"The Gracious Attitude"

December 10, 2017 9AM English Message, "The Gracious Attitude"

let's go to the word of the Lord this

00:21

morning and invite you to come with me

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to the book of the letter to the

00:26

Philippians letter to the Philippians

00:29

chapter 4 verse 5 I'm gonna I'm gonna

00:36

isolate in a sense this this verse in in

00:41

the midst of an amazing letter the

00:45

letter to the Philippians is one of my

00:46

very very favorite books of Scripture

00:49

and I hope someday maybe to have the

00:52

time to go through it as Greg is doing

00:54

with the book the letter to the

00:55

Ephesians and all these letters of the

00:57

Apostle Paul Ephesians and Colossians

00:59

Philippians particularly they they bear

01:02

a lot of affinity and that touch upon

01:06

similar themes and they really emerge

01:09

from the same spirit the same attitude

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and I want to entitle this sermon if I

01:17

may as the gracious attitude the

01:21

gracious attitude and in verse let me

01:25

read actually to put it in a bit of

01:26

context verses 4 through 7 but I do want

01:31

to isolate verse 5 in particular so the

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Apostle Paul says rejoice in the Lord

01:37

always I will say it again rejoice and

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this is where we hit that the center of

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this theme and one word it says let your

01:52

gentleness and and I want to settle upon

01:56

that word which is more than a word it's

01:58

a concept it's a principle let your

02:01

gentleness be evident to all the Lord is

02:07

near do not be anxious about anything

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but in everything by prayer and petition

02:14

with Thanksgiving present your requests

02:19

to God and the peace of God which passes

02:25

which transcends all understanding will

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guard your hearts and your minds

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in Christ Jesus so that is some the

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foundation of our meditation this

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morning this word gentleness which by

02:46

the way I hope by the end of my

02:47

meditation you will realize that it's

02:49

not a it doesn't do justice to what is

02:53

behind the Apostles spirit I was gonna

02:57

say mine but really it's much more than

02:59

his mind when he speaks of gentleness

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you know we immediately associated with

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the kind of you know the meaner a way of

03:08

behaving which is not rough or uncouth

03:11

or impolite it's so much more than that

03:16

the word gentleness and I hope to it is

03:18

kind of a bit of a word study in in some

03:22

ways and metric would you pass me that

03:23

there's a folder in there which I forgot

03:26

to bring up and I probably will bite a

03:30

little bit out of it so this this

03:33

attitude of gentleness this this idea of

03:36

gentleness which I summarized in this in

03:41

the in the context of this title that

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I've given to a sermon the gracious

03:47

attitude and you know this this

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meditation emerges in my mind in in the

03:55

light of the contentiousness that the

03:58

conflictive Nisour the times that we are

04:00

living in in america and really all over

04:04

the world contentiousness is not

04:05

something that is just a typical of

04:08

america although we feel it and i think

04:10

america does somehow exemplified in a

04:13

way that is even more dramatic and more

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defined and i think any other country

04:18

that we know of right now because

04:20

America is a country divided within

04:21

itself in a very very graphic sort of

04:25

way but uh in the light of the

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contentiousness in the conflictive nests

04:30

I think the lack of grace that we see in

04:33

America in our time I was thinking about

04:35

it and this is meditation emerge in this

04:38

word which it's kind of an aspiration of

04:41

mine perhaps a bit because you know

04:45

there's a part of me that doesn't really

04:46

resonated with this idea of gentleness

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and I've always needed to take it as a

04:50

medicine for my own character my own

04:54

temperament but you know I mean if

04:56

anything for example exemplifies this

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idea of contentiousness in America right

05:00

now is this whole thing of a judge Roy

05:03

Moore in Alabama and you know these are

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two Americas that we see you know in

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conflict with each other exemplified by

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this particular situation you know you

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have the the South you have a rural

05:19

America to use that word which is a big

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generalization and then you have the

05:25

East you know the the Northeast in

05:27

particular in the cities New York Los

05:30

Angeles San Francisco Chicago you know

05:37

that were the the intellectual

05:39

Washington were the intellectual capital

05:42

of America lies the intellect and reason

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and and education and I know that these

05:49

are gross oversimplification but um you

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know then you have this other America

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which is rural

05:54

working-class America fundamentalist

05:58

evangelical America religious America

06:00

and again realizing all the nuances that

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I would need to but I would wouldn't

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have time to preach the sermon if I got

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into all the little things that need to

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be nuanced but you know there are two

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Americas right now and and they are very

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unkind toward each other if you belong

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to one America working-class

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fundamentalist evangelical whatever you

06:24

want to call it

06:25

rural America you resentful America some

06:29

would see it then you see the other side

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you know generally associated with

06:34

Republicans then you see the other side

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the the educated the urbanites the

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younger types the northeasterners to put

06:45

in a 1-1 term you know at the democrats

06:49

blue america you you really don't you

06:52

you you see them through a dark lens

06:57

that doesn't allow for trying to put

07:00

yourself

07:00

their place and try to see how they see

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the world I mean you just see the devil

07:04

you see what's wrong with this nation

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and what's driving this nation to the

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ground now if you belong to the other

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side too you know blue America you see

07:13

red America as everything that is wrong

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with America close-minded exclusive

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resentful dark narrow fundamentalist

07:27

religion Allah Muslim in its darkest

07:32

manifestations and and you you there's

07:35

no place for grace either under you you

07:38

only see the the law you only see what

07:41

is wrong you only see what is

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narrow-minded what it's not expansive

07:47

and open to diversity and so on and so

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forth so these two sides you know they

