Wednesday, February 29, 2012

eBook Review: How Do We Know The Bible Is True by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge

ABOUT (From the Publisher):

how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-trueToday there are untold voices in print, on television, and online calling for our attention, and so many of these mock or belittle our faith. From coworkers to those calling themselves Christians, the tone has become one of reproach, disparaging the character of God and undermining the authority of the Bible. For those who have a heart for God, it can be intimidating and discouraging.

How Do We Know the Bible is True?is based on the absolute authority of God’s Word, not man-centered explanations. Clearly presented, it will help bring clarity in a world filled with increasingly vague notions of truth. Over 20 relevant issues are discussed including:

  • Is the Bible totally without error?
  • Did the resurrection really happen?
  • How do we know that the 66 books of the Bible are from God?
  • Does the Bible contradict itself?
  • How were people saved before Jesus came?
  • What is the purpose and meaning of life?
  • Did miracles really happen?
  • Was Genesis derived from ancient myths?
  • How should we interpret the Bible; should Genesis be literal?
  • Do you have to believe in a young earth to be saved?

Within these pages you will find responses to those honest questions of faith, helping to build a confidence in God’s Word and inspiring your daily walk in His grace and peace.

These powerful biblical insights are soundly presented by more than a dozen respected defenders of the faith, including Ken Ham, John MacArthur, Terry Mortenson, Jason Lisle, Brian Edwards, Tommy Mitchell, Jobe Martin, Georgia Purdom, Bodie Hodge, and Roger Patterson.

6 x 9 • 300 Pages • Paper


First, you must understand that this a collection, more than a book. There are 28 topics covered by a variety of different authors. To me, that makes this a good study book, but not something that you would necessarily read cover to cover, thought many might choose to do so. I say that because some chapters, or topics, were not as interesting to me as others. I could see this work being used best as something you referred to when faced with questions on a certain subject, almost like an encyclopedia.

One thing that I appreciated was that this work uses the Bible as its source of truth first, then reaching out to outside sources. You will find a variety of topics. One of my favorite ones was on the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.


This is a book that I would recommend as a good source of information and something to keep handy when doing basic fact-finding research. You can purchase this book here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

eBook Review: Answers Book 4 Teens

ABOUT (from the Publisher):

There’s no mistake...God is seeking you.

Friends, teachers, and the world in general will tell you that Christianity and faith is a lie. Atheism and Eastern religions are more fashionable. The culture tells you to look and act certain ways or people will think you’re a loser or weird. If you say you believe in God, you can expect people to be in your face, doing their best to tear down God, the Bible, and your belief in Christ.

By now, you may even have a few doubts – everything seems so crazy and pointless, how can you believe God really does care about what is going on with you? Or if God is in charge of this chaos called life?

You aren’t the only one with questions! Find great answers to 15 popular faith questions and discover why the world is such a mess, why you can believe in Christ, and why God wants a relationship with you!

For ages 13 to 17

7 x 9 • 96 pages • Paper

The issue of God, Creation, and what is being taught to teens and young adults is something that I have always been fascinated with, ever since my days at the Norris Bible Baptist Seminary while sitting in my Pentateuch class listening to the teachings of Bro. Jonathan Stewart. While not everyone has the blessing and opportunity to be immersed in this subject at a Seminary, this book does a good job in answering many questions young believers, those who are curious and seeking God, and even many non-believers, have about God, Creation, Evolution, etc. This is the kind of book that you could give to someone on the subject, and them not be overwhelmed with all the technical and scientific details, thought they are out there for those who want further study. 

This book is primarily geared towards teens, so it also delves into the issues many of them face today, such as sex, homosexuality, etc. In doing so, it is very compassionate, yet firm on the truth of God's Word. My only really complaint is that it is geared towards teens. I say that because this would be a good resource to give anyone of any age, but they may be turned off of it because they are "too old." Then again, there may be another version of this out there for adults, and I have just not seen it yet.

I would whole-heartily recommend this book to every tween and teen, especially those in a public school, and or, College University. I would also recommend it to anyone who is curious and seeking the truth about God, while encouraging them to not get "bogged down" with the teen branding of the book. You can purchase a paperback copy here

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”







· Love (Agape – God’s love in us)…joy (In Jesus, despite circumstances)…peace (inner, outer, eternal)…longsuffering (patience) …Gentleness (kindness)…Goodness (doing good for others)…Faith (faithfulness)…

· Today, we come to Meekness, which has been defined as:

o Matthew Poole – Forbearance of passion, rash anger, and hastiness of spirit.

o Matthew Henry – Governing our passions and resentments, so as not to be easily provoked, and, when we are so, to be soon pacified.

