Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Tenderness and Compassion

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

fullsizeoutput_ffeIn a recent Bible study – the discussion centered – for a short time – on the Holy Spirit. There were some questions raised that made me think some teaching and some sermons on the Holy Spirit were in order. This is just a short response to that study. I came across this passage about the fruits of the Spirit and thought I would spend some time with it this morning.

What do you think of when you hear the words kindness and goodness?  A few verses before the Gifts of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 – we read the following words. Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

When I think of kindness and goodness – I think of the heart of Christ. It is often contrary to my heart. I am not – by nature – a mercy person. I can express mercy – but only because of the grace of God – it isn’t from my natural fabric. The heart of God – the heart of Christ is seen best – for me – in the following passage.

Philippians 2:1-5 – 1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

This is the very passage we were dealing with in the Bible study – and it caused us to discuss the Holy Spirit. Thinking for a moment of the fruits of the Spirit. If we have any tenderness and compassion – we are to be like-minded with Christ – showing kindness and goodness to others. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Thinking of others first – is what comes to mind when I think of kindness and goodness. It may not be part of our natural fabric – but it is what we are to strive to be – being like-minded with Christ. Asking ourselves over and over – What Would Jesus Do?

In the discussions and debates the United Methodist Church is facing these days – an anointing of the Holy Spirit is what we need. We need to show more tenderness and compassion. We need to love one another – even if we end up in different places theologically – or even in a new or different denomination.

Come and join us for Bible study on Tuesdays at 10:30 am and 7:00 pm in the fellowship hall of our church. We have 30-35 sisters and brothers each week – gathering together to better understand the Word of God. Join us – you’re welcome any time.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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October 18, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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