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9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (9) Fruit of Gentleness
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쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 ...

Fruit of Gentleness_ 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (9)

Manmin News   No. 648
June 30, 2019

Senior Pastor Rev. Jaerock Lee

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Gal. 5:22-23

If we cultivate a broad and gentle heart by the help of the Holy Spirit, we can lead to salvation even those souls that are stained by sins and evil. We can win the heart of many people, and we'll be able to accomplish great things. Let's take a closer look at 'gentleness'.

1. Spiritual Gentleness with Virtuous Generosity

To be gentle is to be considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender. What God wants is not just tender and kind. It has to be accompanied by virtuous generosity. If you have this virtue and generosity, you're not just mild but also dignified and determined when you have to be.
With spiritual gentleness one can discern between right and wrong with wisdom, but he doesn't have ill feelings and thus he can accept everyone. His heart is as soft as cotton, and no one will have any conflict with him.
He wouldn't pass judgment on others but understand them. People feel comfortable with him, so many are able to come and find rest in him. This gentleness inside can be perfected only with the virtuous generosity on the outside.
Virtue and generosity make the gentleness shine, but it is quite different from legalism or hypocrisy. Being upright on the outside without having cultivated holiness doesn't mean one is virtuously generous. If you focus on outward appearances, you might stop realizing yourself and mistakenly think you've achieved spiritual growth. Then, you'd judge others if they're not upright on the outside.
You might give them advice with nice words, but inside you're judging them within your self-righteousness and ill feelings. You might even get angry and yet think you're expressing righteous indignation and you meant the best. However, those who are virtuous wouldn't lose their tempers in any situation.
Therefore, if you'd like to cultivate the fruit of gentleness, you should check yourself again and again and always choose what is good in the sight of God.

2. Characteristics of Those Possessing the Fruit Gentleness

1) Upright, Dignified, and Disciplined

Those who are just mild and indecisive wouldn't be able to accept others. They could be used by others. Those with the fruit of gentleness have righteous standards within, so they act in righteousness by discerning the right and wrong correctly.
When Jesus purified the Temple or rebuked the Pharisees and scribes of their hypocrisy, He was very stern and strong. People wouldn't treat lightly those with virtuous generosity, even though they do not raise their voice.
Their outward appearances are related to the manners of the Lord and good behaviors. Their words carry weight; they don't speak useless or meaningless words. They are dressed according to the occasions. Their facial expressions are not brusque but mild. They do everything uprightly and consider others all the time (Rom. 15:2; Phil. 4:8).

2) Mercy and Compassion in Broadness of Heart

Those with gentleness help those who are in need financially and spiritually. They help the weak through encouragement.
If gentleness inside stays only inside, one can't give out the aroma of Christ. For example, one might pray for those who are having a hard time whereas another person doesn't only pray for them but also encourages them with warm words and helps them from time to time. They help them overcome the situation with faith in action.
Just having consideration and showing it in outward action are completely different. When the gentleness is shown with virtuous generosity, it can give life and grace to others.

3. To Bear the Fruit of Gentleness

1) Plow the Roadside Soil

Jesus likened man's heart to a 'field' that can be divided into roadside, rocky field, thorny field, and good soil (Matt. 13:3-8). The roadside is hardened by people; seeds won't be planted nor take root. So, they're scorched by the sun or eaten by the birds. Those who have this heart-field are stubborn; they don't open their mind when hearing the gospel, so they can't meet God or have faith.
Their knowledge and value systems are solidified, and they can't accept God's words. They have very strong framework of thinking that they're right. To destroy such frameworks, they have to rid themselves of their evil. It is the evil that drives the fleshly thoughts that hinder them from believing the word of God (Rom. 8:7).
It is difficult to break down the heart-field like the roadside, for it has been hardened with untruths and evil for a long time. It has to be plowed continually over a period of time. Whenever they have ideas conflicting with the word of God, they have to think about whether or not their ideas are really correct. They should also act in goodness so God can give them grace.

2) Rocky Field

When seeds are scattered on a rocky field, they can't grow well due to the rocks. Those who have the heart of a rocky field receive grace when hearing God's Word, but they fall in tests or persecutions. It's because of the rocks in their heart. Rocks refer to the untruths in their heart that keep them from obeying God's Word.
To plow the rocky field and bear the fruit of gentleness, one must diligently obey God's words.
Suppose you are doing your church duty in obedience to the word of God to be faithful. You encounter some situations and ill-feelings arise. You lose the strength and you want to quit. In this situation, this ill-feeling is the rock you have to remove. You shouldn't quit your duty just because it's hard but you have to change yourself to be gentle while doing your job.
Next, we have to pray while putting the word of God into action. The soil is softened by rain. When we receive the fullness of the Spirit by fervent prayers, our heart will also be softened. If we have God's grace and power, and fullness of the Spirit, then we can cast away evil that we couldn't" throw off with our own strength.

3) Thorny Field

When seeds are scattered on thorny field, they grow well for some time but will not bear any fruit due to the thorns. Those who have thorny heart-fields practice the word they hear, but can't completely put it into action. It's because they have worries of the world and greed for money, fame and worldly power.
Thorns in spiritual sense symbolize fleshly thoughts. The root of the fleshly thoughts is the evil in heart and flesh. Even though you make up your mind not to have fleshly thoughts, you can't control yourself as long as you have evil. Ultimately, you have to remove from your heart the things that are against the word of God.
In particular, if you get rid of greed and arrogance, you can cast away flesh from your heart quickly. You have worries of the world and try to serve your own interest due to greed. You can't obey God because you have arrogance. You think you can do things on your own, so you utilize your own wisdom and fleshly thoughts.
Therefore, to bear fruit quickly we must rid ourselves of the roots of greed and arrogance.

4) Good Soil

When seeds are scattered on the good soil, they grow well and bear the fruit 30, 60, 100 times more than other soil types. Those who have this heart-field obey the words of God completely, so they can bear abundant fruit in every matter.
Of course, we can't make a clear-cut categorization of men's heart into roadside, rocky field, thorny field, and good soil. Some roadside heart might be mixed with the rocky field. Some might have good soil but they might accept rocks into their heart during their growth.
Whatever kind of fields it is, it can turn into good soil if the farmer diligently plows it and removes the rocks and thorns. Thus, rather than focusing on what kind of field we might have, it is more important to diligently cultivate our heart-field.
We have to pray unceasingly and fervently. We must think within the truth, the word of God, try to practice the truth, and keep our heart with firm determination. When we exert our own effort in this way, God gives us His grace and strength and help of the Holy Spirit, so we can keep the word of God in mind and change ourselves in the Lord.
We can bear the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit to the extent that we cultivate our heart into good soil. I hope you will have good soil that produces fruit by cultivating spiritual gentleness. I also hope you will receive whatever you ask and hear the Holy Spirit's voice and be guided to prosperity.

Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus said in Matt. 5:5, "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." To inherit the earth here means you can inherit land in heaven to the extent that you've cultivated spiritual gentleness. You'd receive a big house so you'll be able to invite everyone who has been blessed by you on this earth.
May you plow your heart-field, cultivate the fruit of gentleness, and inherit the earth in the eternal kingdom of God, I pray this in the name of the Lord!




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