Day 10

March 24, 2021

James 3:13-18

          It’s another fine day in Devotion Land. How is everyone doing? You guys hanging in there with me? When you hear someone mention gentle what comes to your mind? My mind usually goes to something I can hold in my hand like a fuzzy, soft blanket or the first time you hold a new born baby so carefully because you don’t want them to break. Our talk this day is on the third characteristic of wisdom, Gentle. Gentle is translated in James 3:18 as meek, modest and kind. Just like yesterday, we will look at Galatians 5:22 also because it’s another fruit of the Spirit. Gentleness is meekness. It’s defined as strength under Godly control, even-tempered.  Meekness is not us being weak, it involves being humble, thankful to God and keeping our behaviors in check towards others. Gentleness channels the power of how we influence people.

        A.W Tozer describes gentle or meek like this “Meekness is to stop being fooled about yourself. It’s God’s estimate of your own life. In yourself, you are nothing; in God, you are everything. Knowing you will never see yourself the way God does all the time and you are okay with that. God places His own value or virtue on you.” Just as wisdom yields peaceful fruit of righteousness, humbleness enables us to receive the engrafted Word which is able to save your soul (James 1:21). My Dake’s reference bible states engrafted is {inborn, innate} implanted in the soul that one is saved and begotten because we are the first fruits of his creatures (James 1:18). What God saw all along grows in you. Our identity is the same. Not being partial to me impartial to we.

          Ok before you think I went on a bunny trail I did not. Let’s revisit around what Tozer described and about how it relates to you. First, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how he estimates your life. Just to warn you the response may not always be positive. This is where you can be fooled into thinking the estimate is the same but in reality, quite the opposite. If you overestimate yourself watch out then you give yourself value and not God. This is where you need to be REAL with God and you. There is a choice to be made in between. ‘You can decide to look in the mirror and see your imperfections. Be moved by them and do something about it. You walk away choosing to be the reflection of Jesus and not let those things bother you.

          The other choice, is to ignore what you see, pretend everything is good and forget what Jesus looks like.’ (James 1:23 my paraphrase, Footnote U Pg. 456) Pretense comes from the devil. You perform from the outside and our inner self becomes numb or shut off. You are doing a duty and going through the motions. The cure to this is gentleness. Admit you don’t know how God sees you when you don’t like what you see. Be Honest and vulnerable with Your Heavenly Father because it will dictate where your reality is. One last point, I want to make is this. Jesus was humble and meek which turns our heavy burden into a light one (Matthew 11:28). He claims no rights or privileges, never putting His will before His Father’s. It was incredibly humble for Jesus to remain human, lay aside his rights of deity in God’s form and live selfless (Philippians 2:6-8 Message paraphrase). If Jesus claimed no rights, you should let go of any rights you feel you deserve. This happens when you are not getting what you want or it not happening the way you feel it should be. I must confess to you, I allow this to happen the most when I want God to answer a need one way and He answers that need in another way. Ultimately, He did hear me when I cried to him for help, right? Let me encourage you to stop telling God how to answer your prayers. Be patient and wait until He answers in His way it’s always better. This is the gradual impartiality part today, surrender and wait, be real about yourself and be okay with others when they are not. That’s your influence being vulnerable breeds right behavior deep into your soul.

          Let’s PrayLord You are our shield and strength when we feel weak and vulnerable. Keep us humble so we can be like Jesus and forget the flaws which keep us pretending or hiding. Let us experience how real You are so others are influenced by the weight of it. Help me let go of me and hold onto the spirit of we. Be the center of our lives so its Your glory that comes out. Manifest what is fulfilled in heaven already on earth. Thank You Jesus for humbling Yourself by giving up Your rights to be fully man and fully God. May we give up what we feel we deserve and wait for Your answer to our prayer no matter how You Choose the outcome. In Jesus name. Amen