· We could easily summarize meekness as having our power under control.

o Power=authority, emotions, passions, etc.

· In regards to studying meekness this week, I read this: "If all God's attributes were offered at auction, the last one to be sold would be meekness.[1]

· Meekness is not an attribute that this society promotes. So, who do we look to? Jesus is our example.

o Matthew 11:29 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.

o The meekness of Jesus in seen in His willingness to empty Himself to the will of His Heavenly Father.

o He had the power to stop his trial, crucifixion, etc. But His meekness is heard in the words of His prayer in the Garden, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

· This is the pattern that we should follow.

o Exercising our power, or our God-given free-will, and yielding ourselves to God.

· We will study two ways to develop meekness in our lives as we yield to the Holy Spirit today:


a. Meekness is not mildness and it is not weakness. Meekness means that you will do God’s will, that you are willing to yield your will to the will of God.[2]

b. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

c. What does it mean to submit to God’s will?

d. One way to define “submission to God’s will” is the presenting of yourself to Him as a LIVING sacrifice.

e. A sacrifice was totally consumed on the altar.

i. We are to be totally consumed by Jesus Christ.

f. But notice the difference from this sacrifice and the OT sacrifices:

i. #1 - We are presenting ourselves – not forced…tied down, etc.

ii. #2 - Living sacrifice – we can get off at any time…daily choice to live for God.

g. All this speaks to the choice we have in giving everything we have over to God.

h. And because we are not giving ourselves freely over to God, we are more CONFORMED by the world than TRANSFORMED by the Word.

i. Meekness, in essence, is the choice to take our power, our might, our ability, and give it over completely to God.

j. Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.


a. James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

i. Def of Superfluity – abundance

ii. Speaks of excess of sin and an overflow of the filth of the world.

iii. The word ‘overflow’ does not mean that some wickedness is all right and the Christian should only be concerned about excess in wickedness. James’s point is that we are to get rid of remaining sin. [3]

iv. And we do this by submitting ourselves to the Word of God.

v. James says that we do this by receiving it.

vi. EX: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

1. This appears to be the oldest English proverb that is still in regular use today. It was recorded as early as 1175 in Old English Homilies.

2. Simply means that people will only do what they have a mind to do.[4]

b. God could have, in all of His sovereign power, forced you and me to worship Him and to receive His Word.

i. But He has created all of us and given to us free-will, so that we may CHOOSE to worship Him and receive His Word.

c. It is a choice that each of us have today – submit to the Word of God. How do we do this?

i. Recognize that God is the author: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

ii. Recognize that God know best what is for us: Romans 8:28–29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

iii. Recognize that God will teach usPsalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.


It is through reading and meditating on God’s Word that we learn what God’s will is for our life.

If we are not reading and meditating on our Bible, then we cannot expect to be living in the will of God.


[2] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (105). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (57–58). Leominster: Day One Publications.