07:53

paint in primal colors just red blue

07:59

black yellow no nuance there's no mixing

08:04

of colors you see each other from a

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stark lens and the Word of God the the

08:15

the the the most beautiful values of

08:17

Scripture the heart of Christ is

08:20

completely how should I say a contrary

08:26

to that kind of attitude to that kind of

08:30

stark way of looking at people and of

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deep of dealing with human situations

08:37

this condemnatory this a judging sharp

08:43

way of looking at human beings rather

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the the Word of God the heart of God

08:50

what I see in Scripture what I see in

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Jesus and his way of looking at human

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beings

08:55

I see these in these lenses that that

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look at the human phenomena and human

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situations and human beings with such

09:04

compassion such capacity to see deep

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into their heart and to go beyond their

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actions

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and beyond the mistakes and beyond the

09:16

sins to see the heart to see the intent

09:19

to see the dorama of the human being who

09:23

wants to do good but ends up doing bad

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who loves God but somehow ends up

09:30

[Music]

09:31

offending him who wants to be gentle but

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ends up being rough and and so on and so

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forth

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and you know what the Bible invites us

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to is that that attitude of compassion

09:44

mercy identifying yourself with the

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individual and the in innermost parts of

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their being so that you see not only

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their outward actions but you also see

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their the heart you see the weakness as

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you see their past you see the demons

10:01

that they're struggling with you see

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what has led them to that come that

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behavior you don't just take a

10:06

photograph of the moment you see a video

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of the ongoing drama of that human being

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and you allow yourself to see more in

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them than just that dark you know vision

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of their brokenness that that is the

10:21

heart of God and I see it all over and

10:25

over again in the way Christ treated

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human beings and the way the gospel

10:29

calls us to act and to be like and this

10:33

is what's behind that word of the

10:35

Apostle Paul when he says let your

10:37

gentleness be evident to all and in

10:43

order to understand what Paul means you

10:47

have to go to the Greek original the

10:50

word that he used in the Greek and when

10:55

I was able to do that actually years ago

10:57

it opened up an entire vein of

11:01

reflection for me and thinking because

11:04

the word that the Apostle Paul uses in

11:06

the Greek original that I think the NIV

11:09

very inadequately translates gentleness

11:11

is the word APA case APA case that's the

11:17

the conjugation that he uses from APA

11:19

car which means gentleness yes but it

11:25

also means

11:26

moderation and means the amiable Ness

11:31

it means kindness it means softness that

11:35

means forbearance and includes the idea

11:39

of generosity of magnanimity of

11:43

graciousness here's some some thoughts

11:48

in that come from a word study that I

11:49

did on on APA case it says is it's a

11:54

Greek word that is difficult to

11:55

translate this word includes the ideas

11:58

of again gentle free from harshness

12:01

sternness or violence who forbearing

12:04

holding oneself back from violence and

12:07

especially with an effort controlling

12:09

oneself when provoked yielding equity

12:13

freedom from bias or favoritism lenient

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which is mild and tolerant disposition

12:20

exerting a soothing or easing influence

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on assertive fare appropriate suitable

12:26

proper Christians who are a pieas

12:30

follows these comments Christians who

12:34

are APA case do not insist on the letter

12:36

of the law but are willing to compromise

12:39

where no moral issue is at stake that's

12:42

important the pike is individual

12:45

exhibits what Matthew Arnold referred to

12:47

as a sweet reasonableness reflected in

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an attitude that does not hold grudges

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but always gives others the benefit of

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any doubt a pious gentleness suggests

12:59

the idea of a giving way of taking wrong

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rather than rather than of revenge in

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the injuries we receive and you know

13:11

just a couple of things according to

13:12

Aristotle because the Paul borrows that

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word really the biblical word is

13:18

borrowed from the Greek in Greek in the

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Greek a pica or a pas was an entire

13:23

principle of philosophical principle and

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attitude of the enlightened the human

13:26

being so Aristotle according to

13:28

Aristotle the word stands in contrast

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with Acree Bodhi Caius one who is

13:35

exacting ly just you know that's the

13:37

opposite you know this is what it this

13:40

is what you

13:40

eat your spinach this is what you're

13:41

supposed to do this is the way it's

13:43

supposed to be as one who is a pea acres

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is satisfied with less than his due APA

13:52

has conveys the idea that one is

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satisfied with the less than what is due

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finally says ApS describes the ability

14:00

to extend that to others kindly

14:01

consideration we would wish to receive

14:04

ourselves this man or woman knows when

14:07

it is actually wrong to apply the strict

14:10

letter of the law knows how to forgive

14:12

when justice gives the right to condemn

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knows how to make allowances knows when

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not to stand upon the rights knows how

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to temper justice with mercy and

14:22

remembers that there are greater things

14:24

in the world than rules and regulations

14:26

do you get the idea that's that's the

14:28

the image so when Paul is saying let

14:31

your APA let your gentleness be evident

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to all he is he's saying all of these

