 00:22:15.260 --> 00:22:19.290
  • how painful it may be, no matter I have to change my lifestyle,
  • 00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:23.130
  • I'm gonna submit myself to the authority and the truth
  • 00:22:23.140 --> 00:22:26.080
  • of God's Word and do what he wants me to do.
  • 00:22:26.090 --> 00:22:28.250
  • So let me put it to another way.
  • 00:22:28.260 --> 00:22:30.150
  • There is a difference between coming to church
  • 00:22:30.160 --> 00:22:35.060
  • and listening to what is said and coming to church and really
  • 00:22:35.070 --> 00:22:39.010
  • hearing what is said.
  • 00:22:39.020 --> 00:22:40.130
  • See, truth is just like medicine, it's only good
  • 00:22:40.140 --> 00:22:43.090
  • for you if you take it.
  • 00:22:43.100 --> 00:22:45.130
  • That's why James goes on to say this in verse 22: "Do not merely
  • 00:22:45.140 --> 00:22:49.080
  • listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves.
  • 00:22:49.090 --> 00:22:51.150
  • Do what it says."
  • 00:22:51.160 --> 00:22:53.230
  • So this is why gentleness is so important.
  • 00:22:53.240 --> 00:22:55.270
  • Listen, God cannot do anything with you if you're not meek.
  • 00:22:55.280 --> 00:23:01.250
  • God cannot do anything with you if you're not gentle.
  • 00:23:01.260 --> 00:23:05.060
  • God cannot do anything with you if you are not tender
  • 00:23:05.070 --> 00:23:08.200
  • to the touch but he can do anything with you if you are.
  • 00:23:08.210 --> 00:23:14.030
  • So you can be gentle in tone but not gentle in truth.
  • 00:23:14.040 --> 00:23:18.080
  • You can be gentle on the outside without being gentle
  • 00:23:18.090 --> 00:23:21.020
  • on the inside.
  • 00:23:21.030 --> 00:23:22.080
  • You can say a lot of the right things without doing many
  • 00:23:22.090 --> 00:23:25.140
  • of the right things.
  • 00:23:25.150 --> 00:23:26.260
  • Now, you will never have this fruit of gentleness in your life
  • 00:23:26.270 --> 00:23:30.110
  • until you realize, number one, you are what you are
  • 00:23:30.120 --> 00:23:34.210
  • by the grace of God.
  • 00:23:34.220 --> 00:23:36.120
  • Number two, you have what you have because of the goodness
  • 00:23:36.130 --> 00:23:39.090
  • of God, and number three, you oughta take who you are
  • 00:23:39.100 --> 00:23:42.130
  • and what you have and use it for the glory of God.
  • 00:23:42.140 --> 00:23:46.250
  • One of my long time heroes, a man I read about when I was
  • 00:23:46.260 --> 00:23:49.240
  • a kid, and he's still a hero to me today.
  • 00:23:49.250 --> 00:23:52.250
  • He was an African American--I read about him when I was
  • 00:23:52.260 --> 00:23:55.070
  • in elementary school, you've probably have heard of him-- his
  • 00:23:55.080 --> 00:23:58.010
  • name was George Washington Carver.
  • 00:23:58.020 --> 00:24:00.140
  • He's absolutely one of the greatest Americans
  • 00:24:00.150 --> 00:24:03.050
  • who ever lived.
  • 00:24:03.060 --> 00:24:04.060
  • He was a tremendous inventor.
  • 00:24:04.070 --> 00:24:05.230
  • As a matter of fact, he took the peanut--think about this--
  • 00:24:05.240 --> 00:24:08.090
  • just the ordinary peanut, he found over 300 different ways
  • 00:24:08.100 --> 00:24:13.260
  • that you could take a peanut and use it to benefit society.
  • 00:24:13.270 --> 00:24:18.020
  • Well, the problem was, because it was black, he was greatly
  • 00:24:18.030 --> 00:24:22.170
  • under appreciated in his lifetime.
  • 00:24:22.180 --> 00:24:25.060
  • And through the years, though he could have been a rich man,
  • 00:24:25.070 --> 00:24:27.110
  • he never was.
