He also keeps you steady and close to Him even when things are going well and you might tend to humanly relax and give up.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right today? Bless your heart. I trust everything is going well with you as you trust your Lord and obey Him. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. The miles drop away and here we are together around the Word of God. What a blessed wonderful experience this is. I love it. And thank you for being there, if you weren’t there, wouldn’t be anybody there? Thank you for tuning in and joining with us as we look into God’s inerrant, infallible word, The Bible.
Now, what we’ve been doing is to use Galatians 5:22-23 as a commentary. On the phrase that was in our study of 2 Peter 1, “By these promises ye might be partakers, sharers in the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” What is the divine nature and how does it make itself known in ones life? Well, for the answer to that, then we’ve gone over to Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit. The result of God working in your life, the evidence that God is doing something in your life, that’s what Paul is saying, that God is working like God works in your life.
So that’s a profile then, isn’t it? Of the results of God’s nature working in you, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer. He comes in to dwell in your heart when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and it’s your privilege and mine to open every one of the rooms in our heart-house, by faith to the Spirit of God so that He can fill our whole life. And when He does, Paul says “The fruit, the result of the Spirit is working in our life,” are these wonderful qualities that he lists in Galatians 5:22-23, love and joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We talked about faith the last time we got together and used this, some portion of Hebrews 11 as an illustration of how faith works. Remember that?
Now, we come to this word “meekness.” It’s related to another word that’s translated kindness, gentleness. Gentleness in Galatians 5:22 is related to the word “meekness” in 5:23. And they are similar except gentleness has to do with the way you act and react in situations. Meekness has to do with your attitude toward people, there is the difference. To be meek has to do with your attitude toward people. The Lord Jesus said of himself, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and riding upon a colt.” Was the prophecy that our Lord Jesus fulfilled when he came into Jerusalem.
Meekness abstains from all flaunting of ones self in relationship to other people. “Look at me, see how good I am.” “See, how holy I am.” “See, how much smarter I am than you.” No, that’s not meekness, that’s pride. Meekness is the opposite of pride. Humility is a God-ward virtue. If you are humble, that means that you’re depending on God every split second of the time. If you are meek, that means you have the right attitude toward other human beings, and you don’t consider yourself better than they are.
As a matter of fact, a meek person realizes that other people around him are a folk of immense value. Jesus said, concerning one human being “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or once having lost it, what shall he give in exchange for his soul?” You can’t buy it back. So, that our Blessed Lord looked at other human beings, at human beings, he was fully human as well as being fully divine. And in that exalted and yet lowly position, after having been this, “The Jewel of Heaven,” he emptied himself of all of that Glory, and was made in the form of a servant. He took upon himself the likeness of man.
And now in that position the creator and the sustainer of all of the universes looks at other human beings and says, “They’re valuable.” Now, that’s meekness. And interestingly enough now, this is a quality of God’s working in our hearts. Has that ever occurred to you that God is not only glorious, and great and mighty? “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable,” said the Psalmist. Our God is not only great and mighty. One of His names is “Almighty God.” But also he is the God of Meekness, that beautiful quality that looks at another individual and recognizes eternal value, “For God so loved the world.”
See, when you talk about meekness you go right to John 3:16, don’t you? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God is great enough to run the universe, but he is meek enough to sit with you at the breakfast table and whisper to you, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” God is not too big to listen to your prayers.
Please don’t believe the people who tell you that you shouldn’t bother God with small things. Our Lord Jesus said that God is so great, that He has assigned a separate number to every one of the hair follicles on your head. He said the hairs of your head are all numbered. He didn’t say counted. And so He is the God of infinite patience and infinite detail. He cares. “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” So you can talk with God about the most — almost, you may say “insignificant things” and he will respond in grace and mercy and love because the fruit of the Spirit is meekness.
A part of God’s nature is revealed in you, in what the Bible calls “meekness.” Your attitude toward other people, an attitude of love, an attitude of appreciation, an attitude of knowing that the other individual has an eternal soul that needs salvation, an attitude of empathy with other’s needs, an attitude of reaching out to help all of these and more wrapped up in that word “meekness.”
Then he goes on to this final word in the list called “temperance.” Does God need to be temperate? What is this? One of the results of God working in your life by the indwelling Holy Spirit is what the Bible says “temperance.” Now, some people read it self-control. But actually if you look it up in your Greek New Testament or your Greek Lexicon, you’ll find that it’s a combination word with the little prefix en- which means in and then the word “Kratos.” So that the word that’s translated meekness is “enkrateia” which means inner strength. Inner strength, inner strength. Oh, I need that, don’t you?
Where do our failures begin? They begin inside of us. Where do our lapses from the Will of God start? They start inside of us, inner strength. When the Holy Spirit of God is in control of your life as he indwells you, He gives you God’s strength to stand up against the pressures of life, and the burdens of life, and the heartaches of life and the disappointments of life, as well, as to keep you steady in the happiness’s and joys of life.
You see, temperance has two sides to it. Temperance keeps you steady under pressure, and temperance, inner strength keeps you steady when everything is going well and the sun is shining. The average person doesn’t fail God under the pressures of, let us say, being broke or being ill or being in sorrow or bereavement. The average person under such experiences will tend to draw closer to God. That’s why the Lord allows us to have some of these experiences, just to nudge us a little closer to His own great heart.
The average person tends to wander from God when things are going well. “Things are going well. Everything is fine and I don’t have to pray as much now.” “Everything is coming up roses, and I don’t have to seek God now, everything is fine.” That’s the way it works. And so the result of God being in control of your life means, that He enables you to stand up against the pressures of life, the negative pressures of finance, and of health, and of family, and of relationships and of heartache. He also keeps you steady and close to Him when things are going well and you might tend humanly to relax and give up. Do you follow that?
Well, “That by these promises ye might have — be partakers. You might be partakers, sharers in the divine nature.” The Holy Spirit of God dwelling in your life and the Word of God being applied to your life produces this blessed combination that gives evidence that God is actually doing something inside of you. The greatest testimony in the world is not what you say, of what people can see you really are under pressure. Amen.
Well, now, let’s go back then to 1 Peter chapter 1. And he says, “That by these promises ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” That’s our word “desire.” James points out, that temptation comes not from God, but from our own inner life. “Let no man say when he is tempted,” James remarks in Chapter 1 Verse 13, “And let no man say I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he any men.” “But,” says James “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, his own desires and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err my beloved brethren.”
You see, the problem starts inside, doesn’t it? That’s why the list of the fruit of the Spirit ended with that word “temperance.” We need to be made strong inside. And so, he said “One of the great results of sharing in the divine nature is that you’re kept clean in a dirty world, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Now, the next time we get together we will talk about how God keeps you clean. And that’s going to be a blessed time, I promise you.
Blessed Lord, we thank Thee for Jesus our Lord, thank Thee for the indwelling Holy Spirit and we pray that today there would be evidence that God is doing something in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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