The LORD is at Hand

Have you ever wondered what gentleness has to do with the coming of the LORD?  Evidently the Apostle Paul categorized the importance of gentleness as part of what needed to be demonstrated by the Christian right before Christ would come.  Here are the inspired words found in Philippians 4:5 (NKJV):

 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Gentleness.  Today, we all seem to be too much in a rush to be patient, kind… gentle!  Gentleness has been defined as a personal quality which can be part of one’s character. It consists in kindness, consideration and amiability.  These character qualities can only genuinely come from a heart that has been in touch with God; for God is LOVE.  Patience minimizes the negative by diffusing it with love. Kindness is how love initiates something positive and breathes life into a situation. Gentleness uses both patience and kindness in a way that positively attracts peace.

Gentleness involves being down to earth (humility), having a quiet ego (humility), being quick to let things go (forgiveness), having a soft and supportive demeanor (kindness), and being oriented toward the other (kindness).   Gentleness is one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, it is of a heavenly origin and it is divine.

Gentleness is the ability to endure hostility and hardship without aggression. Gentleness is learning to respond to criticism, rejection or wrong things done to us with a peaceful disposition, softly, without rage or bitterness.  We are gentle because we accept the reality that we are all flawed as human beings and realize that we too would like to be treated gently.

Gentleness is close to humility.  In Ephesians 4:2 we are called to live with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.  We must have love in order to be gentle.  So, then, to be gentle we must have the Holy Spirit in our lives.  So, to possess gentleness is a strength that we can find only in our relationship with our Heavenly Father!  Listen to the gentleness of God:

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.         Psalm 23:2-3 NKJV

And listen to the gentleness of our Savior:

 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

                                                                                                 Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

We find that gentle is part of who our heavenly Father is in His treatment of humanity (Mathew 5:45) and that He wants us to show to the world (Matthew 5:40-48; Revelation 18:1).  Gentleness is not something that naturally stems from us but comes from our connection to the source of gentleness and that is the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). 

So today, as we look around us and see a world desperately in need of gentleness may we prayerfully seek the anointing of God’s Spirit to shower us with His love and motivate us into acts of kindness that are deeply flavored with the gentleness of the loving Savior; for the LORD is at hand!  He is at hand through you and I to save, help, and encourage others.  He is soon to come! Let us bless others with a spirit of gentleness while we are waiting to be ushered eternally into His presence.   Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

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