Gentleness

Most people think that gentleness is weakness. But it isn’t so. Gentleness takes great strength of character. I have found that men of great strength both physically and spiritually are gentle. I worked for a Christian radio station during the Year of the Bible in the United States. I interviewed leaders from most denominations. What I found is that these people were very kind and gentle toward me. It surprised me. I was expecting them to be corporate types, rude and arrogant. One day when I was running a Christian bookstore, a little old man walked in to the store. He was selling books. His name was Hubert Lindsey. I didn’t know that he was an important prophet of God. He was very gentle and kind to me. I enjoyed talking to him. He was a very powerful man of God. If you don’t know who Holy Hubert is just google it. God showed me many people and how they lived their lives for God. I have met so many great men and women of God. They all had one thing in common. They were gentle. It took a while for me to learn to be gentle. I always thought that being powerful wasn’t being gentle. Jesus always went about loving people. Seeing about their needs so that He could win them over. God doesn’t carry a big stick and hit you on your head when you sin. God calls our name and gently brings us back into the kingdom. When you look for a Christian, look for a person who is gentle. I tell you a truth, because that person who is gentle knows God.
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Longsuffering

You know how you put up with your older brother. Ever since you were a little kid. I thought this is longsuffering. As annoying as my older brother can be, this isn’t longsuffering. Having to put up with my stupidity all those years I thought I was the master of my destiny. Now that is longsuffering. Oh yea, I thought I was invincible. I was just showing how much I didn’t know. My parent tried to show me how to live the right life. I thought they were just stupid. It turned out I was the stupid one. That was longsuffering on their part. When I was 8 years old I gave my heart to the Lord. I didn’t know what had happen to me. I just kept living my life like I wanted. Of course, I get into as much trouble as I could. It wasn’t until I was 28 years old that I surrender to God. God put up with me all those years just so I could became a child of God. This is what I call longsuffering. Loving me through all those years and still accepting me back. Then I began to learn what longsuffering really is. God had me to love the unlovable, the socially unacceptable. People who would praise God one week and then get drunk or stoned. Then come back the next and praise God. If it has not been for God, I would have walked away from these people. One man God had me to love and he refused to listen to God. All his life I loved that man. He was so messed up he refused to change. When he died, it hurt as much as losing my brother. This is how much God is longsuffering toward us. He loves us all of our lives. He is willing to take us back after all the years of wondering. The love of God is beyond anything we can comprehend. It is because God is love and longsuffering.
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Peace

What is Peace? I can tell you what it isn’t. Peace is not the lack of turmoil. It isn’t a circumstance or situation. You can have peace in the middle of the worst possible situation. My peace has been tested a lot this year. I have an illness that I caused myself. I am taking medicine for it. My younger brother died this year. I have been discouraged by many circumstances this year. But the one thing I have never lost is the peace of God. I didn’t start out that way. God had to put me through the paces. You know if you ask God for something, you are liable to go through a trial. When I ask for boldness, God put me in situations where I needed boldness. When I asked for patience, God had mercy on me. I was deluged by annoying people. One in particular person used to insult me every time we met, especially at church. I wanted to lay hands on her suddenly and repeatedly. But God said I had the problem. So I begin to pray about this person. What happened is that she became a blessing to me. And she never changed. But I had changed for the better. All through this trial, I still had the peace of God. People look at me and say I am weak because I don’t fight back. I don’t fight back because I don’t need too. God is my avenger. The bible says let the peace of God keep your mind and heart. You can only do that if you trust and believe in that person. I started out with one goal in mind, which was to get to heaven. My Father called me to go home to Him. And the peace of God will take me all the way home.
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Joy

In 1983, the United States Congress passed an historic bill. And how it got through Congress was also historic. This historic bill was sponsored by a congressman who was dying of cancer and he wanted to do something significant. He took his bill and posted on the wall of congress. Anyone who wanted to sign it could. There was no debate, no filibuster or no arm twisting. It just passed through Congress. This historic bill was The Year of the Bible. The first time since the time of Christ has a nation declare a Year for God. You wouldn’t believe what happen to this nation. The Gross Nation Product was higher than the pass 20 years. Prosperity came back to this country. Christianity became popular. Churches filled up. People were excited about being an American. Imagine trying to get that bill through this congress. It would take a miracle. Gallup Poll took a survey of the American people. They asked what are the three most important things in your life. The American people responded with a usual answer. It was a strange as the bill itself. The American people said that what was most important in their lives was love, joy and peace. If you don’t know these are the first three gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is what God gives to His children. It is what we need to live in this world. It is also what we did to show that God is alive and well. Joy especially in these times. Joy is that constant knowing that all is well in the world. That God is in control of everything. As God says, the Joy of the Lord is my strength. So rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has given to us.
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Free Will

Free Will is the ability to make decisions on our own. It doesn’t mean we will make the right decision. But we can make them. I have known many different kinds of people. Not all of them were Christian. Over the years I have tried to explain what Christianity really is. Some have understood what I was saying. Others have looked at me like I was crazy. However everyone has a free will to make a decision about God. Not everyone that proclaims that they are Christians are. Jesus said you would know them by their fruit. He was describing what man does with his life. If they are producing things in their life like, joy, peace, love, longsuffering, temperance, meekness, faith, gentleness and goodness. I worked for a man that ran his Christian business like a corporation. And he always wondered why his employees were always angry with him. There are Christians who measure their success by the world. And they wonder why they are so empty. God isn’t against commerce. God wants His children to succeed in all of their endeavors. Our free will isn’t a license to sin. We are to use it for God’s purpose. You have to understand that Adam lost paradise with Saul lost his kingdom with his free will. Pharaoh Ramses lost his kingdom when he chose to fight God and Moses. How many people do you know that lost everything because they used their free will the wrong way? I am talking about Christians and others. How many people do you know that surrendered to God and their lives were blessed over and over again. Free Will is a great thing, but without the power of God it can’t be controlled.
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Love

