Category Archives: Internship
In our modern world we have developed a culture of entitlement. We have decided that we deserve more. We deserve better. It doesn’t really matter what the better thing is, because we don’t have it, and we want it. Even if we get it and later realize it is not better, we still want it because we have not learned to be content with what we have. Entitlement is simply a first world problem.
The problem is not the stuff itself, but the alarming rise of the entitlement mindset. This mindset has many forms from the grandiose down to the minuscule. It can be anything from “I deserve fee healthcare” to “I Deserve an iphone 5” The key is not the thing, or the object of the desire, but rather the simple statement, “I Deserve…”
You owe me nothing, I deserve Hell.
The bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Paul further tells us in Romans 6:23 that, “The wages of Sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life.”
The Wages of Sin is death. This is what we deserve, but Grace paid the price of the cross and bought us life. We do not deserve life. It is a gift. By the grace of God we have been given life. So, if even my life is a gift and I deserve death, what do I really deserve? When we come from a mindset that remembers that our very life is the gift of God, we begin to look at the material things as much less a necessity, and more a gift. We stop seeing the 25,000 dollar car or the 3,000 dollar guitar as a need.
When we struggle with a mindset of entitlement, we think we deserve these things. When we break free of entitlement, we begin to weigh these things. We stop looking at them as though we deserve them, but we ask ourselves do we need them or could they be better used elsewhere? Could I get a good used car for 10,000 and give the other 15,000 to support world missions, help those around me, or change someone’s life. Am I willing to go into debt to get the stuff that I want?
Our brothers and sisters in other countries face daily persecution. They are bruised and beaten, some even killed for their faith. Where is their 3,000 guitar? Where is their free health care? Where is their anything? The only reason we think we deserve anything is because the American culture tells us we do.
The American System is in Trouble
The American culture teaches us we all deserve free healthcare. The American system is in trouble. It creates people who live in government subsidized housing, need food stamps to eat, yet carry an iphone and have a flat screen.
We have confused our desires for needs, and our needs for rights. We no longer think of them as blessings from God and rejoice because he has provided for us. We suddenly think if we don’t have them, then we are being shorted or slighted.
We are so wasteful with our money. God calls us to be stewards and to use our resources (notice the shift no longer stuff, but resources) to help the kingdom of God.
When we think we deserve, we are actually operating out a spirit of Pride. Pride is focused on self above others. It is not a sin for us to have nice things, but when we feel that we deserve them, or that somehow we are entitled to them we are missing the ministry of Jesus.
As I said, it’s not a sin to have nice things, but the problem arises when we struggle with entitlement, we suddenly need the newest, and the latest. We will trade our iphone 4 for the iphone 5; our new car for our newer car. We spend more on shoes, or latte’s than most people make in a year. We are drunk with materialism and call it the blessing of God.
Stuff vs. Resources
When we are struggling with a mindset of entitlement, we see our stuff as rewards for good behavior, or worse yet, rewards for how awesome we are regardless of our behavior. When we have the heart of a servant, we see our things as resources that we can use to help us advance the kingdom.
The difference in the two mindsets is not the things we have, but how we view them and how we think about them. For instance, I have an ipod. It was a gift, and it is a blessing. When I am traveling the world it allows me to take my music with me and worship on airplanes, or in the car. When I have those headphones in my ears, I can shut myself away with God. I lived well without it, but I was blessed by God and thankful to get it. It is not the top of the line, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles, but I am content because it was a gift and it fills a need.
Our brothers and sisters all over the world are being persecuted for their faith. Many around the world struggle to even find drinkable water. Yet we in the first world are upset because that restaurant we wanted to eat at closed before we got there and we had to go somewhere else.
What is our motivation? What is our mindset? When it comes to our money and our possessions where does our heart really lay? Jesus Himself told us where our heart and mind should be.
Search My Heart
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” You see if your mindset is kingdom driven and kingdom focused, your first thought with all your money and possessions is, “how can this be used for the kingdom?” The more you pour into the kingdom the more God can pour into you.
Paul told us in 2nd Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God loves a cheerful giver, but he also holds your giving as a sign of your heart. Where does your heart lay? When you get your check is your first thought how you can bless the church and the kingdom? Is your first thought those new shoes, or that new hat, or the new restaurant down the street?