Monday, February 20, 2012




·       Love (Agape – God’s love in us)…joy (In Jesus, despite circumstances)…peace (inner, outer, eternal)…longsuffering (patience) …Gentleness (kindness)…Goodness (doing good for others).
·       Today we come to Faith, or FAITHFULNESS.
·       We know that God is faithful to us in all things.
o  1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
o  1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
·       We know God is faithful, and He gifts to us the ability through the Holy Spirit to be faithful. But what does it mean to be faithful?
·       Faith, in this list, means faithfulness. If you are a child of God, you will be faithful.
o  If you are married, you will be faithful to your husband or wife.
o  If you are an employee, you are going to be faithful to your job and to your boss.
o  If you are a church member, you are going to be faithful to your church.
o  You are going to be faithful wherever you are and in whatever you do.[1]
·       This will be our focus this morning - FAITHFULNESS IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE
a.   Ecclesiastes 5:4–7 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.
b.   Promises inevitably spring from an encounter with God in worship and Word.
                                                            i.      But, we must be careful, for the Preacher {of Ecclesiastes} goes on to say, ‘Better not to vow than to vow and not pay’ (v. 5). It would appear that he is telling his readers that many vows made to God are unnecessary, but once made, must be kept.
                                                         ii.      We see this tragically depicted in the story of Jephthah and his daughter (Judg. 11:29–40).
1.   Vows to go to make a burnt offering of the first person who walks through the door if God will defeat the Ammorites.
2.   God does and the first person who walks through the door is his daughter. He fulfilled his vow.
                                                      iii.      How many idle promises do we make to God in the heat of the moment or in the charged atmosphere of a particular circumstance? How many have we fulfilled?
                                                       iv.      Jesus taught that it was better to say nothing and then do the will of God than to make an idle promise that would remain unfulfilled (Matt. 21:28–312 sons in vineyard). Peter was quick to say to Jesus: ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you!’ (Matt. 26:35); yet it was not long before his words were rendered meaningless (Matt. 26:69–75).[2]
                                                          v.      We need to take our promises seriously – because God does!
a.   Matthew 19:1-9
                                                            i.      We live in a throw away world – and this includes people’s marriages.
                                                         ii.      EX: Funeral – 35 years at death.
                                                      iii.      Now, people do it for whatever reason: I’m not happy…etc.
1.   A sign of the selfishness of our day.
                                                       iv.      But if God brought you together, then you should not split it.
                                                          v.      Children are often used as the reason why there needs to be a divorce (They deserve a happy mom/dad…) – BUT THEY ARE ALWAYS THE ONES WHO SUFFER THE MOST.
                                                       vi.      We’ve spent years and years trying to remove the stigma away from something that Jesus says should not be divided, and that Moses only gave it because of the hardness of people’s heart.
b.   But it is more than just marriage, what about your kids, job, etc. Can people count on you?
                                                            i.      Christians should be the most trustworthy of all people, yet it is often furthest from the truth.
                                                         ii.      EX: Christian business
a.   Matt 22:34-40
b.   What are your priorities?
c.    If I have to prioritize God, put God into some sort of hierarchical to-do list, then I have missed the whole concept of what it means to walk with God.
                                                            i.      First, God isn’t a priority in life; God is life. He isn’t more important than your family any more than air is more important than your shoes. I don’t prioritize breathing; I breathe so that I live.[3]
d.   When we make God our full focus, when He is our life – then the right things will be our priorities.
e.   Family
f.      Church
g.    Serving others in our community to spread the Gospel.
h.   Too many Christians make work…activities…hobbies…their hobbies…their tradition…their first priority.
i.      Where you spend your time is where your priorities are located.
Can you be counted on to be faithful?

[1] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (105). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[2] Winter, J. (2005). Opening up Ecclesiastes (73–74). Leominster: Day One Publications.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

eBook Review: Against Calvinism by Roger Olson

against calvinism


Calvinist theology has been debated and promoted for centuries. But is it a theology that should last? Roger Olson suggests that Calvinism, also commonly known as Reformed theology, holds an unwarranted place in our list of accepted theologies. In Against Calvinism, readers will find scholarly arguments explaining why Calvinist theology is incorrect and how it affects God's reputation. Olson draws on a variety of sources, including Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience, to support his critique of Calvinism and the more historically rich, biblically faithful alternative theologies he proposes. Addressing what many evangelical Christians are concerned about today---so-called 'new Calvinism,' a movement embraced by a generation labeled as 'young, restless, Reformed' ---Against Calvinism is the only book of its kind to offer objections from a non-Calvinist perspective to the current wave of Calvinism among Christian youth. As a companion to Michael Horton's For Calvinism, readers will be able to compare contrasting perspectives and form their own opinions on the merits and weaknesses of Calvinism.


This was a really good book to read on a subject that is not too in vogue in today’s intellectual Christianity – anti-Calvinism. So much of what is being taught and produced today seems to be from a Calvinistic perspective, with such names a John Piper and RC Sproul leading that charge. Now, the common assumption is that if you are not Calvinistic in your soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), then you just are not studied or learned. But Roger Olson does a good job in shedding light on the dangers of this way of thinking, especially in regards to the “High Calvinism” that is so prevalent today in the Christian Blogosphere. The author doesdead tulip petals a good job in picking apart the TULIP petal by petal with good, sound, biblical logic and understanding and showing how, just as I believe, that Calvinism does not promote the goodness of God, but takes away from His love, mercy, and justice.

My only real fault with the book is that often times the author would bring up an issue, and then follow it up with a phrase along the lines of, “and I will deal with this more in a later chapter.” I understand needing to do this once or twice, but it happened so much that it became a little distracting for me near the end.


