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Sermon Notes: 4/21/24

"The Least I Can Do"

Pastor Albert Almore


Last week we shared in a message titled, OUT OF CONTROL. We concluded our time with these questions:


ARE YOU IN, OR ARE YOU OUT? ARE YOU IN, OR ARE YOU OUT OF CONTROL?


These questions stemmed from Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭where it reads,


"Paul, A BONDSERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Another translation reads…


"This letter is from Paul, A SLAVE OF CHRIST JESUS, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


As bond servants and slaves of Jesus Christ, we're no longer in control of our lives.


We’re called to follow the ways of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 11:29 we find Jesus’s ways. Jesus says, 


"Take my yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE…"

Matthew 11:29 NIV


I want to pick up from right here this morning, because as servants of Jesus Christ, we’re called to SURRENDER to gentleness. II Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭20‬ says,


"Now then, WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST...“

‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


It’s through the goodness of God, that we just sang about, that we‘ve been blessed with the amazing opportunity to be AMBASSADORS, REPRESENTATIVES, for Jesus Christ. But the question this morning is this:


HOW CAN WE REPRESENT JESUS WELL?


As Moses so eloquently said in Exodus 33:16


"What else will DISTINGUISH me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

Exodus‬ ‭33:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬


We’re living in a time where being mean, rude, cruel, and tearing people down is the norm.


You and I have a prime time opportunity to distinguish ourselves from all the other people on the face of the earth by learning from Jesus in Matthew 11:29


"Take my yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE…"

Matthew 11:29 NIV


You and I have a prime time opportunity to distinguish ourselves from all the other people on the face of the earth through gentleness.


I want to speak to you from this subject this morning,


"THE LEAST I CAN DO"


📝 It doesn’t matter how common being ruthless becomes, we must remain UNCOMMON through gentleness.


📝 Gentleness can be defined as STRENGTH under control.


But by no means does being a gentle person make you a weak person. As a matter of fact,


It takes more strength TO SHOW GENTLENESS than it does TO SHOW AN ATTITUDE.


As true disciples, as true bond servants of Jesus Christ as Paul puts it, we’re called to walk in the fruit of gentleness. In fact, it was Paul Himself who wrote Galatians 5:22-23,


"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS, and self-control…”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Let’s look just at that first part again…


"But THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THIS KIND FRUIT in our lives…”

Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 The Holy Spirit produces the fruit in your life, but it’s your responsibility to bring that fruit to THE SHELF of your heart.


Gentleness is the uncommon way. Gentleness is the forgotten fruit. Gentleness is often the least prayed for out of the other nine, leaving it undeveloped, uncultivated, and often overlooked. Why is Gentleness often overlooked??? Because we want to overlook it.


We often want to get our point across at the expense of other people’s feelings. We often want to get the last word in even if that means this will be the last word ever in our relationship. We want to say what’s on our minds. We want to say it however we want to say it. But,


📝 As a disciple of Jesus Christ, we’re called to be gentle in an UNGENTLEworld.


This is why the apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:5,


"Let your GENTLENESS be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬


📝 Gentleness is EVIDENCE. Gentleness is evidence that your life is not your own.


Is there enough evidence in your life through gentleness, to prove that you’re a disciple of Jesus Christ?


Speaking of being a disciple, did you know that gentleness plays a major role in helping others to become a disciple of Christ? Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭23‬-‭24‬,


"Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A SERVANT OF THE LORD must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.“

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭23‬-‭24‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"GENTLY INSTRUCT those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.“

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭25‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Be careful not to allow your ATTITUDE to become a STUMBLING BLOCK to someone else’s change.


Here’s why…


📝 If you’re right in your VOCABULARY but wrong in your VOLUME they’ll never hear you.


Allow Gentleness to help lead the way to someone else’s change.


📝 Gentleness is a sign of SPIRITUAL MATURITY.


Paul wrote to the church of Galatia in Galatians 6:1,


Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, YOU WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, restore such a person WITH A GENTLE SPIRIT, watching out for yourselves so that you also won't be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 CSB


Paul wrote something interesting in 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:6‬-7, this leader said…


"Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, THOUGH WE COULD HAVE MADE DEMANDS AS APOSTLES OF CHRIST.”

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬


"BUT WE WERE GENTLE AMONG YOU, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬


From this, we glean this thought…


📝 Your POSITION doesn’t give you the right to dismiss your POSTURE of gentleness.

I learned a long time ago as a leader…


📝 You can get your point across without bringing your FLESH along with it.


Gentleness is evidence, but not only is Gentleness evidence...