When you treat the stuff as a reward, that’s what it becomes, but God has greater rewards for us. He wants to give us things that are far greater pleasures than just stuff. Before telling us to seek first, Jesus said in Matthew 6:19, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
Jesus has greater rewards for you than you could ever imagine, but you think you deserve something lesser. The entitlement mindset is focused on today, and living large now. But the ministry of Jesus is about living for another age. The entitlement mindset is focused on self. But the ministry of Jesus is about living for others.
Can we afford to keep living in this life of entitlement? It is dragging our nation down, and infecting our churches. Instead of outreaches on the streets and an advancing kingdom, we have built monuments and citadels to keep ‘the world’ out. But how do we keep the world out of our churches if the world is inside of us? 1st John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Entitlement loves the world and has to keep up with the latest trends of the world. But we who are in Christ live neither for ourselves nor for the world. Let’s live for the kingdom that is ever increasing and ever advancing. Let’s live for Christ. For His is the Kingdom, and The Glory, forever and ever. AMEN!
I couldn’t figure out where exactly to put this in the article, but this quote has spurred me on in this discussion of entitlement. I don’t know who even said it. So It will be anonymous.
When a man says, ‘Because I have sinned I have lost it’, what he is really saying is… ‘I had it because I was good.’
Here is the letter I am sending out asking for support for my missions trip to India and Nepal. Please share this with anyone you can. Any help I can get is another opportunity to share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in need.
I hope this letter finds you filled with the Presence of God and abiding in His shadow. I have some very exciting things I am writing to share with you, to let you know the things that are going on in my life.
As many of you know I am working for Warring Dove International Ministries based out of Lawrence, KS. This is an unpaid missionary Position where I am being trained and discipled. I am serving in the church and working on world missions projects while I am working towards my ordination.
Last month, I went with a team of 13 to Obregon, Mexico. While on this trip we saw over 100 people come to know Messiah Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, as well as many healings, signs and wonders. God has opened doors to us there to keep this as a long term work that will grow and build the people of Mexico up in the faith. He also opened doors for outreach to the Hopi peoples of Arizona and the Yaqui peoples of Mexico. So much is happening that I am not sure of the words to properly express to you everything that has happened.
The purpose of this letter is not only to share with you everything that has been happening, but also to let you know of my next big project and how you can help me.
This August, I will be going with a small team to India and Nepal. We have a contact through our School of Worship that we operate here at the missions base in Lawrence. He is from Nepal and has invited us to come.
While we are there we will be teaching a school of worship. This is an awesome opportunity to lay down some strong theological teaching on why we worship, how we worship, and what it does in the spiritual realms when we worship. Nepal and India are very dark regions spiritually because Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions.
We will spend a few days training and equipping pastors and leaders, and encouraging them to hold fast to the faith. Those of you who know the region will know how dangerous it is to be a Christian, and even more so for the pastors.
There are several outdoor evangelistic services planned to help reach the non-believers and bring them into the kingdom. As well as a large city wide youth service in one area.
To be honest, I do not know everything that will be happening because God’s ways are higher than mine, but these are the events that are scheduled. We will be in India and Nepal from August 1st until the 21st
This is a big undertaking and is my first trip to this part of the world. I am very excited because I know that our God has big plans for these people and wants to see them in His family and serving in His kingdom.
I cannot do this without your support. If you are reading this letter, it is because I know you are a faithful believer. The work of the kingdom and advancing the gospel is a very expensive Endeavour and I need to raise $3,000 for this trip.
If you are able to help support me financially, please pray and ask God what you can do. If you have networks, organizations, or churches you know who support missionaries, please share this with them. I know that God will provide, because He told me I was to go, and when He tells you to go, He provides, but I am asking you to share in the work with me. Even though you aren’t going yourself, you can receive the same blessing as I do because you have helped send me to do the work God has called me to. Please take time to pray and consider how you can help send me to do the work of the kingdom. I thank you for your love, prayers and support as I step into the destiny God has for me.
There are several ways you can donate to this trip. If you would like, you can feel free to send the money in the form of a paypal gift. My email for paypal is email@example.com. If you would prefer to send a check and would like to send it through the church, you can make the check payable to “Warring Dove” and then send it to P.O. Box 507 Lawrence, KS 66044. Warring Dove Ministries is a 501©3 organization. Remember to mark it in the memo as for “Mathew India/Nepal”
I just want to thank you for taking the time to read this. I know you are hard at work living and doing the things God has put before you. It is an honor that you even consider supporting me and sending me out.