14:39

different things

14:39

let your generous kind for bearing

14:42

patient compassionate understanding

14:45

attitude willing to suffer a bit of loss

14:48

for the sake of the greater good in the

14:51

greater harmony to see the person in the

14:54

light of their whole context their

14:55

aspirations their intentions that the

14:58

drama's that have brought them to their

14:59

situation I was I was in a court this

15:02

week taking care of a situation and I

15:08

had an opportunity you know you go to

15:10

court and you never know when you're

15:11

when the person that you're testifying

15:12

in favor of is gonna come up and you

15:14

know watching the the court system how

15:19

you know a judge is sitting there and

15:22

has to resolve so so many cases and

15:26

seeing the kind of businesslike attitude

15:28

of the the clerks and the the lawyers

15:32

who have seen it all and you know most

15:33

the time they're absolutely bored to

15:35

death these people looked absolutely

15:37

bored to death but seeing this judge you

15:41

know having to dispense justice so

15:43

quickly and you know making a decision

15:44

in a moment's time because there's

15:47

hundreds of those cases and you know

15:49

decisions have to be made often not even

15:50

in the light of the case but in the

15:52

light of how much it would cost the

15:53

state

15:54

to put that person in jail not whether

15:56

they deserve it or not and you know all

16:00

kinds of how crude really the judicial

16:04

system is unable to really spend the

16:06

time to look at things in a certain way

16:09

because there are so many other

16:10

impinging factors that push the justice

16:13

system and you know instead of that kind

16:17

of simplicity the Bible calls us to to

16:20

have a generous compassionate you know a

16:24

disposition that sees beyond just the

16:27

crude elements of human behavior and and

16:31

it's a word that you know is seen in

16:34

many places but you will see their

16:35

association for examples if we go

16:36

through to James chapter three verse 17

16:40

James speaks about you know the wisdom

16:44

of man the carnal wisdom the wisdom of

16:46

the flesh and and the wisdom that comes

16:48

from God from heaven it says but the

16:50

wisdom that comes from heaven is first

16:53

of all pure then peace loving

16:57

considerate that is the same word at PS

16:59

consider it here it translated

17:01

considerate submissive full of mercy and

17:06

good fruit in partial and sincere

17:10

peacemakers who saw in peace raise a

17:12

harvest of righteousness so you see the

17:15

associations around the word considerate

17:17

it has this constellation of attitudes

17:19

that are generous and compassionate and

17:22

merciful and gentle and then also in a

17:25

in Titus chapter 3 verse 2 it says to

17:31

slander no one to be peaceable and

17:34

considerate again a PA case and to show

17:37

true humility toward all men at first

17:40

and first Peter also has that same word

17:43

first Peter 2 verse 18 uses that same

17:49

concept where it says slaves submit

17:51

yourself to your masters with all

17:52

respect not only to those who are good

17:54

and considerate APA case but also to

17:57

those who are harsh which is the

18:00

opposite of that term so you see this

18:05

this association with the word

18:07

william barclay one of the great

18:08

commentators of the Greek and an amazing

18:12

complex study student of the word says

18:15

the Greeks in this case IRA startled

18:19

defined a PA kiss-ass

18:20

justice and better than justice so it is

18:25

this idea to go beyond the strict

18:27

generic justice and to go into the realm

18:30

of a mercy to take context into account

18:34

it is more than just naked stark justice

18:38

what a person deserves some some another

18:42

scholar has said that APA case is

18:44

virtually untranslatable it is such an

18:47

encompassing complex word that is very

18:50

hard to absorb and in one particular

18:53

English word for example

18:55

so it's this gentle toleration for

18:58

others in spite of having justification

19:01

for intolerance it's a good definition

19:03

of that you know you you may be

19:05

perfectly right in throwing the book at

19:07

somebody but instead of doing that you

19:09

choose generosity and compassion Jesus

19:14

was the the perfect model as I've said

19:18

earlier for this quality this attitude

19:20

for example you see his conduct toward

19:22

the Zacchaeus you know Zacchaeus is a

19:25

he's an oppressor Zacchaeus works for

19:28

the Jay in the least in the perspective

19:30

the Jews Zacchaeus has sold out to the

19:34

Roman oppressor the Jews hated publicans

19:38

like Zacchaeus who were traders they had

19:41

sold her their their citizenship for

19:43

money and publicans tax collectors were

19:46

known for being exploiters for

19:49

exploiting their civil position of power

19:51

for gain and evidently Zacchaeus had

19:54

done that because when he repents he

19:56

says the Lord I if I've drawn anybody I

19:59

I double whatever I've taken away from

20:03

them I'm gonna give half of my earnings

20:05

half of my riches he knew that he had

20:07

done wrong and he deserved absolute

20:10

condemnation but Jesus instead of that

20:12

says hey Zacchaeus when when Jesus looks

20:15

at the chaos on that tree he reads him

20:18

and he sees this guy who's Amma

20:21

feels Oh on that tree lice if you were

20:25

just anybody else is feared generally by

20:27

people and there he is in this

20:29

undignified position because he wants to

20:31

see Jesus and so Jesus on just as soon

20:34

as he sees him there Jesus does a

20:36

scanning of his of his drama and sees

20:40

this man who despite all those things

20:42

that he's done wrong he in his heart he

20:45

knows that he is guilty and he wants

20:48

Redemption so when he hears of this man

20:51

who preaches Redemption and love and and

20:53

that there's a God who is compassionate

20:55

he says that he is my opportunity

20:56

because what the Pharisees did was just

20:59

throw the law at him as they did with

21:01

everybody else

21:02

they didn't do it for themselves but

21:04

they did it with everybody else so

21:05

Zacchaeus hears of this compassionate

21:07

preacher this man who Rio

21:09

speaks with the heart of God and you

21:12

know he wants to see him he doesn't

21:13

think that he's worthy enough of

21:15

approaching him he says if I can only

21:18

see him from afar probably maybe a bit

21:21

of grace will come into my life but

21:23

Jesus is no I'm gonna I wanna I want

21:25

intimacy with you I'm gonna go to your

21:27

house and I'm gonna eat with you and

21:29

this is what the Pharisees can't

21:30

understand because they're just naked

21:32

law they're judgmental they don't see

21:35

the drama and when they see other

21:37

publicans around other tax collectors on