While there may be other major areas that I disagree with the author on (Ecclesiology, etc.), and I would not call myself an Armenian as he would, this is still an excellent book on this subject. He deals with it truthfully, yet tactfully and honorably without the normal venom and name-calling that this divisive issue usually brings (from BOTH sides!).  You would do well to pick up this book and read it for all that it is worth if this is a subject that you are interested in.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday 11am 2/12/12 - Goodness: Doing Good For Others

Full Audio Message

·       Love (Agape – God’s love in us)…joy (In Jesus, despite circumstances)…peace (inner, outer, eternal)…longsuffering (patience) …Gentleness (kindness).
·       The Greek word for goodness is one that is only used in the Bible and not in secular Greek and can be defined as virtue equipped at every point.[1]
·       Speaks toward generosity, doing good when we have the opportunity to do so.
I.                  GOD’S GOODNESS TO US
a.   Psalm 145:8–9 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; Slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The LORD is good to all: And his tender mercies are over all his works.
                                                            i.      Anti-Calvinism
1.   How is it good to purposely choose some for salvation when it is within your power to choose everyone?
2.   That is not good or merciful.
3.   All his works – God’s work was and is good. It is man who exercises his free-will choice that mars it.
                                                         ii.      Mercies over – God’s mercy and goodness out-shine all of His other works.
b.   God’s goodness is filled within us:
c.    Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
d.   2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
                                                            i.      It is God who fulfills in us His good pleasure. We can’t do it on our own.
                                                         ii.      It is a work and a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
II.               GOD’S GOODNESS IN US
a.   Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
b.   I believe in doing good, but you have to have the right foundation under the good deeds. The right foundation is the gospel of the grace of God and walking in the Spirit of God.
                                                            i.      When you walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is produced. Then, … you are going to do good. You will do good for all men, especially for other believers.[2]
c.    All men first – not for our benefit – for the gospel.
                                                            i.      Food Bank – Gleaners
                                                         ii.      Meals at church
                                                      iii.      Serve meals Fri before Easter
                                                       iv.      Community service
                                                          v.      Park Program outreach
                                                       vi.      If we were to shut our doors, would the community even notice.
                                                    vii.      We have to change our mindset…who we are…if not – WE SHOULD SHUT OUR DOORS.
d.   Especially…faith – we cannot ignore our own
                                                            i.      Who have we helped?
1.   EX: Youth Camp fund…Van…remodel…might not immediately benefit us so we say NO.
                                                         ii.      If we look around and don’t see anyone we can help – then we are not attracting the kind of people Jesus did.
Goodness – who are you helping…sacrificing for?
We should not only look for people to help, but follow through and do so.
When it comes from God’s grace within us, then we will always be motivated to serve God by serving others.

[1] Barclay, William, “The Letters to the Galatians & Ephesians,” (The Westminster Press; Philidelphia, PA; 1958) pg 56
[2] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (124). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What Does It Mean To Be Independent?

Mark 9:38-40 38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

The question is ask, “What does it mean to be independent?” We see the word coming up a little more in the media these days in relation to voters who do not claim to be affiliated with one political party or another. But I am thinking of the word in the context of our churches, and I am sure that most of my readers are too. The church I pastor, the First Baptist Church of Westland, MI, is what is known as an independent Baptist church. This simply means that we govern ourselves outside the control of a denomination and or any fellowship. This does not mean that we are against these things, or even that we don’t associate with any of them, because we do. It simply means that we conduct our mission as an independent church.

Many of my pastoral acquaintances fall under same category of being independent. Yet, the truth of the matter is that few ever truly act independent. Often times, we take on the attitude of the disciples and not of Jesus. How do we do this? We see the answer by paying careful attention to the words of the disciples (vs. 38) and noticing that they were more worried about who was not following them, not Jesus. We take it personally when someone else does not want to do it exactly the way we do, and in doing so we fail to remember and practice the words of Jesus in verse 40, “For he that is not against us is on our part.” Too many pastor’s have crossed the line from being a shepherd to becoming a dictator. And when they run out sheep in their church to rule over with their iron fist, they find other churches, and more importantly, pastors, to begin to try to control. As much as these pastors will preach against religious rulers like the Pope, they become pope-like in their dictating of convictions and personal preferences in ministry and daily living. And with the popularity of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, this has seemingly gotten worse.

Would we not do better, and be more Christ-like, if we just followed the Lord in all that we do and allow others to exercise their liberty in following Him, even if they don’t follow us step by step? Instead of worrying about the direction of other Christ-followers, lets pay more attention to our direction and our motives.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

eBook Review: Why Men Hate Going To Church by By David Murrow

why men hate going to church

Book Description

It’s Sunday morning. Where are all the men? Golfing? Playing softball? Watching the tube? Mowing the lawn? Sleeping? One place you won’t find them is in church. Less than 40 percent of adults in most churches are men, and 20 to 25 percent of married churchgoing women attend without their husbands. And why are the men who do go to church so bored? Why won’t they let God change their hearts?

