Gentle Shepherd

Praise God for His Gentleness

People may be cruel. Life may be harsh. But Christ? He is gentle.

Paul said, “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you” (2 Corinthians 10:1). Hard to resist such a tender invitation.

The Greek words here point to meekness. Yes, it rhymes with weakness, but it means the exact opposite! Meekness is strength reigned in. It’s yielding without surrendering. It’s power withheld and gentleness released.

Leo Buscaglia once said, “Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.” Nothing and no one is stronger than our Jesus.

One of our online sisters, Matilda, confessed, “Many times I’m sure He could just shake us. But His gentleness prevails.” Yes, it does. Thank you, Lord.

Humility is the behavior He models. Gentleness is the language He speaks. We saw it on Palm Sunday when He entered Jerusalem, “gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), just as Zechariah had prophesied centuries earlier.

The Lord bids us, “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 11:29) .

Rest. Could you use some of that? Right now? This minute? Because that’s what He’s offering. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Yes, please.

a gentle and humble shepherd

Janel admits, “When I’ve sinned, I tend to be a hider. He knows how to gently love me past those times.” So right. If we’re hurting, if we have questions, if our souls are uneasy and our hearts are burdened, the only safe place to land is in the arms of our gentle Savior.

Jesus honors those who are gentle, meek, and kind with this astounding promise: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5) .

The great and powerful, the mighty and militant? They inherit nothing. The Lord has reserved His Kingdom for those filled with “gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:23), the fruit of His Spirit.

Paul urged the believers at Philippi, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).

He is near. All the time. When He asks us to come to Him, turn to Him, lean on Him, He is not asking us to travel some distance or struggle to reach Him. He is near. He is here.

Laura is grateful to know, “His gentleness brings us through.”

Lord Jesus, our world is anything but gentle. Now, more than ever, we need Your gentleness, Your kindness, Your tenderness to ease our feelings of helplessness, of uselessness, of restlessness. We don’t know what the world is coming to, Lord. Help us rest in the reality that You know.

Philippians 4:5

What does the gentleness of Jesus mean to you today? Please share your thoughts below, for your own sake (it helps to put things in writing), as well as to encourage others. And, if you’re curious, I found this gentle shepherd and his flock at Nazareth Village in Nazareth, Israel. He truly exudes the tenderness of Christ. Please, Lord, may we all do the same.

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

Angie Smith on It's Good to Be Queen

29 Responses to Gentle Shepherd

  1. Diana July 9, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Jesus’ Gentleness is my Life right now!
    I am tightly holding on to Him, as I am presently walking through a great sorrow. He is Faithful to speak to my heart, bring Words of comfort and encouragement. I am able to sing songs of Praise, even though my eyes are red from salty tears.
    He has such gentle love for me, I can feel it daily, and know He is with me during this difficult time. Hard to describe, but resting confidently in His Goodness!

    • Lynn July 10, 2015 at 5:25 am #

      Your words were so kind. I feel Gods gentleness and all around me I can feel a calmness because I know Jesus is watching over his children. I love his words in Jeremiah 33:3: CAll to me and I will tell you great and mighty do not know. God is near and he cares for you. What a gentle Savior

    • JANET THEUS July 10, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Love leads to hope – hope to gentleness – gentleness to peace and peace to a “soul at rest”.

  2. Ann Newton July 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Wow, Liz…..I really needed this reminder about my Shepherd today. I’m dealing with some harsh stuff and I’m running to His gentle arms! Thank you!

  3. Judy Gatehouse July 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    In my mind’s eye, I have seen Jesus smiling at me gently on several occasions during prayer and meditation. What a beautiful experience it is! I feel His gentleness right from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and also in my spirit, that hard-to-describe place deep inside me.

  4. Rebecca July 9, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    The gentleness of Jesus means I never have to fear coming to Him with anything in my life. No matter what I have done…I know that He holds me within His hands and His hands are gentle and kind. Even when I need to be corrected and disciplined, He does this not with an angry harsh hand and heart. But with an abundance of love , kindness and gentle hands that never harm but only build strength, hope and righteousness.