– Mathew Garrett Reames
Welcome to 2012. It is supposed to be the year of blessing, or at least that is what I have heard from a bunch of people. Its the year of the Government of God… the list continues. But let me tell you how 2012 is for me.
To do this I need to take you back into the end of the previous year. 2011. All throughout December I was studying Daniel 3, Faith, The Fire, and the Presence of God. God was warning me that I am sending my fire to purge things and realign so that My Presence can manifest. So I guess that counts as a blessing, even if it hurts and buns to get you there.
Now we come to 2012. I begin this year homeless. Yes you heard me right. Homeless. For a few days now I am riding the couches of some friends while I am searching to find the new home the Lord has for me. You might wonder how this is possible?
Well as many of you know I am living a hidden and simple life. I rented a room in an older lady’s basement. I gave my life to studying the Word and ministering at the church and in world missions. It was a brilliant 2011 even if it was a difficult year. But the home I rented sold recently and I had to move. I was invited to continue to live with the same lady, but she was leaving town and thus I wouldn’t be able to continue in the ministry God has placed me. Yet God continues to say, “Don’t Quit The Ministry” I hear the word and I will obey. But this means that right now I do not have a room of my own. Luckily people from the Church have allowed me to stay with them and given me a warm place to sleep.
You might think I am stressed because I do not have a home, but I have such peace its hard to describe. This recent ‘move’ which is still in process has forced me to cut my possessions once again. Its a wild thing because I am learning how materialistic I really am. It was ok to have stuff as long as I had less stuff than others. The problem with this is that its comparison. I am comparing myself with others and not asking God how should I live.
Now I own very little. A bed, dresser, older television and DVD player. My Guitar, a few boxes with clothes, books, and some stuff for computer work which I do on the side to earn a little extra cash. and it is bringing me joy to have less. Who would have thought. I spent my life pursuing this idea that I need more stuff, the latest equipment, and the best electronics, but I don’t. I need a certain amount to do the work in the ministry, but its a lot less than others. I don’t have an iphone or ipad. I don’t have a fancy car (or any car for that matter) I don’t own couches and furniture that fills a house for four.
That being said, I really need all the prayers I can get. The life I am now leading is not the easiest, and to be honest its a bit strange. But in the midst of this I am doing more than I ever have before. I recently took up preaching as a regular thing. I am not fully ordained yet, but I have been asked to teach at my church and other churches, Most recently in Jesup, GA. Its exciting. Next month I am going into the recording studio to lay down some worship tracks I have written. A friend of mine is donating the time in his studio to bless me and help me get this project off the ground. I am planning on going to Mexico, Nepal, Israel, and possibly more this year. I am leading worship at my church. But all of this needs support. I need all the prayers I can get. I need some extra finances to help pay for the production of the physical CD and getting it distributed to stores and churches. I need the favor of God to continue to open doors for me. Please continue to pray for me as I progress down this journey. If you have any thoughts, comments, questions, or answers, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment here.
What happens when you plan an event, book a big room, set out a large group of chairs, set up a sound system, drive all night, and no one shows? The short answer? Worship anyway.
You might not understand this, but it is one of the most challenging things you will encounter in ministry. Recently we continued our “Wake Up Tour” where we travel around the State of Kansas and minister to people calling them to “Awaken to the King of Heaven and move in His plans and purposes” more or less. We have had some great meetings, and The Presence of God has fallen in our meetings to change lives.
This past Friday we packed up in the car and drove about 4 hours to a little town in the southwest. We were not expecting a huge turn out of hundreds, but we have contacted many churches in the area and based on their responses we expected a decent crowd. Our meeting was even listed on the front page of the paper. We had rented a building at the 4H fairgrounds and I was setting up my equipment to lead worship. When it came time to begin the meeting, there were 4 people in attendance, and 3 of them were regional coordinators who helps set the meeting up.
