I woke up in the edges of a dream where I saw dangling letters, chunky cartoon-like letters in upper and lowercases, hung on strings, blowing in the breeze hanging from the roof of my mind (wow what a cave!)… I guess these letters dancing will remind me to finish this writing of how the Word’s word “genuineness” looked like “gentleness” to me in my reading:
It’s not unusual for me to multitask, not just with my hands, but in my brain I might have 3 conversations at the same time. Yup. That’s why music that fills 2/3 of my brain possibly keeps that part busy and allows that last third of my brain to get work done.
I read this passage as my brain was mulling over what I could say to my family members (really anyone) about their belief in an afterlife, about knowing and acknowledging Jesus. Many of us wonder how to share and see someone’s commitment to Christ within our family and friends. Really, except for the obvious oblivious, it is unknown to use whether some people are saved or not, we can’t measure their mustard seed of faith, as Jesus does the judging, we just do the nudging… and in my triple tasking mind, one third sleepy, one third talking to myself, it was in the third third that God morphed an important word: “genuineness” appeared as “gentleness”. YES, as it is the Spirit directing me to continue sharing faith, the Spirit is also reminding of nudging in GENTLENESS (as well as GENUINENESS)… Maybe my eyes morphed and SAW “Gentleness” in the softness of my heart, but I know in my soul that the Word which does NOT change, and the Word brings clarity.
Gentleness is what happens when genuineness in faith gets you thru the trials of life. Peter’s 1st letter (ch1 v6-8) is where my morphing eyes probably got the other letters from these dangling in the breeze thru my swiss cheese mind:
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven GENUINENESS of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
Faith by fire is almost a guaranteed position we are placed in… but either you are IN the fire (ouch) or near it’s warming warmth (ahhhh…). So genuine gentleness, AND real witness of saving grace, will demonstrate that your faith IS more valuable to you than gold… and gold is VERY valuable as a solid rock of interest. Well, our rock of faith is unseen but joy-filling. Our rock IS Jesus the Christ. Our lives sometimes inside a rock tumbler, but our faith is what is shined, genuine-ed and refined…
Another rock reference: Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ … and, ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1st Peter 2
I love how God uses real tangible things like rocks to describe Himself and His plan… ESPECIALLY since He doesn’t want us to listen to the rumblings of loose rocks in our head but feel the FIRM Rock of Faith in our souls, the Rock which makes us stumble when we don’t listen or obey, the Rock who rocks our perceived notions of God, and the Rock of which we are to build our faith upon. The Rock of Jesus…
Jesus is genuine gentle God.
Jesus is the rock that stumbles and saves.
Gentleness is not catching more flies with honey, gentleness is about being yourself (and gentleness in my family is treasured) – so gentleness is genuine for me. We are also to hear the rattling of the reminders that the unsaved are running out of time, and hear loud authoritative types warning of accepting salvation, saying: “repent or die!”…
I love this cartoon posted recently (attached) which shows a doomsday prophet’s day job with an orange hardhat in a construction crew, his sign says: “The bend is near”. Well, we could look to the end of life or even the next bend in life, the next tumble in the rocks of our life tumbler, OR we could find our Rock of Faith in Jesus, build on it and make straight the path for Him, to Him, with Him… then, you who believe in him and have received His mercy can be “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
We can be the gentleness of HIS genuineness – and warm (and warn):
THAT THE END IS NEAR BUT THE SAVIOR IS HERE.