Gentle and Kind


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

~Matthew 11:28-29, NIV


You crushed my pride with reverential awe and you made my neck submissive to Your yoke.


Augustine prayed in his confessions, “You {LORD} made my neck submissive to your yoke and now that I wear it, I find it benign as You have promised and as You have made it. Indeed, it was before, when I was afraid to take it on, but I did not know it then.” Augustine was an intellectual. He was a professor of Rhetoric in his early twenties. Like Solomon, he knew more than most of his teachers. His mother was a devoted believer, but Augustine became a skeptic of Christianity. It took years of study, meditation and his mother’s prayers before Augustine was converted. One of the many fears that Augustine battled was the ethical standard of Christ. Augustine was dominated by lust, and he denied himself no pleasure. Although he was never guilty of loving two women at the same time, he did keep a mistress which was not uncommon for pagans in his day. His pre-conversion battle revolved primarily around this particular vice which he did not want to give up. After bending the knee to Christ and becoming His servant, he understood how foolish his fears had been.

The devil used this same fear with me. I did not want to be a preacher and I certainly did not want to be a pastor. I pastored to preach. The devil had convinced me that a pastor’s life is dull, unrewarding, mundane, boring and a drag. Why would anyone want to be a pastor? I wanted a life of excitement; a life filled with thrills and chills. Needless to say, the LORD would not give me peace until I surrendered my life to do His will which meant Seminary first and pastoring churches afterwards. I am glad I was obedient to the call but I must admit that I did not fully surrender for many years after Seminary and serving five churches. Matter of fact, I was probably over forty years of age before I realized that God had done me a huge favor. I am blessed, privileged to be a pastor and to serve people. My passion is preaching but I love people and I am fulfilled most when I help others. I can honestly say that I am glad God called me to preach. The word benign that Augustine used means gentle and kind. It can also mean none threatening. Jesus’ yoke is gentle, and kind and it is no threat to our happiness. I couldn’t ask for a better Boss.


I can’t remember who it was, may have been Michael, but some young person told me the other day, “I use to wonder why you thought about rain all the time and now I know.” Rain is life. No rain, no life. Grass is dying, flowers are dying from lack of rain. I admit, if you have a leak in your roof, rain can be a problem but let’s face the facts, a drought is not the solution. You need to fix the roof. In my prayers today, I thanked God for our rivers and reservoirs. We can still pipe water into our homes because of them but the one thing we do not want is for it to stop raining. If the Tennessee River dries up, we are in trouble.

Kip spent the night in Teton City, and it was 41* when he got up the next morning. I would like to spend three or four days in Teton City and put my feet in an icy creek. I believe there will be mountains and creeks in heaven but no beaches. Just kidding! The females would not be happy without a beach. There will either be a beach or something better.

Have a good day and a good weekend.

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