What do you do when this happens? You were expecting to have a service and to impact lives and to change the world, but you only see a few people in front of you. The simple thing to do would be to pack it in and try again the second night. However this is not the attitude that I hold. I was prepped and ready to go, so I went. I played my guitar for almost and hour. We worshiped as a group, and the spirit of Prophecy came into the room and I began to release words of life over the people I was ministering to. It was powerful and they were greatly blessed by the time of worship we had together. Then Lisa got up and preached the Word of the Lord. It was a strong word of Destiny over the city, the region, and its inhabitants, and only four people heard it.
The thing about words however, is that they are a vibration. They cause a shaking, even if it is minuscule and you can’t see the ripples they cause. When our words enter the atmosphere, there is a release. As we speak God’s word over people, cities, regions, and nations, The word of God causes a shaking. It is his word that holds all things together (Hebrews 1:3) It was his word that Spoke it all into being (Genesis 1) and when we release His word it carries that power. Not because we are great, but because His word is great.
So we pressed on. To a normal person, this could have been a discouragement, but you see, to the ones who view through God’s eyes, you see the breakthrough. While we were ministering out of town, God was orchestrating breakthroughs in other areas of the ministry, back home and overseas. He was opening doors not only in our City, but also our state, and Internationally. While we were doing what seems like a small thing in western Kansas, God did something big for our ministry everywhere else. It was so amazing to know that while we think nothing is happening, we don’t know what God is doing.
I am excited, and in the next few weeks I hope that some of these breakthroughs will lead to big things and I will get to tell you all about it.
As always I am joining the crew over at The Worship Community. I am a big fan of the Sunday Setlist program because of the community building aspect, as well as the encouragement I receive when taking part and hearing what is going on in other congregations.
This was a special weekend because the Pastor’s were away in Indiana picking up their mother and grandmother who will be coming to spend time with us in Kansas. In their absence , They left myself and two other interns in charge. I, as always, lead the worship, but I was also left in charge of the altar ministry time. So it was a unique opportunity for me. But let me back up and begin with Friday night’s service.
As you may or may not know, Friday night is the service where we really go wild. Sunday mornings are more tame, because we know we will have visitors and people who might not be saved, and we aim our Sunday mornings to be accessible to everyone and encourage people to find, and pursue Christ. Friday night is the night where we really pursue after him hard.
This Friday night I had a great set ready. I had given my team the weekend off because a few of them were on vacation for the holiday. So It was just me and my guitar. Nothing fancy, and nothing special. Here was the intended set.
- “Crash This Place” by Matthew Reed
- “Now Unto The One”by Evan Wickham
- “Split My Chest” by Benjamin Dunn
- “Sing To Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
- “You are Holy” by Radiant Worship
As you can see this is a pretty great list, and I was excited. “Crash This Place” was a new track for the congregation, but it is a singable song that let people really engage in some praise and calling upon the Lord.
The next two songs went well and the church was really entering into worship. It was excellent as a worship leader to see such a strong response. However, the real response began during the song “Sing to Jesus.” This is just a magnificent song and always seems to touch home with the people. As I was singing, Lisa (who is in charge of the Friday Night Services) felt the Lord tugging her heart to have communion, so she grabbed our deacon and they got the crackers and juice together before I had even finished the second verse of the song. It was impressive. Then I got the nod to play the melody, but stop singing as Pastor Chris came up and led the church in Communion. After he shared, I began to vamp on the first verse of the song while communion was being served and God was moving on the church. It was undeniable. Then we took communion together and waited upon the Lord with no music playing and nobody moving. We just waited as his sweet presence began to fill the room. I had been given the signal that after a moment or two I was to continue worship, and this was just a sweet interlude and not an abrupt end to worship. I began to feel in my spirit that “You are Holy” was the incorrect song for what God was beginning to do in the service. luckily, I had another chord chart sitting on the stand next to me. I had grabbed two songs as potential offering songs. (I usually don’t know what I want to do for offering until its time to do it.) I saw the song “Fragrance” by Nic and Rachel Billman. (Nic and his wife happened to be leading this weekend at a conference in North Carolina that my friend Kevin Basconi was holding) I knew it was the right song for the moment so I slid it over to my stand and began to play the chords slowly. I was probably at about quarter tempo. and slowly built it up to speed, I really didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere of his presence that had descended upon us.