  5. Joy July 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Thanks so much for your post on gentleness; it came at just the right time.
    Your definition of meekness is the best I’ve heard and one that makes
    complete sense to me. Secondly, I had just received news of changes
    to come in my job, and it was great to be reminded that my
    gentle Savior will take care of all things in my life and I can rest in Him.

    Reflect the Son,

  6. Ginny Campbell July 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Gentle is not the first thing one thinks of as an attribute admired in our society. Scrap, fight, push ones way upward in our me first culture, sounds more accurate. Oh, that we, as His, could break through the culture with gentleness. The Lord has set such a high standard for us to live by, but think what people would see and hear, if we would model out lives, even in our very busy world, after His. I so appreciate being treated gently by those who love me. A challenge for me – to treat others with kindness and gentleness, too.

  7. Elaine Steil July 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi Liz, An old hymn by Fanny Crosby came to mind. Pass me not, O gentle Savior. He is gentle indeed.

  8. Alana Morgan July 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Jesus’ gentleness to me is the calmness I feel when I whisper (or shout out) His name. The FACT that we are all “precious in His sight” is mind boggling and so very calming.

  9. Paula Timpson July 9, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Jesus is quiet . We must listen with all our heart!

  10. Mary Kay July 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    I love the thought of meekness = strength reined in. The gentleness of Jesus means I can have peace trusting that God will be tender when correcting a loved one far away (and me, too). He will watch over a loved one undergoing cancer treatment with attentive gentleness. And others who need a touch from Him to help them stay faithful can count on Him no matter what prison holds them.

    As always, Liz, thanks for your precious words.

  11. Elizabeth July 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    Living in Israel these past 15 years has truly taught me much of God’s Gentleness…We moved to Israel August 2000 just before the 2nd intifada (Arab word for struggle ).

    Bringing my 3 children to a war zone was one of trust and assurance that God fiercely loved them more than my husband or myself could ever imagine…

    One night a friend who overlooked Shepard’s Field in Bethlehem was listening to shots being fired from there into Israel….as she looked out over the field she saw a Shepard tending his flock…as the gun fires started the sheep began to scatter in fear and bleatings…Next the most amazing thing happened the Shepard gently touch each sheep with his staff and speaking softly to each one…bringing them back together…”YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I SHALL FEAR NO EVIL THY ROD AND THY STAFF THEY COMFORT ME….” (Psalm 23…)…

    This story has been my comfort and strength through many harrowing times during our first years living in Israel…though so often I wanted to run He has always gently guided me and returned me to the vision and destiny in which He had called me.

  12. Suzanna July 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Today His gentleness means a quietness in the midst of chaos – a reminder to not harshly heap condemnation on myself for all the items on my to do list that are incomplete, but to rest in Him instead, quieting my heart and becoming still. There is time enough to do what He has planned and the rest can wait

  13. Gayla Ross July 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    In today’s world especially He may not be to gentle. I will always be greatful for his gentleness with me. I certainly don’t deserve it. So much sorrow in ones life at times can be unbearable…….the we remember the cross. We will make it, you will make.. he gently whispers to us do not give up on me. I haven’t given up on you………….

  14. Patricia July 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    To all those who commented, you each have blessed me. Thank you and know that I will lift you up to the Lord like a sweet smelling sacrifice unto Him. I can relate to each of you believe it or not. I’ve evaded sin–tried to put it out of my mind thinking that God missed that one! How naïve was that?! Well, when I finally did approach the Lord in repentance, I poured out my heart and soul to him and told Him I was sorry and ashamed. He had been waiting for my repentance all along but of course since He knows all things, He knew all my sins as well, and no matter how hard I tried to evade Him or the issue, the more uneasy I became. A better term would be ‘guilt-ridden.’ But after I confessed, He gently exposed some things in me that needed to be dealt with and I found myself surrendering it all to Him. I never did that before. He wasn’t brash; He wasn’t accusatory; I wasn’t struck by lightning, but at that very moment I felt a surge of love flow through my entire being and this time my tears were tears of joy! I felt like a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. When the accusers were about to stone the adulterous in the Bible, Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” I could envision each one dropping his stone to the ground. And I loved it when Jesus said to her in so many words afterward, “where are your accusers now,” and then gently and lovingly told her ‘to sin no more.’ Jesus was her Hero and He is mine, too! He is a gentle, loving, just, and merciful God. That is what gentleness signifies to me. Jesus is a genuine tenderheart!