21:40

Jesus as how could this man have company

21:43

with these guys who are so criminal so

21:46

exploitive you see I mean there's a lot

21:48

of people in America right now that we

21:50

could just throw all to hell literally

21:52

we could pluck them with one of these

21:54

mechanical things and we could just

21:57

throw them into the pit of hell many of

21:58

us could go there ourselves and we're

22:01

doing that because we're in a time when

22:04

you know we cannot afford the compassion

22:06

because all of us are scared and all of

22:09

us are insecure and all of us are

22:10

resentful and when you are in those

22:12

positions you you have no surplus to

22:15

exercise generosity Jesus was different

22:19

now maybe I'll have a chance to talk a

22:20

little bit about that

22:21

so Jesus exemplifies that you know in

22:24

the case of the the men who lowered the

22:26

paralytic they break the roof they

22:29

impose upon Jesus agenda they don't have

22:32

a number

22:33

but they have a love for their companion

22:35

and they have a sense of urgency so they

22:39

they they jump the line just like so

22:42

many undocumented people do and and you

22:46

cannot understand you know au job the

22:48

line I came into America legally and

22:51

you're jumping the line and so you need

22:54

to be thrown back to where you came from

22:58

it's the law you see and what America

23:03

needs is generosity because that's what

23:06

it made America great in the beginning

23:09

it is this mercy this attitude that tore

23:12

the week this this generosity and again

23:16

I know the complexity of these issues

23:17

believe me again I don't we don't have

23:19

the time to you know parse them the way

23:23

that they need to but these men who

23:25

brought the paralytic in they jump the

23:27

line there were others there who

23:29

probably were waiting for Jesus to heal

23:31

them and everything is so orderly and

23:34

these guys they tear the roof down and

23:35

you see these little pieces of hay

23:37

coming down from the roof and then all

23:38

of a sudden this bed that this make up

23:41

bed coming down and this guy saying hey

23:44

Lord heal him he needs healing and

23:46

everybody's resentful but Jesus instead

23:48

of being offended takes care of him

23:52

blesses him he sees their love for this

23:55

young for this man and so he is able to

23:58

exercise a PA kiss generosity and we

24:01

need to do that with ourselves with each

24:03

other you know what we need in in our

24:06

churches and in our societies it's not

24:10

more law it's not more definition we

24:13

have that in spades

24:16

we have clarity coming up our out of our

24:20

ears we have ways and means and bylaws

24:25

and procedures and visions and mission

24:28

statements and and you know

24:31

constitutions and all kinds of stuff do

24:34

you think that the complexity of

24:35

American the American legal system has

24:38

been able to bring harmony and peace to

24:41

this country of course not on the

24:43

contrary that's why I tell people in

24:45

churches for example we think less

24:47

define everything for every behavior

24:50

every situation we need a principal and

24:53

my years of experience in past pastoral

24:56

work have shown to me that you know

24:58

sometimes the more laws the more

25:00

procedures the more Robert's Rules of

25:03

Order that we have the more we can throw

25:06

them at each other when we're angry at

25:07

each other in a meeting and it's not to

25:10

say that we shouldn't have them I'm

25:13

saying that we should have them with a

25:15

grain of salt huge grain is actually a

25:17

big rock of salt

25:18

because only love compassion patience

25:24

looking ahead paying for paying up now

25:29

in front so that later on you can get

25:30

your way being silent in the interest of

25:33

the greater good these are the things

25:36

that can create harmony in a church or

25:41

in any human gathering it is the

25:46

compassion the gentleness of Christ it

25:49

is this idea that it is not only up to

25:51

us to defend our interests I have out

25:56

there are other players that ensure

25:58

justice in human situations in a

26:01

marriage in a church in a job when you

26:06

think that you're the only player in the

26:09

world and in social constructs you

26:12

you're mistaken

26:14

there are witnesses to every human

26:17

situation spiritual witnesses demonic

26:21

witnesses divine witnesses human people

26:25

people who are looking at you there are

26:29

principles at play there are spiritual

26:32

laws that are being exercised that also

26:35

impinge on situations and if you only

26:39

look at yourself and your opponent

26:42

fighting it out and you have to fight

26:45

for every bit of right that that is

26:48

coming to you and you think that if I

26:50

don't do that then I won't have it

26:52

you're absolutely wrong you're

26:53

oversimplifying something that is so

26:56

complex you're you're taking out the

26:58

whole mystery of the human universe

27:00

that you live in they're divine as I say

27:03

entities and and spiritual things that

27:05

are clay in every human situation and

27:08

you should always see these elements and

27:10

not just your naked situation because if

27:12

you do that then your infantile you have

27:16

to see the Word of God the promises of

27:18

God the consequences of spiritual things

27:20

at play when you're acting in a human

27:24

situation of conflict don't just see

27:26

that the comp the person in conflict in

27:28

yourself see the entire this is why I

27:30

think the Bible says that there's a that

27:32

we have a multitude of witnesses before

27:35

us it's a very complex declaration it's

27:38

not just you know eyes of people it's

27:40

with spiritual witnesses it's

27:43

generations that go before you they and

27:45

they have power and you got to see

27:47

yourself in this huge complex context

27:50

when you're resolving any kind of

27:51

conflict that's why I say don't just you

27:54

know oh you did this you did that oh you

27:56

watch the dishes last night okay then I

27:57

can wash and pray you didn't do the beds

28:01

yesterday then I will do them today this

28:04

is what creates conflicts in marriages

28:07

and and in work situations in churches

28:10

you gotta say that in a much bigger

28:13

context do the dishes ten times and

28:15

that's okay at some point you'll get

28:17

your do God will bless you you know just

28:22

just worry about honoring the Lord and

28:25

honoring the principles of Scripture

28:26

this is this this attitude that I see in

28:29

Christ you know you you you see the

28:33

Father God the Father even in the Old

28:35

Testament you know we talk about the Old

28:37

Testament the New Testament as if

28:39

there's some sort of disconnect the New

28:41

Testament is you know God matured and