📝 Gentleness is WISDOM on display.


James 3:13 says,


"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

‭‭James‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. THIS IS NOT THE WISDOM THAT COMES FROM ABOVE, BUT IS EARTHLY, UNSPIRITUAL, DEMONIC.“

‭‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬-‭15‬ ‭ESV‬‬


"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, GENTLE, open to reason, FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS, impartial and sincere.“

‭‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬-‭17‬ ‭ESV‬‬


This brings us to our next thought...


📝 Gentleness is a DIFFUSER.


"A GENTLE ANSWER turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.“

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬ ‭NIV‬‬


That’s why when it comes to gentleness, here’s what you have to do…


📝 • CHECK THE HANDLE


During your quiet time, on the drive home, or as you lay down at night, take time to reflect how you handled people that day.


This is key because,


📝 What you don’t EXAMINE you will continue to EXCUSE.

This is what you have to do...


📝 MEASURE how you desire to be handled, and every opportunity you get use that same measure.


Jesus said it like this in Luke 6:31,


📝 "Treat others THE SAME WAY you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31 NASB

And while you’re checking the handle, I must ask you….


HOW HAS LIFE MISHANDLED YOU?


HOW HAS LIFE NOT BEEN GENTLE TO YOU?


📝 • UNMASK it, and be HEALED.


Sometimes rudeness, and being short with people is nothing more than a defense mechanism to keep people at bay, and from getting too close to you. The last person that you allowed to get close to you hurt you. Disappointed you. From that time on, you made a vow to yourself, that you’ll never allow yourself to get hurt or used by anybody ever again. In return…


YOU BECAME YOUR DEFENDER INSTEAD OF GOD.


And in return you begin to offend people.


Because of the hurt, you’ve been using OFFENSE as your DEFENSE.


Today, as a bond servant, as a slave to Jesus Christ, somebody needs to forfeit their rights and sign your hurt over to Jesus. Forfeit your rights and sign over your rejection to Jesus.


Forfeit your rights and sign over your insecurities to Jesus. Forfeit your rights and sign over your fears to Jesus. There’s a reason why you act how you act. Unmask it, and be healed.


After EVERYTHING that David went through with King Sauls rudeness and jealousy, he still never vowed to be his own defender. Psalm 62:5…


I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. Psalm 62:5 GNT


He goes on to say in verse 6…


He alone protects and saves me; HE IS MY DEFENDER, and I shall never be defeated. Psalm 62:6 GNT


Psalms‬ ‭147‬:‭3‬ is still true…


"HE HEALS the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].“

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147‬:‭3‬ ‭AMP‬‬


📝 REMEMBER well.


""Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭23‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"In the process, one of his debtors was brought in WHO OWED HIM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭24‬-‭25‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭26‬-‭27‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""BUT WHEN THE MAN LEFT THE KING, he went to a fellow servant WHO OWED HIM A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS. HE GRABBED HIM BY THE THROAT and demanded instant payment.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭28‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭29‬-‭30‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭31‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"THEN THE KING CALLED IN THE MAN HE HAD FORGIVEN and said, ‘YOU EVIL SERVANT! I forgave you that TREMENDOUS DEBT because you pleaded with me.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭32‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE MERCY on your fellow servant, JUST AS I HAD MERCY ON YOU?’

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭33‬ ‭NLT‬‬


People often say to me, "I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you have so much grace with people that did this to you, or said that about you.”


It’s not because I’m such a patient person. It’s not because I’m such a gentle individual by nature—NO…I REMEMBER WELL!


I REMEMBER HOW MUCH I OWED HIM. I REMEMBER THE TREMENDOUS DEBT THAT HE FORGAVE. I REMEMBER HOW I COULD’T REPAY HIM—YET HE CANCELLED IT ALL!

In my prayer and reflection time, as I’m checking the handle, Jesus often says to me, "Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’“ Often with tears in my eyes, and gratitude in my heart, I respond by saying, "Yes Lord. It’s THE LEAST I CAN DO.


📝 The least I can do is SHOW TO OTHERS, the gentleness that’s been SHOWN TO ME through Christ Jesus.


But the only way you and I can do this…. WE MUST REMEMBER WELL. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29,


Take my yoke upon you and LEARN FROM MEFOR I AM GENTLE…"

Matthew 11:29 NIV


Take my yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME. LEARN FROM MEEEE…..

When it comes to gentleness…


ARE YOU TAKING YOUR CUES FROM JESUS, OR ARE YOU TAKING YOUR CUES FROM THIS WORLD?

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