As I finally got to tempo, I sang the song and went through it probably twice and led into the bridge. The bridge of this song is so simple, “Let the fragrance of our worship draw you in” as I sang this a few times, I suddenly shifted to simply singing “Let It Draw You In” and people were entirely engaged, some were worshiping, and some were on their knees engaging the Lord on a personal level.
It was about here that I noticed a signal telling me to keep going and just let it flow. So I vamped on the chords of that bridge Em – C – G – D and began to sing spontaneously from my heart. As I began to release the song in my heart, the cry that I had been holding in, his presence seemed to just keep increasing. So I just sang. I kept in with the theme of drawing him in, and his fragrance, but shifted to my own song to the Lord.
It reminded me in hindsight of Kevin Prosch’s song “I Really Love you” In that song, which was recorded Live at a conference, he sang a Chorus which was just the phrase “I Really Love You” repeated a few times, and then would go into a spontaneous verse. This is what ended up happening with me. after a moment I found my way to the simple chorus “I coma Alive… when you walk into the room. I come Alive… at the scent of your perfume.” and would sing that a few times and then go back into the spontaneous verses.
Then after probably another 25 or 30 minutes I began to feel it was time to wind the worship down and so I draw down and gave the signal to Lisa to let her know I felt it was time for the word. She nodded back to me in agreement, and slowly made her was up to the podium. We took a slow transition from worship into the word, but it was great. God really moved in power Friday night and it was awesome to be the Glass that he used to pour out his new wine.
Sunday Morning was much more straight forward. I replaced “Sing to Jesus” with Fragrance, and then ended the service with “You Are Holy” The service went well and when it came time for me to lead the altar ministry, a solid amount of people came forward responding to the message which was about learning to Live in the grace of God.
This past weekend was a wonderful time with the Lord, it was peaceful, and gave us rest. I am glad to see the presence of God active in our church.
For some reason it takes me forever to get around to writing the weekend recap. But as usual, I am doing this as a part of the Sunday Setlist group over at The Worship Community. For 161 consecutive weeks the fine folks over at TWC have gotten worship leaders to share their sotries. That is over Three years. The Sunday Setlists program was recently named one of the best worship resources of 2011 by Worship Leader magazine. Congratulations guys! Well, enough piddling, let me get in the way back machine and go back to the weekend.
This weekend I led in both the Friday night and Sunday Morning services, and because we are a small church and I am training most of my musicians to play on a team, many of whom have never played on a worship team before, I did the same set on both services. The order went as follows:
- “This is Our God” Harbour Live (written by Justin Jarvis)
- “Now Unto the One” Evan Wickham
- “Our God” Chris Tomlin
- “Set a Fire” United Pursuit (written by Will Regan)
- “You are Holy” Radiant Worship (Written by Richy Clark)
The only new song this week was “Set a Fire” which I will include a youtube video of the original song at the end of this post. I am really loving the song this is our God. I have done it a few times recently and have done it as an acoustic song as I haven’t felt compelled to try and force electric guitar into our sets yet. I will one day soon, but so far I have held off because of our sound equipment (or Lack there of) It goes over well with the congregation because it is simple, and very singable.
“Now Unto The One” and “Our God” are always pretty popular, and the congregation is becoming familiar with them enough to know the words without thinking much, so they really are able to engage well.
“Set A Fire” is a great song, and really shouldn’t have fit where I put it, because its too much of a grooving song, but it worked perfectly here because it is such a simple song people could engage well. This also doubled as the offering song because The Pastors asked me to do a reprise (fancy musician word!!) That was a nice touch. It is good to get encouragement from your leaders.
“You Are Holy” has become a standard in our lineup lately because it is such a powerful song. The congregation always moves into that deep place of worship when we do this song and I am convinced that as we press in and sing about Isaiah’s vision of the Lord, eventually we will start having similar visions. Where the presence of God keeps building to a place where we need to repent because we see ourselves as we really are. It is such a powerful song.
As I have mentioned, we are a new church plant here in Lawrence, so I have been working to steadily introduce new songs to the church. Now we have about a dozen songs we have introduced, and it is nice to have a solid block to come from. My musicians are coming along well, and learning to play together. I am proud of them, because a couple of them didn’t play anything a year ago, and most of those who did, had never played with other people. I am seeing such progress that I know God is at work in my team.