28:42

now he's a more compassionate but when

28:45

in the Old Testament he was just

28:47

infantile he was immature and he finally

28:49

got it with Jesus but look at how God

28:53

how the psalmist in Psalm 103 sees God

28:57

the Father one of my very favorite

28:58

Psalms verses 8 through 14 Psalm 103

29:02

says the Lord is compassionate and

29:08

gracious as a pas slow to anger

29:12

abounding in love

29:15

he will not always accuse nor will he

29:18

harbor his anger forever he does not

29:20

treat us as our sins deserve you see all

29:23

of these ideas are included in this site

29:25

this concept that the Paul is trying to

29:28

put together in gentleness he will not

29:33

always accuse nor will he harbor his

29:35

anger forever he will not he does not

29:38

treat us as our sins deserve or repay US

29:43

according to our iniquities for as high

29:47

as the heavens are above the earth so

29:49

great is his love for those who fear Him

29:52

so as far as the East is from the west

29:55

so far has he removed our transgressions

29:58

from us as a father has compassion on

30:01

his children so the Lord has compassion

30:03

on those who fear Him and this is one of

30:05

my very very favorite verses in all of

30:08

Scripture for he knows how we are formed

30:11

he remembers that we are dust what

30:17

enables God to treat us with such

30:18

compassion mercy patience he knows what

30:23

we're made of now he knows that were

30:27

broken vessels living in this sin ridden

30:31

world and we have been broken by

30:34

circumstances by our past by even our

30:36

genealogy our our genes many times and

30:40

God sees what we're made out of and he

30:43

says pours all I mean he can't do any

30:46

better now I will tell you a little bit

30:49

later on about something else that

30:50

balances that out but really the

30:53

dominant attitude I think that the fault

30:54

posture of God is his attitude I know

30:56

what he really means or she means I know

30:59

what they want to do I know their

31:01

desires they mean well they just can't

31:05

do any better

31:06

poor soul this idea he knows that we are

31:09

but tossed so you see Jesus and

31:11

embodying that attitude you see the

31:12

father again the opposite of that

31:16

attitude of a PA case is to be

31:18

quarrelsome defensive always demanding

31:20

our rights quite to take offense quite

31:23

to go on the attack

31:24

you know we live in an era of rights

31:27

where everybody gets angry if the rights

31:31

are violated this is what's happening

31:34

nowadays with all that we all the dramas

31:35

that we're seeing right now in our

31:37

country is this idea it's we does we

31:40

want our rights

31:41

they've been violated this is this huge

31:43

explosion on the part of women and you

31:46

know oppressors and rightfully so but

31:49

you see this this sort of this recoiling

31:51

this vengeful getting back at because

31:57

there wasn't degraded gentle incremental

32:02

resistance to evil that should have

32:04

taken place over many years and that was

32:08

even cooperation and collaboration and

32:10

then when the time comes to for

32:13

correction it's really payback it is

32:18

absolute stark judgment and law applying

32:23

itself in the most unmitigated sorts of

32:27

ways and we and where are the voices

32:30

that will invite this society to look at

32:35

the complexity of human phenomena and

32:38

say wait a minute let's look at this

32:41

from a much more encompassing

32:44

perspective the one of the problems with

32:47

America is you know the church has few

32:51

voices that that can speak to the

32:54

complexity of this human phenomena that

32:55

we are experiencing politics has very

32:59

few moral enlightened people who can

33:04

speak to these phenomena that the family

33:06

is experiencing where are the fathers

33:08

and the mothers in the middle of this

33:10

horrible situation that we are living in

33:12

speaking balance and inviting the

33:16

children to see each other for what they

33:19

are broken human beings that need

33:23

correction yes but also compassion where

33:28

is that correction is that on the left

33:29

is it on the right is it in the liberal

33:31

is it in the Conservatives it is nowhere

33:33

to be found and where the voices of our

33:36

senior statesmen our elders they are

33:39

embroiled in the same kinds of drama

33:42

so there's no voice to bring order to

33:45

the family all you see is the kids going

33:48

at it full blast destroying the house

33:50

with their anger it's uncontained

33:52

because there's no nuance there's no no

33:56

genteel wise reasoning to take over and

34:04

and this is what we have you know what I

34:06

see in the the Bible is the very

34:08

opposite this this genteel gentleness is

34:11

generosity instead of going on the

34:13

attack not holding on to your rights

34:16

it's my right to do this

34:18

you know Jesus did not hold on to his

34:20

rights if Jesus would have held on to

34:21

his right we wouldn't be here what does

34:24

a Philippians two verses one through

34:26

seven say hey let there be in you the

34:29

same matter that was in Jesus Christ who

34:32

was equal to God and could have held on

34:34

to his right of being equal to God stay

34:36

in heaven very comfortable in all his

34:38

glory but he didn't hold on to his right

34:41

divine rights of kings well he didn't

34:44

hold on to his divine right of king he

34:47

gave it up and he descended upon the

34:50

world as a lonely lowly being smelly as

34:55

we all are inside and fallen in a way I

35:01

mean he was perfect yes but he walked

35:03

with the same weaknesses and limitations

35:07

of any human being he he gave up his

35:10

rights he divested himself of it he

35:12

emptied himself of all the things that

35:13

made him comfortable and came to live in

35:16

this uncomfortable frame of a human

35:18

being for our love for our salvation yes

35:22

this is the same attitude should be in

35:24

you I pray that the Lord will give me

35:26

that I pray the Lord will give you that

35:27

I know what I have to go I know what

35:29

pursues me in my quiet moments of where

35:33

I need to be as a human being as a

35:35

pastor as a husband as a father as a

35:37

friend as a citizen and that persecutes

35:41

me and it should persecute you too we

35:44

will never achieve that gentility

35:46

that-that-that-that generosity but we

35:49

must strive for it we must must ask the

35:51

Holy Spirit to give it to us every day

35:53

and if we don't set for

35:55

our selves that goal we will never

35:58

achieve even closeness to it it's not

36:03

right right will not get you anywhere

36:05

yes well it will it will get you to

36:08

being miserable I assure you the more

36:10

you insist on your rights the more

36:12

defensive you are or what is due to you

36:15

the more miserable you become the more