David Murrow’s groundbreaking book has been completely revised and updated, with eye-opening research and a persuasive grasp on the facts, to explain the problem and offer hope and encouragement to women, pastors, and men. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to the church—it calls the church back to men.


This is not a book that I could recommend. First and foremost, there is nothing groundbreaking about acknowledging the fact that men do not come to church as much as women. And unfortunately, the author decides to go outside the Bible for the reasons why and the answers to the problem. A lot of what he says is correct, but our answers must be biblically bathed, and not based on marketing and pop psychology. I regularly read from people that I may not totally agree with, knowing that I can still find some nuggets of truth to build upon. That never happened for me with this book.

As a pastor, I cannot recommend this book to other pastor’s or church leaders.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sun AM, 2-5-12 - Gentleness, The Kind of Kindness We Need

Click this link to listen 

·       Love (Agape – God’s love in us)…joy (In Jesus, despite circumstances)…peace (inner, outer, eternal)…longsuffering (patience)
·       Gentleness – modern translations update this for us into our language of KINDNESS.
a.   Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
b.   It is good to be passionate about many things, but there is a need for moderation and balance.
c.    We do not need to be extreme in issues that do not warrant it.
d.   Especially to those who are outside of the faith.
                                                            i.      EX: This is often how people develop caricatures about others.
e.   Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
f.      Rom 14 teaches about kindness and moderation. It deals with helping those who are young and weak in the faith – esp. in issues of the celebrating certain days and eating certain food.
g.    Moderation also reminds us that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
                                                            i.      EX: Churches/Christians who get off track following certain issues – politics, church history…etc.
                                                         ii.      EX: Believers who cause trouble and division in a church because decisions that are made that go against their personal preferences.
h.   Why? Because the Lord is at hand – His return is near.
i.      God will not ask whether we had all our desires and preferences filled – but how many we tried to reach, and what we did to make it happen.
a.   Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
                                                            i.      Here, Paul is writing a letter to Titus, who was setting up the leadership of the church in Crete. After laying down some qualifications for leaders, he now exhorts him to speak to all the believers on how to live and interact with the world around them.
                                                         ii.      In 3:2, Titus is to remind them to be gentle, and doing so by exercising meekness to all those they come in contact with.
                                                      iii.      Meekness is having your power in control and deferring it.
                                                       iv.      Meekness is the inner attitude that is shown in our outward gentleness and kindness to others.
                                                          v.      Meekness is having your emotions and actions under control.
                                                       vi.      When others do you wrong – how do you react?
                                                    vii.      Meekness is deferring your wants and preferences for the growth of others.
b.   Jesus as our example of meekness – Matthew 11:28–29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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.
a.   1 Thessalonians 2:7–8 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
b.   Matthew Henry define Gentleness as, such a sweetness of temper, and especially towards our inferiors,[1]
c.    We see that aspect of gentleness and kindness here in Paul’s first letter to the church of the Thessalonians. The Apostle is reminding them of how he and Timothy did everything within their power to not be a burden to them and not make themselves to be the focus (2:5-6).
d.   Instead, they were gentle and kind with these believers because they were young in the faith and their mission was to build up their faith and their church, not to be a burden and tear it down.
e.   One of our missions today is to be a builder of people’s faith – not a tearer-downer of their faith.
f.      If our mission is to help people, then we must:
                                                            i.      Sacrifice for them (vs. 8-9) – give time, effort, and money to areas of ministry that may not benefit us…may not be our personal preference…but will help us reach the lost and disciple new believers.
                                                         ii.      We must be kind and gentle in all aspects, treating new believers and members with respect and love and breaking down the “cliques” that develop in a church.
                                                      iii.      There is nothing worse than “fake friendliness.”
·       This is the kind of kindness we need today in our churches:
o  Moderation – not making mountains out of molehills. Putting personal preferences aside to reach others.
o  Meekness – are you willing to defer in non-essential areas to the weaker for their growth and benefit?
o  Mission – are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, and efforts for those who growing in their faith? Are you willing to be a true friend and break down the wall that you have developed around the circle of your friends?

[1] Henry, M. (1996). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Ga 5:13–26). Peabody: Hendrickson.