I am thinking about getting the ‘Pure Praise’ study from Dwayne Moore and taking my team through it as a unity and vision building exercise, but right now most of us are tight on finances. So this might get pushed back a bit. Keep praying as we are trying to raise funds to build a proper sound system. We are in desperate need of Good PA speakers as both our speakers have blown tweeters.
That is what has been happening here at Eagle Rock Church in Lawrence, KS. God is on the move and lives are being touched. The church is growing, even if it still is the day of small beginnings.
If you are reading this, it is because you are someone who supports Israel and her interests. I am writing you to ask you to help invest in both the nation of Israel, and my life.
I have been given the opportunity to go to Jerusalem this November and study in the first class of the Israel Goodwill Ambassador Academy. This school sponsored by the Israeli government and accredited through the Ono Academic University is a ten day intensive school that will educate me bout modern day Israel, as well as equipping me to engage and educate others about Israel’s needs as a nation and defend her right to exist as a nation.
Upon completion of the school, I will be a registered Goodwill Ambassador with the nation of Israel. I will have credentials that show me as a representative of that nation and her interests all over the world.
Through this school, I will receive the education, and the equipping needed to truly stand with Israel and defend her in the onslaught the she is faced with on a daily Basis.
I want to emphasize that this is not merely a vacation to see Biblical sites. I will get opportunities to see historical and Biblical places, but the main thrust of this trip is the education. This is the first time that this has ever been offered, and it is a great honor that I have even been invited.
You may be wondering what the significance of a “goodwill ambassador” is. A Diplomatic ambassador is someone who works on a governmental level; someone who connects government to government. However, a goodwill ambassador is a much more grass roots ambassador. Goodwill ambassadors work with people. As a goodwill ambassador, I will be qualified and equipped to teach about Israel, her history, and her needs. I would be prepared to speak on her behalf to people, churches, organizations, and anyone who is interested in learning more about Israel and how to support her in this current era.
Here is a quote directly from the vision statement of the Academy itself. “Our graduates will become part of a worldwide social network of grassroots activists and think-tanks identifying challenges and helping to resolve them diplomatically. From time to time, Ambassadors may expect to receive invitations to special events and projects in Israel and other countries.”
We as Christians are quick to say we stand with Israel and say that we pray for her, but often that is the extent of it. We don’t take active steps to support her and her interests in the world.
For the last year, I have been studying with Warring Dove international ministries. I am studying in seminary and Bible College to learn theology and missions. I have been actively pursuing the calling of God on my life. This is an unpaid internship that has caused me to live by faith and rely on the support of friends and family to help me on the road to my destiny. In the last year I have made two missions trips into the heart of Mexico and have been blessed with the opportunity to teach and lead worship both here at the Missions Base in Lawrence, Ks, as well as around the world. The invitation to study at the IGAA came as an extension of my time and study with Warring Dove Ministries, and the ministry’s strong ties to the nation and people of Israel.
I am asking you to partner with me as I prepare to attend this school. The cost of the Academy and my expenses for this trip will be approximately Five-Thousand dollars. This is a lot of money, but it will be an investment in my future as well as Israel’s future.
In Genesis 12:3 God told Abraham “I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who curse you, and in you, all the peoples of the Earth will be blessed.” If you support me as I go to the nation of Israel and study, God will bless you. You might not get to go to Israel yourself, but by investing in me as I go, you will share in the blessings that I receive. This is an opportunity that I cannot pass up. Please help send me to the Israeli Goodwill Ambassador Academy.
If you are interested in supporting me on this endeavor, or simply learning more about the school I have been invited to, please feel free to email me email@example.com I would be glad to tell you anything I can. If you want to support me, you can write a check made out to Warring Dove Ministries. The address to send support is P.O. Box 507 Lawrence, KS 66044. Please include “Mathew IGAA” on the memo so that the donation is sure to get to me. By donating through the ministry you will be able to receive a tax receipt for your gift. Thank you for partnering with me and helping me serve God’s people in a greater way.
In God’s service
P.S. All Anti-Semitic comments will be deleted.
Gentleness in the Greek: What does it truly mean?
Gentleness, in the Greek, “praotes”, commonly known as meekness. The New Spirit Filled Life Bible defines gentleness as: “a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, and that has the passions under control. The word is best translated ‘meekness,’ not as an indication of weakness, but of power and strength under control. The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults, and rules his own spirit well.”