  • 00:24:27.120 --> 00:24:28.170
  • He really, frankly, had a lot of reasons to be bitter
  • 00:24:28.180 --> 00:24:31.110
  • towards society, bitter toward other people, but he wasn't
  • 00:24:31.120 --> 00:24:35.210
  • because he had a strong faith in God.
  • 00:24:35.220 --> 00:24:39.020
  • And God had put in him a spirit of gentleness.
  • 00:24:39.030 --> 00:24:44.090
  • This is what this great man said, How far you go in life
  • 00:24:44.100 --> 00:24:50.140
  • depends on your being tender, with the young, compassionate
  • 00:24:50.150 --> 00:24:56.110
  • with the aging, sympathetic with a striving, and tolerant
  • 00:24:56.120 --> 00:25:01.240
  • of the weak because someday, in life, you will
  • 00:25:01.250 --> 00:25:07.060
  • have been all of these.
  • 00:25:07.070 --> 00:25:10.140
  • It was the spirit of gentleness that calls Jesus to go
  • 00:25:10.150 --> 00:25:14.190
  • to a cross.
  • 00:25:14.200 --> 00:25:15.270
  • It was because Jesus even when he was dying for our sins was
  • 00:25:15.280 --> 00:25:19.110
  • tender to the touch that we could be totally and tenderly
  • 00:25:19.120 --> 00:25:24.200
  • forgiven for all of our sins.
  • 00:25:24.210 --> 00:25:27.000
  • So, beginning today, let's make sure that with every person that
  • 00:25:27.010 --> 00:25:32.270
  • God brings into our life, let's make sure that with every person
  • 00:25:32.280 --> 00:25:37.020
  • who crosses our path, let's make sure that everyone that comes
  • 00:25:37.030 --> 00:25:41.010
  • into even eyesight of the way we are looking, let them find us
  • 00:25:41.020 --> 00:25:46.240
  • tender to the touch and then we will be a blessing
  • 00:25:46.250 --> 00:25:51.230
  • to their life.
  • 00:25:51.240 --> 00:25:53.030
  • announcer: Stay tuned for a final word from Dr. Merritt.
  • 00:25:53.040 --> 00:25:55.060
  • 00:25:55.280 --> 00:26:05.270
  • 00:26:05.280 --> 00:26:15.270
  • 00:26:15.280 --> 00:26:25.270
  • 00:26:25.280 --> 00:26:35.270
  • 00:26:35.280 --> 00:26:38.280
  • James: Perhaps the most understood fruit of the spirit
  • 00:26:41.100 --> 00:26:43.100
  • is gentleness.
  • 00:26:43.110 --> 00:26:44.220
  • The problem is this, many equate gentleness with weakness which
  • 00:26:44.230 --> 00:26:48.170
  • is not a biblical definition of gentleness at all.
  • 00:26:48.180 --> 00:26:51.210
  • As I said in the message, gentleness is trusting God
  • 00:26:51.220 --> 00:26:54.020
  • in every circumstance and treating people like you do.
  • 00:26:54.030 --> 00:26:57.210
  • Jesus relied on his spirit of gentleness as he walked
  • 00:26:57.220 --> 00:27:00.090
  • to the cross.
  • 00:27:00.100 --> 00:27:01.160
  • His tenderness for us as sinners allowed us to experience God's
  • 00:27:01.170 --> 00:27:05.150
  • lasting forgiveness.
  • 00:27:05.160 --> 00:27:07.030
  • I pray all who cross your path this week will find you tender
  • 00:27:07.040 --> 00:27:11.030
  • to the touch and I'll see you next time right here
  • 00:27:11.040 --> 00:27:14.110
  • on "Touching Lives."
  • 00:27:14.120 --> 00:27:15.220
  • announcer: "Touching Lives," teaching people everywhere who
  • 00:27:16.110 --> 00:27:19.000
  • Jesus is and why they need him.
  • 00:27:19.010 --> 00:27:21.140
  • This program is sponsored by Touching Lives Ministries
  • 00:27:21.150 --> 00:27:24.030
  • and is made possible by the grace of God and your
  • 00:27:24.040 --> 00:27:26.240
  • faithful prayers and gifts.
  • 00:27:26.250 --> 00:27:28.070