Tuesday, June 25, 2013

a study in Philippians 4: gentleness (part 2)

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5)

Have you ever considered this verse? It is so powerful and covers so much in how we are called to live in our new life. For how many of us really practice gentleness in our day-to-day. To actually make gentleness evident to all, wow... that adds great accountability in how we present ourselves, both in word and deed, to others and before our King.

Furthermore, the latter part of this verse really hits home as to why gentleness, in itself, is so important. Gentleness is important in our lives because the Lord is near. It is an opportunity to glorify Him with our lives. It is sacrificial to His throne. This concept brings me back to that old thought process of imagining Jesus sitting physically beside me in every circumstance. For if we were actually able to see Jesus with our human eyes, wouldn't we all want to honor Him with our words and deeds? Wouldn't we be on our best behavior in order to please the God of the universe? Of course we would! Funny thing is, we forget that Jesus actually is with us in every moment! For whatever reason, we do not always consider His Holy Spirit's presence the same way, do we? That said, believe me when I tell you, the Holy Spirit is indeed God witnessing our walk. So, shouldn't we strive to honor and know Him? Shouldn't we glorify Him in all we do? Absolutely!

Christ may not be visibly available until His second return to earth, but the Lord is definitely near and always encouraging us to follow His Word! It is important to remember this and remain in union with Him through prayer and study. For His perfect example is of great benefit to us.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

For Christian women, gentleness is especially important in how we minister to others. I like to think of it as our own personal promotional display to God's grace. Just like a mannequin in a department store is purposed to model designer clothing and jewelry, our gentleness allows us to showcase the beauty of the Designer of heaven and earth while being used to point out His many rich blessings and offer His eternal hope! It adorns us with the fruits of the Spirit as God extends to us the great honor to use said fruits to glorify Jesus' Name and further His kingdom... our purpose! Yes, gentleness invites love in as only the true beauty of God is able. It is not weakness. It is not being a doormat. It is not brazen, or self-serving, or inappropriate, or boastful, or pushy. Gentleness is humble, and meek, and kind, and quiet, and more powerful than all the marketing and attention-getting that this world tries to muster. Ladies, the still small voice of the King of kings is our most important beauty regimen!

It is easy to forget this. It is easy to accept the distorted image of worldly women today rather than the classy, beautiful, rich, and perfect image that God intended for us to model. Satan has lured many into thinking that the "Sex and the City" type of woman is the person we should strive to become. This is a lie of the devil. You may as well be putting makeup on a corpse. Sure, that dead corpse will definitely look pretty on the outside, but those fancy shoes won't bring her back to life, now will they? No, only Jesus can restore and adorn us with the hottest commodity of all... LIFE AND LOVE! So, are these women of the world really who we should portray? Are they gentle and full of God's charm and grace? Do they live holy and righteous lives? Is their beauty adorned with the eternal beauty of the Savior? Of course not. So, why make yourself up to be like the dead? I'd rather live and love fully! I'd rather enjoy God's many blessings the way He intended! Mostly, I'd rather make evident what I know to be true, lasting beauty in the Name of Jesus Christ!!!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. (1 Peter 3:3-5)

Ladies, to let our gentleness be evident to all, we need to rely on the temperament of the Savior. We need to follow His path rather than be sidetracked with a worldly default response. For the gentle woman is a woman who does not consider herself too good or too exalted to simply humble herself to the authority of God. She obeys her Master no matter how difficult her circumstance. She extends His love no matter how horrible the conditions. To be gentle is to live as Christ. To be gentle is to showcase His grace. And, oh, how I love that word: GRACE. I love how classy it sounds. I love how beautiful and rich it feels. I love how perfect it is. And not perfect like "Hi, I'm Martha Stewart and everything I control has to be perfect." But rather like, "Hi, I'm a super model for Jesus and my life is gorgeous and new in His Name. Allow me to reflect His beauty to you! Allow me to love you because He first loved us! Allow me to show you His perfection and new Way of life!" This is the gentle life we are to make evident to all. Why? Because it glorifies the King. Because it exalts Jesus. Because it is our hope in the Lord who remains near to us!

Live it, ladies! Be gentle and revel in the grace that God originally intended for you! Stop giving the enemy a foothold to distract you away from what is a true, royal, beautiful inheritance in Jesus' Name! Remember, the Lord is near, so glorify Him always!

I look forward to continuing our study in Philippians 4 tomorrow!
God bless you all!



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