Gentleness in English: What does it mean?
Definition of GENTLENESS is: the quality or state of being gentle; especially: mildness of manners or disposition
Contention 1: His Gentleness
Psalm 18:35 NASB: You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.
As we have seen with all of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gentleness is also a characteristic of God. As we continue to draw closer to him, we are able to grow in our gentleness. He is a gentle God and if it is our desire to be more like him, then we should grow more and more gentle.
Contention 2: Correction through Gentleness
Galatians 6:1 NASB: Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
1st Corinthians 4:21 NASB: What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
Colossians 3:12-13 NASB: So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
2nd Timothy 2:24-25 NASB: The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
Gentleness is a key to dealing with others. If we come to one another in gentleness and meekness we can resolve our differences and continue to advance the kingdom. However, if we come with anger, and like emotions, we will drive a wedge between one another and we will not be able to work well with one another.
Contention 3: Pursue Gentleness
1st Timothy 6:10-11 NASB: For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
We as followers of Christ are called to flee from sin, evil, and immorality. In its place we should pursue God and his characteristics. Among these is Gentleness. We should desire to be more like God, and as discussed in the first point, Gentleness is one of God’s defining attributes.
Becoming a Fruit Tree: Faithfulness
Joshua 24:14 ESV: “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.”
2Chronicles 19:9 ESV: “And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:”
We are given a command to serve god in faithfulness, but what is that even mean? Merriam Webster gives us these definitions. faith·ful adj \ˈfāth-fəl\
Definition of FAITHFUL; 1:obsolete : full of faith 2: steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal 3: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious 4: given with strong assurance : binding <a faithful promise>
5: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original <a faithful copy>
If we take the definitions and put them together we can come up with a good idea of faithfulness: Steadfast allegiance, and observation of Duty, with strong assurance, that is true to the facts.
We are commanded to serve the Lord with Steadfast allegiance. To Be diligent to obey, to be convinced and assured of the truth.
1Samuel 26:23 ESV: “The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness…”
The Lord is a rewarder of those who do what he wants. Obedience is always better than sacrifice.
Psalm 26:3 ESV: “For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”
We also share in God’s faithfulness. The Fruit of the spirit are all found in him and as we draw into him more and more we find ourselves becoming more like him. This enables us to grow our fruit. Most of the verse in the Bible that deal with faithfulness are centered around God’s faithfulness.
Psalm 1:1-3 ESV: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
When we abide in him, it is as though we are being planted by the rivers of living water. That water, which is his presence feeds our trees and causes us to grow lasting delicious fruit. The presence of the Lord is a key to long lasting fruit. That is not necessarily about fruitfulness but it’s a bit of free knowledge to help us grow.
God’s goodness is something special. It is different than all the other fruit of the Spirit. This is because We have tactile contact with the Goodness of God in a way that we have not with all the other fruit. Psalms 34:8 says it this way;
Psalm 34:8 NASB: O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
You are called to experience the Goodness of God in a manifest, tangible way. Taste his goodness, when you have fruit, it is only good if you taste it. It might look good if it sits on a table, but unless you actually eat it, it will wither and die. Fruit grows into its ripeness and then you eat it.
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Furthermore, Moses was able to experience the goodness of God in a way that was different than the rest of the people. Exodus 33:19 NASB: And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
The Lord’s goodness was linked with his compassion, but also his presence. It is a physical, tangible experience. We should be striving to see the Goodness of the Lord before us.
Psalm 23:6 NASB: “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Goodness is something that we should be marked with for all the days of our lives. If you read the full Psalm you see that this is a side effect of a yielded life. Psalm 23 begins with David proclaiming that The Lord is his Shepherd. When the Lord is your shepherd, there are benefits. One such benefit is verse six; the presence of His Goodness as a staple of your life. Psalm 31 furthers this point. Psalm 31:19 NASB: “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!” He stores up Goodness for the people who are his; for the people who live a yielded life and give themselves over to him in his fullness.
We should always be able to remember the Goodness of God. Psalm 145:7 NASB: “They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.” In the context of This Psalm, David is remembering all the characteristics of God. Isaiah continues in this theme:
Isaiah 63:7 NASB: “I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.” Remember his Goodness. God has done great things for you, and those memories are faith builders.