God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. Matthew 5:5
When my oldest son was three-years-old, we welcomed our second son into the family. Our oldest son is Randy and the younger one is Dale. Randy loved his new brother but there was some jealousy because of the time we were spending with the baby. Randy as he would approach the baby, we would say, “gentle, gentle!”
Beloved, the seventeenth characteristic of a born-again believer is one is gentle. Gentle’s defined as (of a person) mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender. Synonyms of gentle are kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, and good-natured. Saul was the opposite of gentle, he persecuted born-again believers. He was a zealous man until one day on the road to Damascus. When he’s blinded by a bright light. He’s stopped in his tracks by Jesus.
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ Acts 22: 3-7
Now that he’s blind what was he to do? He asks Jesus this very question.
‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. Acts 22: 8-11
Saul persecuted Christians, Saul most likely involved in the stoning death of Stephen. Now he is helpless, blind, and most likely frightened or scared. He has heard the voice of Jesus! Jesus knew right where he was and what he had done he had seen Saul persecute the Christians. Saul waits for the Lord at this time.
God uses a man, a gentle man in Saul’s recovery. Before we read the scripture the man’s name is Ananias. Ananias asked by God to go to Saul who had persecuted people for believing in Jesus, what do you think Ananias was thinking? Are you crazy Lord? You want me to help, who? But that’s not what we see. We will read complete obedience and about a miracle.
“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him. Acts 22: 12-13
That gentle touch on the shoulder must have reassured Saul, beloved, you know the rest of the story, Saul’s name changed to Paul. We need to be ready to share our testimony like Paul.
Beloved, the seventeenth characteristic of a born-again believer is one is gentle.
Eventually, Randy learned to touch his brother gently. Often we’ve got the opportunity to help a hurting person with a gentle touch. Sometimes a hug goes a long way. Also, gentle can be applied to our speech. We read in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Jesus invites us in Matthew 11: 28-30 to find rest in him because of his gentleness.
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Father God, let me remember to be gentle with my words and my actions. For the woman who is needing a fresh touch of gentleness, let her turn to you. Lord, you are gentle and humble. Help me to cultivate those attributes in my daily activities, especially when I’m tempted to be snarky with my words. Let me remember that Jesus is where I can find rest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Beloved, what do you need to do to cultivate gentleness in your life?