36:18

people dislike you and the more the

36:21

entire system which constitutes the laws

36:24

of the universe will fight against you

36:25

and would make you trip every step of

36:28

the way you will grow further and

36:30

further away from what you desire

36:33

because the whole paradox of the gospel

36:36

is that as you forsake your right you

36:39

gain more of them and that is the

36:43

essence of this whole thing you know

36:47

this is why I would define also ap Akers

36:50

as the grandfatherly attitude of the

36:52

grandmotherly attitude you know the

36:54

attitude of the grandfather the

36:56

grandmother somebody asked asked us last

36:59

night you know what why do we why do

37:01

grandparents love their grandkids so

37:04

much well you know you you've seen

37:06

enough you've lived enough you've been

37:09

broken enough you've been humbled enough

37:12

among other things some of the the

37:15

enthusiasms and the just the raw energy

37:18

have been sapped from you by the

37:19

experiences of life you can afford to be

37:22

generous you know the parents they see

37:24

the kids and say this kid is gonna be a

37:25

criminal no doubt about it look at him

37:28

you know but the grandparents say huh

37:30

come on you did the same thing I

37:32

remember when you did this and you did

37:33

that and look you turned out pretty good

37:36

you know

37:37

grandparents have this tolerant attitude

37:39

and and all the older people older

37:42

people are like that you know they've

37:44

seen so much so I you know at the table

37:47

they're not out getting the best pork

37:49

chop you know that's alright if there's

37:51

something left give it to me at the end

37:52

sometimes you know sometimes the old can

37:55

be very creepy also but generally you

37:57

know it is the case the older you get

38:00

you know the less prone you are to fight

38:02

over things that when you were 20 or 25

38:05

you fought over because you've lived

38:08

and you know so and God was an eternal

38:10

perspective you can imagine how he can

38:12

see things this guy that right now you

38:15

feel he's a perfect candidate for Hell

38:17

in a particularly hot place in it God

38:21

says know that person I'm gonna save

38:23

them he's coming into my kingdom and

38:25

you'll be surprised when you see him up

38:26

there to say welcome because God sees

38:29

things in such an encompassing way you

38:31

know I think the more you live and the

38:33

more mistakes you make the more

38:35

compassion that you should become the

38:37

more loving we should become toward each

38:39

other the more patient and you know less

38:42

willing to fight and to stand up for

38:44

your rights because you know again

38:46

you're not the only player in any

38:49

situation when you know that God also

38:52

makes decisions on your behalf

38:55

when you act according to his spirit

38:59

then you know that there are other

39:00

things and that the devil is there

39:02

watching as well to see whether you're

39:03

gonna glorify him or the principles of

39:06

the kingdom you then you know you know

39:08

that no this is this is a big this is a

39:11

big theater here that I'm playing in so

39:15

you know it is the grandfather in the

39:17

attitude it's also what I call the

39:18

pastoral attitude in the best of

39:20

manifestations you know to be to have a

39:24

pastoral heart you need to put yourself

39:26

in tune with the context of the person

39:28

you need to read into their heart before

39:33

you make a judgement you need to have

39:34

that attitude of complexity and and see

39:39

in the entire drama of the human being

39:41

and not just at the moment this is what

39:45

a so I hastened to come to the end here

39:49

so I what I want to do is just at least

39:52

in you know impart to you this idea let

39:55

me explore this value more in my life

39:57

let me explore this idea of a pas of

40:01

being gentle and generous let me say to

40:04

a couple of observations in our end of

40:05

year one only the strong and spiritually

40:09

mature can exercise this quality it

40:14

takes great strength to be gentle it's a

40:16

paradox there only the very strong can

40:20

be truly gentle

40:21

to be a PA case to be generous requires

40:25

self-assurance and emotional strength

40:28

and emotional health on the other hand

40:32

the way to acquire this emotional health

40:34

this self assurance is to practice this

40:36

quality by faith and that to continually

40:39

meditate upon it to ask the Lord to give

40:41

you more of it to make it a value that

40:43

you are want to strive for so you have

40:47

to you have to in order to exercise this

40:50

generosity this gentleness you have to

40:52

be secure in your own skin you you have

40:55

you can only do this when you operate

40:58

from a position of sufficiency because

41:02

if you are living hand-to-mouth it's

41:04

often very hard to be generous this is

41:07

what's happening in America you see

41:09

every each side sees itself as mortally

41:13

threatened and right now we see we know

41:18

and it is true to a certain degree we

41:20

are fighting for it's two systems of

41:23

value two worldviews two attitudes

41:26

toward the world that have found a

41:29

theatre to fight it out in that's what

41:31

it that's what it's all about right now

41:33

in the world as a whole it's two

41:35

paradigms to two archetypes that have

41:39

become really defined and so we know

41:41

that we are fighting it for something

41:43

that is very very valuable the real

41:46

estate of this nation and and when you

41:49

know and we feel threatened by the other

41:51

side we say we lose this we have lost

41:54

many many powerfully valuable things so

41:58

when you're feeling like that you cannot

42:01

you you're not generous when you're

42:05

feeling insecure threatened violated and

42:08

fragile it's very hard to be generous

42:12

and I think that this might explain why

42:14

Paul you know they otherwise it might

42:17

sound like a non secular some that

42:18

almost doesn't follow let your

42:20

gentleness be evident to all the Lord is

42:22

near where does that come from the Lord

42:26

is near I mean he's he's speaking about

42:28

an apocalyptic thing here and he's

42:31

talking on the other hand he's talking

42:32

about something that's quotidian and

42:33

daily behave

42:34

I think it's a connection between the

42:37

two I think when you know that the Lord

42:39

is near and and of course the word the

42:41

Lord is near can be interpreted many

42:43

ways the Lord is near to you physically

42:45

present or the Lord is near his coming

42:47

is is near there's all kinds of ways but

42:51

I think what the connection in Paul's

42:53

mind is yes that when you when when you

42:56

know that God is near you or or that the

42:58

coming of the Lord that eternity is

43:00