Have you ever been in love? So much so that you could hardly breathe. I never thought I would ever get to that place in my life. I was socially awkward growing up. So I really didn’t talk all that much. But I always knew that was much more than what I had. I knew that if I could learn what to do, then I would do it. When I got to college, I took a speech course. I wanted to learn to be able to speak out more. I found out that most people were in the same boat that I was in. Then I didn’t feel so bad. That’s where I fell in love. Sometimes I thought I would die, because it hurt so much. Love does hurt just like a beating. Something that is so invisible, can physically hurt so much. When I met the Lord, God put a love in my heart for people. People that no one would even look at. God would have me to love them unconditionally. I would work with derelicts, bums, alcoholics, drug addicts and the socially acceptable. This one friend of mine lost her husband and God had me to be her friend. I loved her unconditionally. She needed to know that God was there and working in her behalf. The only problem was that I fell in love with her. But she was not for me. God had chosen someone else for me. It hurt for long time. But I was still willing to love people despite the pain. Love carries with it pain. When I look at the cross, I see the pain that Jesus went through for me. God is love. He loves everyone. All of His creation is very precious to Him.
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Willingness

I was not always willing to do things that were different. In some ways I still am not willing. I was afraid of getting out there on my own and failing. I always saw the possibility of things that could done and I was genuinely interested. What would happen more often than not, people would challenge me. Then I would do it on a dare. I tell you the truth that is the hard way to do things. I had a job by the time I was 13 years old. I kept it all through high school. I worked 6 days a week. In college, I carried 12 hours a semester and worked 40 hours a week. I was doing fine until the fraternity and girls get in the way. That is when it all went sideways. I became somewhat willing to go on an adventure. When I got out of the Air Force, I traveled the country. I wanted to see America. I did for almost a year. But things have a way of catching up to you. I came home to straighten out my life. Everybody was trying to help, but nothing seemed to work. I started praying asking God for help. He sent 2 men to invite me to join their business. I would listen to these men talking about their life in Christ. It interested me and I listened. After about 3 months of listening, I knew that I had to do something. One of the men invited me to his church. I went. It was strange to me. I just listen and look at all the people. The preacher stopped in the middle of his sermon and said hello, anybody out there. I didn’t know then but that was God talking to me. I turned to the pastor and I heard, what more do you want? I knew that I was at the right place and the right time. And that is how it has been. God talks to me and I listen. He said, if you are willing, I will do the rest. And so I have been willing to do what God says all my life.
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The Goodness of God

God says that He isn’t willing that any person should perish, but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. He also says that the end of the world should not come until everybody has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then He says who can separate us from the love of God? The answer is no one. Is there a picture starting to develop in your head? God also says that we are healed by the beating that Jesus took before the cross. Again He says that at the cross our sins were paid for. God made a way back to Him by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Then He says that He takes our confessed sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again. Then God says that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. God also says that if we have the faith the size of a mustard seed, we can say to the mountain be thy removed and it will be done by God Himself. There is a real picture developing here. Can you see it? God says that He isn’t a man that He should lie. He also says have I not said it and will I not do it. God also says if you believe you are a son of God. He goes on to say that He gives the power to become a son of God. God says that the goodness of God leads you to salvation. Have you felt that leading before? I will pray that you will again. God also says that no man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ. What I just wrote is a snapshot of what God has for you. It is like the photos of my clouds. You have to look closely to see all the details. What you can see is amazing. So do what God says, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.
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What is the Gospel?

Depending on who you ask is depending on the answer. The word gospel means truth. But what is the trust according to whom. Do you know why there are so many different denominations? Everybody has different opinions. And sometimes their opinions get in the way of the gospel. Do you know that the entire bible, both Old and New Testament, was written by orthodox Jews? When God said that they were the chosen people, He wasn’t kidding. In the scripture it says to the Jew first and then to the gentile. God was very specific in choosing the Hebrews. They were and are followers of God. God never made the gospel difficult or hard to understand. You have to understand we are talking about man. Everything has to be explained on the most basic level for man to get it. What was God’s laws for Adam and Eve? Everything in the Garden of Eden was theirs and they couldn’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is as basic and a simple law to follow. You know what the shame of it was that they didn’t listen to God and lost paradise. It finally came down to 613 laws and if they broke one, they were lost. Guess how many people made it into the kingdom of heaven? Even at the worst time in Israel, God always had a people who followed. Jesus came and refined the laws so man could again live like God wanted man to live in the first place. Guess what? Everybody has their own opinion. The gospel is very simple, love God with your whole heart and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. When this happens the whole world will be a paradise.
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What is Real?

Most people says that this world is real. Strangely enough, scientist says that the world is made up of molecules flying so fast that at a point in time they will fly apart. How they came to this conclusion I don’t know. But they are right. This world is temporary. It will disappear. How many people do you know that are banking on the wealth of this world. I look at them and I want to cry. They have no idea what is and really going on. Jesus told a parable about the wealth of this world. He said was talking about entering into the city at night. The city will close its main gate and lock it for the night. The only way to enter the city at night is through a small gate called the eye of the needle. Jesus said the only way for a camel to enter into the eye of the needle is to unload all of its wealth outside the city. And He said this is the only way to enter into heaven. Jesus was saying that we can’t take anything to heaven but ourselves. God has given us tools to use on this earth while we are here. Money is one of those tools. It is not only for our basic needs, but also for the kingdom of God. You see you can’t take it with you, so put it where it can do the most good. Reality can seem so elusive. But when you know what is real, it will give you assurance in God. Because the only thing that is real is God Himself. Put your trust and faith in God and found out what is real.
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