2 Corinthians 9:2 How Eager Are You To Help Others?

For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 2 Corinthians 9:2

There are some people who are eager to help others out. They find a great joy when they are able to provide something someone else needs.

People will often notice those who are generous givers, some because they want something, others because they see the good being done. Seeing a great giver will also often encourage others to give in the same way.

As Paul continues to talk about giving, he commends the Corinthians for their great enthusiasm and readiness to help others out.

Giving is something that God started by giving mankind the earth and everything in it. Later He gives His Son, Jesus, to take away sins and to give eternal life. In both of these things, God is helping out mankind in areas of need.

The process of helping others out is God’s way of providing abundantly for everyone for everything that one needs. Every type of help is a type of giving. It can be giving of time, energy, effort, or of things, such as money, clothing, food, or anything else.

Most people are not eager to help others out, unless it is to their advantage. They want to hoard everything that they have, time, energy, money, thing, just in case they might need them.

The believer who realizes how God has helped him and what God has, will be quick and eager to help others out any time he sees and need, and has the ability to help. He will know and understand that God will provide for his own needs as he helps someone else out.

Over your life, how many times has someone else helped you out? How many times has God helped you out?

Instead of hoarding what God has given you, be eager to pass it on to help someone else out. As you help others out, God will in turn put others in your path to help you out.

Trust that God will provide abundantly for all that you need as you eagerly give of all that you have. As you eagerly help others, it will also stir others to the action of helping others out.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know how God has already helped you; that God will strengthen you to help others in their times of need; and that you will trust God to provide for all that you need as you give to others.

Matthew 20:26 How To Be Great

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, Matthew 20:26

All over the world there are people who desire to be great. They want to be someone of great authority and power. It is often felt that the greater the authority or power a person has, the greater he is.

This power is sought out in many different ways, however, most often it is grabbed for or taken by force or deception. Rarely is great authority just given to a person because of who he is and how he acts.

Jesus had told the disciples that the Gentile rulers ruled with force, but that they are not to rule that way. To be great, one has to be a servant to others.

Looking at history, many of the greatest people were servants to others, to a point. They did something great to help other people out. Some of these people did it out of selfish reasons to become wealthy or powerful, but some did it out of genuine concern for people.

Believers, who have the right heart, will do everything out of concern for others and God. Everything Jesus did was to help others out, even His dying upon the cross. He came to serve, not be served, even though He had all authority, since He created everything.

To follow Jesus means one will be like Him. This means every believer must be willing to be a servant to others, putting the needs of others above their own personal wants, desires and needs.

This can only be done when one trusts God to meet all of his needs and desires. When this occurs, the believer becomes great. People will lift him up because he is building others up by serving them. God will lift him up, because he is being like Jesus and not selfish.

Every day you will have opportunities to serve someone else in some way. Instead of looking the other way or expecting someone else to meet that need, serve that person.

Rely up God’s strength and provision to meet your needs as you serve others. As you serve others, God can raise up other believers to serve you and meet your needs. In this way you will be more like Jesus and will be great in the kingdom of God. It will also be a great testimony of who God is and what He is like.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have a heart to serve others as Jesus served others; that God will meet all of your needs; and that you will be great in God’s kingdom.

Daniel 2:27-28a Not Taking Credit

Standing by a window

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Daniel 2:27-28a 

The desire to have the right answer or have the ability to meet the need for others is great in most people. They want to be able to say that they can give what is needed out of their own abilities and strength.

Very few people like to admit that they do not have the right answer or lack the ability to do something. It makes them look weak and incompetent, so they will often make up something to try to meet the need, whether it is right or wrong.

The king had had a dream and wanted someone to tell him what the dream was and what it was about. If no one could do that, he would kill everyone. He was told about Daniel being able to do that. Daniel tells him that only God can give that answer.

In themselves, no believer really has the ability to do anything. Their power, strength and wisdom come from God.

The world will have questions to problems that they do not know how to answer or deal with. They are seeking answers, that only God can give. Some believers will give the answers in their own abilities or give the answer God has, and will take the credit for it, rather than give God the credit.

God has given His Holy Spirit to guide believers and give them wisdom. When a believer speaks, it should be with the wisdom and words of God, and then he needs to let the world know it is God’s word, not his own.