nearby

43:02

all of a sudden it puts the world into

43:04

context you see only when eternity is a

43:09

powerful factor in your life can you

43:11

afford to be generous if you live for

43:13

the here and now and you think that this

43:15

world is all there is and that your

43:18

career your profession the next stage of

43:22

your of ascent is what matters to you

43:25

you know you cannot be generous now if

43:28

you know that the Lord is near you that

43:30

you live in the strength of the Lord

43:32

that if you honor God he will honor you

43:34

that those who seek your destruction if

43:38

they're operating from malevolent

43:40

principles will be destroyed in the end

43:42

like Haman with Esther then you can

43:45

afford to walk in the middle of the fire

43:47

and know that God is with you if you

43:50

live in the light of eternity

43:51

circumstances don't affect you as much

43:53

and you can be generous this is what

43:56

allowed Paul to write from a prison

43:59

rejoice again I say rejoice

44:01

this man is wasting away in a prison

44:05

cell and he's saying rejoice why you can

44:09

read in the book of Philippians because

44:11

he he lived in the light of the gospel

44:13

he knew that his life had value and

44:16

meaning in the light of what he

44:17

accomplished for the gospel he knew that

44:20

if he died it would be better for him

44:22

maybe we'll have a chance to explore

44:23

that a little bit what context do you

44:25

live in do you live in the context of

44:27

eternity and the spirit and the universe

44:29

that is so complex or do you live in the

44:32

light of just now this is this cheap way

44:36

of looking at the world America I'm not

44:40

making sense maybe I do you I hope I'm

44:44

not getting too much out there that you

44:46

I

44:46

whose connection here see so you you

44:52

need to be positioned in strength in

44:56

order to be generous you see it over and

44:58

over again when you see the the prodigal

45:00

son versus the the good son

45:02

you know the this quarter called good

45:06

son who stayed home didn't break a plate

45:08

you know just well-behaved when his

45:10

father exercises generosity this happy

45:12

Akos toward the prodigal son that has

45:14

waited his money and goner and put a

45:17

shame into the family when when the Sun

45:20

comes the when the prodigal son comes

45:23

the wrong word by the way the wasteful

45:26

son comes the good son who stayed shows

45:29

really what is in his heart resentment

45:31

how can you

45:32

this guy has wasted all your money how

45:34

can you give him more how can you

45:35

restore him as if he had not done

45:37

nothing now the father is possessed

45:40

again remembered about the grandfatherly

45:41

attitude the father is processed with

45:43

this generous attitude the father knows

45:45

that there's enough to give to the

45:47

wasteful son and that to the good son

45:50

they both have fun they'll both they can

45:53

both live well now the the good son

45:56

lives from an attitude of scarcity

45:59

counting his little coins you never gave

46:02

me this you never allowed me to do that

46:03

you and the father's son what are you

46:05

talking about all that I have is yours

46:07

why don't you enjoy it you mean to tell

46:10

me now that you've been living like this

46:13

so and that this is what's motivating

46:16

you to be so judgmental toward you and

46:17

so lacking in generosity toward your

46:19

brother the whole thing is yours

46:23

you're gonna inherit at all why be so

46:26

cheap you see and we have to ask the

46:30

Lord father help me to understand what a

46:33

blessing I have I have the entire

46:36

universe at my disposal

46:37

you have blessed me with all kinds of

46:39

good things all kinds of promises will

46:42

follow me all the days of my life you

46:44

are committed at to me I have the

46:46

resources of the great creator of the

46:48

cosmos on my behalf

46:51

I have the power of Jesus Christ with me

46:56

now we're not mindful enough of that

46:59

and so that's why we act so cheaply in

47:01

life when you live in the light of

47:04

eternity and you see that the man

47:07

there's so many levers affecting every

47:10

situation in the world not just the one

47:12

that you press there are thousand others

47:14

you can afford to take life a little

47:16

more at ease and that of course is the

47:20

source of health and emotional health of

47:24

good sleep and vitality because most of

47:28

us we live like the good Sun you know we

47:30

come to church we're behaving well and

47:32

with everybody else go to hell you know

47:36

and instead of saying hey you know I

47:37

have this good God who has forgiven me

47:39

who's promised me all kinds of great

47:41

things has given me all these kinds of

47:42

resources and then you can afford to

47:46

lose a few things to make some mistakes

47:49

because you know that you lived from a

47:51

perspective of absolute abundance the

47:54

father forgives you he restores you he

47:56

provides for you yes you lost your job

47:58

but there's a thousand other jobs

48:00

waiting yes you made a mistake yes

48:04

somebody exploited you but success is

48:07

right around the corner yes you had a

48:10

bad experience but you're gonna grow out

48:12

of through that experience you gonna

48:13

become stronger you're gonna become

48:14

better you're gonna become wiser you see

48:17

you you adopt this attitude you you

48:19

always win it's all good as a believer

48:24

you live within this context of goodness

48:27

and if the moment is not good just wait

48:31

in a while the Sun will come out it'll

48:34

get better because you have this God

48:35

who's committed to you and then extend

48:37

that same grace to others as well I

48:39

think it's something that is the source

48:41

of health instead of the the the other

48:45

attitude which is fighting for every bit

48:47

of territory every inch I mean that's

48:50

that that wears you out man you can't

48:52

sleep well that way just learn that if

48:56

you honor God and if God is pleased with

48:58

you he will make even your enemies

49:01

inhabit in peace with you

49:04

he will turn the heart of your enemies

49:07

toward you you will be pursued by

49:10

goodness what is the psalmist saying

49:12

some 23 qin sea el viene la mesa decoded

49:14

i'm a seguir on total loss dia de vida

49:16

certainly goodness and what else and

49:18

mercy will pursue me the idea is that

49:21

will help me you know when you live a

49:24

pleasing God and God is your Shepherd I

49:27

mean he sends hounds of goodness after

49:29

you every day they'll follow you you

49:31

can't do but succeed you can't do but

49:35

grow stronger and better and wiser and

49:38

more powerful because you have the

49:42

goodness of the of God and you're

49:44

flowing according to the true laws of

49:46

the universe

