Pastor Donna Schultz continues “The Fruit of the Spirit” sermon series on Kindness:
The Welsh revival was a mighty invasion of the Spirit; God’s Kingdom radically manifested on earth. “The earnings of workmen, instead of being squandered on drink and vice, were now bringing great joy to their families. Outstanding debts were being paid by thousands of young converts. Restitution was the order of the day. The gambling and alcohol business lost their trade and the theaters closed down from lack of patronage. Football during this time was forgotten by both players and fans, though nothing was mentioned from the pulpits about it. The people had new lives and new interests. Political meetings were cancelled or abandoned. They seemed completely out of the question since nobody was interested. The political leaders from parliament in London abandoned themselves to the revival meetings. Judges were presented with white gloves because there were no cases to try, the illegitimate birth rate was reduced by 44%. Mules in the mines had to be retrained because the coal miners no longer used profanity when giving orders. The man-made denominational barriers completely collapsed as believers and pastors worshiped their majestic Lord together.”
Employers tell me that the quality of the work the miners are putting in has improved. Waste is less, men to go their daily toil with a new spirit of gladness in their labour. In the long dim galleries of the mine, where once the hauliers swore at their ponies in Welshified English terms of blasphemy, there is now but to be heard the haunting melody of the Revival music. The pit ponies, like the American mules, having been driven by oaths and curses since they first bore the yoke, are being retrained to do their work without the incentive of profanity.
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness or as stated in the KJV gentleness.
Kindness or sometimes translated gentleness is the grace that pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would be been harsh and austere.
This mellowing became evident as the mules needed to be retrained in order to perform their tasks in the mines.
The Holy Spirit began to mellow that which had been harsh speaking.
Homes became happier places for everyone in the family as the men began regarding their families with more kindness and thought of not just themselves but their families and how their money should be spent.
Kindness motivated men to forsake the pleasure of drinking and gambling for the sake of their families.
Employers witnessed a kindness displayed in their employees as putting in a more productive work day was evidenced.
Kindnesses are the outworking of care and respect for others and a less of a focus on one self.
Jesus early followers were not called Christians but the kind ones.
Is there a possibility that title could stick with us today?
High school coaches say it is almost impossible to get players to work together for the team than for individual goals.
We must realize that our well-being is always bound up with that of others.
One of the most precious gifts God has given us is each other.
We will never cultivate kindness and gentleness in our lives believing we are totally independent and have no need of or responsibility for one another.
All of the fruit of the spirit we have been examining are first found in the Lord.
Titus 3:3-6 “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
His kindness is
- Freely given not under obligation
- Live giving
Illuminating rays of light across the eastern sky
Arousing melody song of morning birds
Gentle rustling of leaves in the trees
Mountains immovable stretching to the sky
Towering rooted trees standing at attention
Faithful ocean waves cresting off the rock’s edge
Stars dancing across black canvas
Planets circling in fine orbit
Moon casting shadows on evening stroll
Shelter of family in turbulent world
Applause of friends amidst discouraging times
God’s kingdom builders esteeming one another
Unfaltering direction of God’s purposes
Our Savior’s unrelenting passionate love
Conquering King of King’s unstoppable power
It was a calm bright day as Jesus walked along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Simon and his brother Andrew were casting a net into the lake as they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come follow me and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Jesus walked along a little further he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left their father and hired men and livelihood and followed Jesus.
Jesus had astonished Simon, James and John when he had instructed Peter to let his nets down into the water. Simon had been fishing all night and had not caught anything. He objected to Jesus suggestion but decided to respond.
They caught such a large number of fish the nets began to break and Simon signaled for other boats to help. Both boats were so full they began to sink.
Simon was undone as he fell before Jesus and acknowledged he was a sinful man.
James and John Simon’s partners were also totally astonished.
Jesus reassured them not to be afraid and reminded them that from now on they would fish for men.
It was after a night of prayer that Jesus chose his 12 disciples.
Two of the 12 disciples were James and John whom he called “sons of thunder”.
They were a lively pair with who were characterized by sudden or rash action. They could be impulsive and aggressive.
Their actions would not be likened to the soft whisper of a breeze rustling through leaves on the branches but more like claps of thunder during a turbulent storm.
These boys were the aggressive, no nonsense speak your mind boys along the shores of Galilee as they worked with their hands in the family business.
John stood true to his nature.
Jesus had given His disciples authority to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease and sickness.
One day John came to Jesus saying, “Jesus we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
Jesus responded, “do not stop him for no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against me is for me.”
John came with his brother James came to Jesus:
“Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
Jesus replied, “What do you want me to do for you?”
They replied, “Let one of us sit at you rright and the other at your left in your glory.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Call Fire Down From Heaven
“ As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[a]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
While John walked with Jesus he was eyewitness to many miracles and powerful teaching.
On another occasion Jesus lead Peter, James, & John up a high mountain by themselves……
Jesus transfigured – face shone like sun –clothes became white as the light.
Peter & John were sent to make preparations for the Passover – they found things just as he had told them
John was there right beside Jesus at the last supper.
John went with Jesus when he was arrested – Peter hung back.
Jesus was at the foot of the cross – Mary her son.
John first to look in the empty tomb.
John was first to recognize Jesus after resurrection when they were fishing.
John wrote the Gospel of John it is believed while he pastored in Ephesus as an old age between 80 and 100 AD – rest of NT had been written
Also wrote 1, 2, 3 John at this time and one of the acid test of a Christin life was loving others – still in darkness
From calling fire down from heaven to one of the strongest letters encouraging love for one another son of thunder has been mellowed and kindness has resulted.
It is no longer just about John, it is no longer just his interests.
It is about others knowing, growing and loving in their walk with the Lord and others.
The fruit of gentleness is ripe in his life.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
He states his purpose in writing the gospel of John in chapter 20:31”But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”
― Max Lucado