There will be times when someone needs help or guidance.  At these times seek God’s direction for that situation. God will guide you in what to say or do to help that person out. As you do this, do not take the credit for yourself. Give the credit to God for what He has allowed you to do.

Doing this points people towards God and takes the focus off of you. God is the only one who can give the perfect answer each and ever time. Allow God to work through you, but also give Him the credit. Without Him, you can do nothing.

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will be guided by God’s Spirit; that you will give God credit for what He does trough you; and that you will allow God to use you to help others.

Fruit Of The Spirit: Gentleness

Gentleness word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Thank you for continuing with me in this study at looking at the fruit of the Spirit. If you just joined in this study and have not seen the previous posts you can find theme here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.

Today I will be looking at the fruit of gentleness, what it is and what it looks like in the life of a believer.

The word ‘gentleness’ was originally translated as meekness in the KJV bible. It is a word that is talking about being mild, not harsh.

Puppy walking

Many in the world see gentleness as a type of weakness. It is often accepted that a woman may be gentle, but it is often discouraged in men. Some women, with the feminist movement, will also look down upon being gentle. With that in mind, very few people are actually gentle.

Throughout the bible there are various verses that give good guidelines as to what gentleness looks like in a person. I will be looking at some of these verses.

The best spot to begin is with God and seeing how He is gentle.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

The world loves to drive and push people. They want to show that they have absolute control. Some believers lead in a harsh demanding sort of way, just as the world tends to lead. They are demanding and forceful, rather than gentle and kind as God is.

God does not have to prove He has control, He just has it. He uses His immense power under control and with gentleness.

Holding sheep

People are just like sheep. They need to be treated gently. Leading is to be done with control, but in gentleness, carefully guiding people or others. This type of leading can only be done when done out of love and care for others, being filled and led by His Holy Spirit.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Harsh words are heard all the time. Watch any political campaign and all you will often hear is slamming other people with harsh words. Crushing the opponent is the goal of many candidates.

Sadly this can also be seen in the church. One believer crushes another with harsh words or they crush non-believers with hateful harsh words. They will often not speak the whole truth that God has given them, but only a portion of what God says.

Choose your words

There will be times when someone is harsh with you. One will say things or doing things that are harsh. Do not respond in the same way. Instead of using harsh words, you  must be gentle towards others. Being gentle will cause another person to calm down faster. Harsh words only stirs up anger and a fighting spirit.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and are being led by Him, you will be gentle in what you have to say towards others. Your words will not be harsh and condemning, but full of love and grace, building others up. These words will be gentle.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

People will want to know why you believe what you do. Why do you believe in a person who lived centuries ago? Why do you not do certain things and do other things? Why do you act the way you act?

Better than you

Answering these can be easy, but they can be done in a harsh way. Some will answer it in a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, looking down upon the person asking the question. Others will answer in a way that is looking at the person as though it was a stupid question to ask.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit will cause you to answer with gentleness. You will not be rude and condescending about it.

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,2 Timothy 2:25 

As a believer you will have some who oppose you. Watch the news, movies, tv shows, listen the radio, it is everywhere, believers have opponents. There are people who do not believe in God or believe in Jesus. They may not believe in any god or they may believe in a false god.

Some of these may oppose violently, while others may be calm and mild about their opposition, they just don’t agree.

Opposing teams

Many believers have harshly went up against unbelievers. They will quickly condemn them and show no compassion or love towards those who oppose. They want judgement.

However, as a believer, you are to be like God, gently speaking to them with the goal that they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and repentance. You need to remember that at some point you were just like them without a saving knowledge of Jesus. You did not know the truth.

Fill your heart with God’s love and gentleness towards them. Seek to show them who God is and His great love for them. Hope for a change of heart and that they will follow Jesus.

Being filled with God’s Holy Spirit will change you. He will make you more like Jesus every day. The signs of those changes can be seen in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is a character change. Allow God to change you into the image of Jesus everyday.

Black and white butterfly

Change in the Holy Spirit begins with love, leading to joy, leading to peace, leading to forbearance, leading to kindness, leading to goodness, leading to faithfulness, which in turn leads to gentleness. Allow these changes to occur and be evident in your life. Allow the world to see all these fruits of the Spirit.

Again, thank you for continuing with me on this journey of looking in depth the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will look at the last fruit, the fruit of self-control. Please be sure to return for this last fruit. Feel free to share this post with any of your friends who may need to see it.