49:46

not to get too deep on you all of a

49:48

sudden when you're when you're living

49:51

against the wind it wears you out

49:53

now when you live according to how God

49:56

has constituted the universe you're like

49:58

a ship flowing in according to the wind

50:02

behind you pushing you along and this is

50:05

why we have to get in sync with the

50:06

heart of Christ thank you and how he

50:09

sees and treats the world

50:12

I invite us to adopt this attitude of

50:13

goodness those who exercise and

50:17

internalize the quality of a PA kiss and

50:19

gentility

50:20

will be the very picture of emotional

50:22

health wholeness and commitment so I

50:25

pray that this morning my dear brothers

50:28

and sisters I pray for myself first of

50:30

all that God will lead us toward that

50:35

attitude

50:35

would you like to embrace that attitude

50:38

with me right now in the name of Christ

50:39

and to renounce its opposite right now

50:43

this morning I invite you to take a

50:44

moment to look inside yourself and as I

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do right now with myself as the word

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speaks to me say father how am i living

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my life

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am i living my do I have an attitude of

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generosity and of patience and of

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assuming the best in others do I am I

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always fighting for my right ha ha from

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what position do I approach my marriage

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the way I deal with my children my

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relationships with others friendships

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and other things my family what kind of

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an influence am i what kind of a

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presence am i in my job am i a presence

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of wholesomeness and goodness and unity

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and harmony and reconciliation because I

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do well be pondered under the shadow of

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the Almighty or am I an element of

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conflict and bitterness and back and

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forth father I have I have I adopted

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have I embraced this position this

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posture of sufficiency having enough

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that your word invites me to is eternity

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enough of a presence in my being that I

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can live in the light of it and I can

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resolve the situation's of the now in

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the light of the forever

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do I know that I have so much of the

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power of Christ in me that I need

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revelation in order to understand it

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because humanly I cannot even conceive

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of how pop how much power dwells within

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me and then does that power that I have

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within me

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invite me to be generous and patient and

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to lose a lot because I know that I can

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make up a lot so that the principles of

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the kingdom are affirmed and honored

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knowing that if I do that you will fight

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for me and that if you fight for me who

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can condemn me who can judge me who can

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steal from me who can impoverish me

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ultimately if you are on my side and you

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are my favor now invite I invite our

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church to be that place Lord made this

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place be a place of reconciliation a

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place of generosity may have been known

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as a place of refuge and compassion may

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it never be a place of scored

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cheapness we embrace the spirit of Jesus

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Christ we embrace the generosity of the

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Father

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help us to dwell in that place now Holy

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Spirit of God come lead us from here

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with a commitment to do that do inside

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yourself now you don't need to do it

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physically raise your hand inside

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yourself and say I'm the goddess BTT God

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is speaking to me I want to live that

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way

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wanna be dumb

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thank you Father thank you lord

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thank you let your gentleness

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the evident to all let it be such a

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distinctive thing that people know you

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for that that if we have a tattoo all

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and let congregation line of Judah that

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our gentleness be evident to the entire

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city Lord is near