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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we start a new series titled The Doctrine of God.

Today we are talking about The Gentleness of God.

Prayer

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

Psalm 18:35 AMP

35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,

And Your right hand upholds and sustains me;

Your gentleness [Your gracious response when I pray] makes me great.

Scripture Reading

Psalm 18:32-45 AMP

32 The God who encircles me with strength

And makes my way blameless?

33 He makes my feet like [a]hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble];

He sets me [securely] upon my high places.

34 He trains my hands for war,

So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,

And Your right hand upholds and sustains me;

Your gentleness [Your gracious response when I pray] makes me great.

36 You enlarge the path beneath me and make my steps secure,

So that my feet will not slip.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;

And I did not turn back until they were consumed.

38 I shattered them so that they were not able to rise;

They fell [wounded] under my feet.

39 For You have encircled me with strength for the battle;

You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

40 You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me [in defeat],

And I silenced and destroyed those who hated me.

41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—

Even to the Lord [they cried], but He did not answer them.

42 Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind;

I emptied them out as the dirt of the streets.

43 You have rescued me from the contentions of the people;

You have placed me as the head of the nations;

A people whom I have not known serve me.

44 As soon as they hear me, they respond and obey me;

Foreigners feign obedience to me.

45 Foreigners lose heart,

And come trembling out of their strongholds.

Introduction

At no other place in the Bible is this exact word used to describe God, some believe the word “gentleness” here is a mistranslation, but we cannot afford to lose it anyway.

This phrase is so apt a description of God in Christ and the graciousness of His redemption that we must hold onto it.

Gentleness is a great word to describe the infinite God.

It wasn’t the bow, or the shield that made the Psalmist victorious, but the helpful strength of a gentle God.

  1. How should we see God’s gentleness?

Three points of view will help us.

A. We should see God’s gentleness against the background of His power.

Only the strong can be truly gentle.

What may be mistaken for gentleness in others may not be restrained at all but merely weakness.

The truly strong can be gentle, and the greater the power, the more arresting does the gentleness become.

B. We should see God’s gentleness against the background of His righteousness and purity.

Let us never imagine that the gentleness of God is only an easy tolerance.

Whatever else it may be, it isn’t that!

It leans against a background of a righteousness that burns like a fire.

Also this gentleness is strangely moving when we remember that it is joined with purity.

There is a type of gentleness that springs from an easy, tolerant good nature.

To be gentle with sin is an easy matter if that sin is a light thing in our eyes.

But when we are tempted to think of God like that, it is time to look at the cross.

When we measure things by Calvary, we are awed by God’s gentleness.

C. We should see God’s gentleness in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 40:11, He will protect His flock like a shepherd,

He will gather the lambs in His arm,

He will carry them in His bosom;

He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young.

To a pastoral people, that was the most apt description of gentleness they knew.

All power was His, but He was gentle.

Paul saw this and and said to the Corinthians, “The meekness and gentleness of Christ.”

2. Where can we find God’s gentleness?

There are traces of it everywhere, but here are four suggestions

A. We find the gentleness of God in nature.

For the most part, those mighty forces sleep.

There is power sleeping in the winds that would drown everyone who goes to sea, in earthquakes that would overthrow our cities, in plagues that would destroy our harvests.

Yet how gently this great machine of nature works.

How gently the sun touches our face.

How gently the mighty force of gravity holds us on the earth and at the same time allows a tiny insect to take flight.

The Creator moves in infinite ways through the ages revealing His gentleness.

B. We find the gentleness of God in the Bible.

The way it was written demonstrates this.

The Bible is different to anything the wisest person could have imagined. 

Geniuses, if they had been consulted, would have agreed that it must be a book for the select few, not for the multitudes.

The notion of teaching unlearned people, slaves, and little children the things of God would have seemed foolish to them.

But 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, [This is] because the foolishness of God is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].

The Bible is a book for the home, the classroom, the hospital, as well as for the palace, the university, and the cathedral.

C. We find the gentleness of God in other people.

People dread change, imagine a country family moving to the city and the children having to transition into a large school, it could be traumatic.

But the kindness of a teacher or other students could help more than they realise.

God’s gentleness is just like this.

The gentleness of God in people is a powerful force.

In all the world there is nothing else like it.

D. We all find the gentleness of God in His own personal dealings with us.

He saves us from our sins.

Like nature, the Bible has its severe side, a severity aimed solely at our deadliest enemy, sin.

The terrible judgements  the Bible records stand as sure warnings to us, for God does not desire the anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But the crowning revelation of God to us is the meekness and gentleness of Christ who saves us from our sins.

Not only does God save us from our sins, but He keeps us safe in the palm of His hand.

Think of the temptations that would have overcome us had the gentleness of God had not taken them away.

3. What does God’s gentleness tell us about God?

Note three things.

  1. God’s gentleness reveals His perfect understanding His children.

In His sight we are all ailing children.

Have you ever noticed how, when a child is seriously ill, everyone in the house grows strangely gentle?

Jesus said in Luke 5:31, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick.”

B. God’s gentleness reveals our abiding value in His sight.

Included in Jesus’ instructions to the Twelve as He sent them out two by two are some astounding words.

These are to be taken literally, but I sometimes think we do not consider them seriously, Matthew 10:29-31,

29 Are not two little sparrows sold for a copper coin? And yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 

30 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge]. 

31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

God did indeed, so love the world.

We are all important to Him.

That is why He is so gentle with us.

C. God’s gentleness reveals His infinite patience with even the worst of us..

Every mother knows how hard it is to be gentle with a provoking child, and some are provoking most of the time.

But no child was ever so provoking to the tender heart of his parents as you or I must be to God.

When we sin, when we fail to trust Him, when we grow bitter, when we become despondent, how provoking must this be to His infinitely loving heart.

But remember 1 Corinthians 13:4, Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.

4. What does God’s gentleness accomplish in our lives?

  1. God’s gentleness encourages us to pray.

Of course our omniscient Father already knows the things we need.

But God does not squelch us.

He does not deprive us of our main comfort in life, our anchor in trouble, our closest, highest fellowship.

Instead, Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you”.

In other words, “Pray, and I will hear you.”

B. Little by little, God’s gentleness makes us into what He wants us to be.

David was great politically, intellectually, and artistically, but the greatness of which he spoke must be understood as spiritual.

The psalmist humbly but exultantly recognised that the gentleness of God had has enabled his nature and crowned him with glory and honour.

Conclusion.

Can Christians not say, “His gentleness purges and purifies our lives”?

By means of testing and trials we are disciplined. The dross is purged away.

1 Peter 1:7 says, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes when gold is in the fire, it may seem that God is not very gentle.

But remember, when gold is in the fire, the goldsmith is not far away.

For our unsaved friends, would you despise the gentleness of God?

If you will not be driven to heaven, then will you be drawn?

His gentleness will assure you “Great salvation”.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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