Open Heavens Devotional: Fruit of the Spirit III – Thursday, 25th January 2018
Memorise: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” – Acts 10:38
Read: Luke 22:47-53 (KJV)
47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
Bible in One Year: Exodus 4-6, Romans 1:1-17
In continuation of our reflection on the fruit of the Spirit, we will be considering the following dimensions of the Holy Spirit’s character: gentleness and goodness. Gentleness is a nature that maintains the appropriate compartment in the face of provocative events. Only the Holy Spirit can help a mortal being behave correctly or appropriately in the face of an event that seems to threaten his or her peace, or which stands in his or her way to actualizing the desired goal. In today’s Bible reading, we see the Lord Jesus Christ manifesting this character in the Garden of Gethsemane. In spite of Judas’ betrayal, the sorrow of bearing the burden of sin and the degrading treatment meted out to Him, He stilled healed the ear of Malchus, servant of the high priest, which Peter had chopped off in His defense. The gravity of the character exhibited here by the Lord becomes more sobering when we realise that He could have asked for more than twelve legions of angels to fight for Him and they would have been granted Him, but He chose not to do this in order to achieve His goal of finishing the work of salvation for mankind (Matthew 26:53-54). Beloved, we need to manifest the nature of gentleness if we will not take laws into our hands. Romans 12:19 says:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The Lord will always fight our battles for us if only we will allow Him to do it in His own way.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44
How can a man obey these words? How can a person do good to those who hate him or her? The Lord Himself showed us the possibility of obeying this difficult injunction by doing good to those who out of hatred came to arrest and crucify Him. How was He able to do it? Acts 10:38 answers this question; it reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ went about doing good because He had a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The character of goodness is the nature of the Holy Spirit, and only by cultivating a relationship with Him can we manifest this character. If we don’t do good to others, our faith is useless and without meaning (James 2:14-26). I encourage you, therefore, to be doer of good deeds, because by this your soul-winning efforts will be effective.
Prayer Point: Gentle Holy Spirit, I covet your gentle nature. Let this character of Yours manifest in my life and empower to do good deeds to all those around me.
I Need Thee Every Hour
1. I Need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee,
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh bless me now, my Saviour;
I come to Thee.
2. I need Thee every hour;
Stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their pow’r
When Thou art nigh.
3. I need Thee every hour,
In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain.
4. I need Thee every hour;
Teach me Thy will,
And Thy rich promises
In me fulfil.
5. I need Thee every hour,
Most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son.
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