  15. Maiaa Ohlson July 9, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    Meekness is strength reigned in- love this. It is Jesus true nature the gentleness he showed while on earth so many times in his accounts with people. I’ve always tried to be strong and hard lined like it was a protective thing. It caused me to be quite harsh and blunt alot of the time but as I grow closer to Jesus the more I feel my spirit soften and truly want to be gentle in every way I approach things. The nature of Jesus is what I have been focussed on lately and it has helped me overcome some very strong ideals I’ve had that were not right. Meekness gentleness my new favourite words.
    Arohanui-much from NZ

  16. Marissa July 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    Jesus’ gentleness soothes my heart. When my heart felt so heavy with burdens, shame, and guilt. I had a true heart to heart with The Lord. I kept on saying sorry for being this way.
    There has been a drought here in CA and that afternoon going home it rained. And at that moment I understood that Jesus felt my pain too and was going through this with me. I wasn’t alone. He loves, forgives, and saves.
    God bless you ladies!

  17. Susan G. July 10, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    I think Jesus ‘invented’ gentleness! He is the King of gentleness…as well as having all of His other attributes as well.

  18. Elisabeth Allen July 10, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    For so many reasons this post was exactly what I needed to read this morning. In the midst of baffling delay and painful disappointment it’s such a comfort to be reminded that He is gentle. Circumstances may feel harsh and unyeilding but He IS gentle. That’s the truth. Thank you for reminding me heart this morning. <3

  19. Kathy Sprague July 10, 2015 at 5:13 am #

    This is a deeper truth that the 2015 Church realizes and really “hit the spot” in my heart this morning. Liz, I am teaching your Bible course to 22 wonderful women on The Girl’s Still Got It this summer! I wrote an article for the ministry I am ordained through several years ago. A lesson on humility and gentleness our Church learned that brought both spiritual and physical healings to our congregation. You can find it by typing Rev Kathy Sprague blog into your browser. This is a testimony of being changed by Godly humility. I humbly submit it!

  20. Linda H July 10, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    Dealing with some “harsh” family members it is so comforting to know I will find gentleness in Jesus and His loving arms. I have also being going through some healing of deep wounds and know now He has been waiting with His love and gentle arms for me to come to Him and find that safe place. He has been patiently waiting for me to surrender it all to Him. I do desire to extend His gentleness back to others. Loved the definition of meekness-strength reined in. The world definitely needs more gentleness and meekness. Help me Lord on that path of showing your gentleness to the harsh, cruel people of the world. Thanks Liz♥, ordered your new book and can’t wait to receive it!!

  21. Judy July 10, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    The gentleness of Jesus, I need it more than ever in this not so gentle world we live in. I have to remind myself daily of His love his forgiveness and His gentle spirit. When I allow myself to just rest in this, be still and know, I know He is right by my side. When I breathe this in, I become a better person, a gentle soul. This is what I want the world to see in me. Thank you Liz for this reminder.

  22. Brandi Luiz July 10, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    His ever present nudge to keep me close to Him and feel a bit of His breath breathe Grace over me.

  23. Amy July 11, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    Tender is our Shepherd He
    Jesus tender as can be
    In a world rocked with sin
    Our gentle Shepherd beckons us in
    Safely He does us guide
    Keeping us close right by His side
    Amazing, amazing, amazing grace
    He will never us displace
    Christ’s love and devotion shown on the tree
    Now we live to magnify Thee

  24. Jannie Ensing July 11, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    Just got home from a 2 months stay at hospital, had a new hip put in, and lots of physio, I realize how much I need His gentleness and kindness to see me thru, thank you for sharing and everyone’s kindness.
    Also need to rest in His care as I just want to get going now, and I need to take it slow and take one day at a time.
    Please continue your ministry of encouragement, thank you Liz.
    Much love Jannie

  25. Corinne A. July 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    This was really meaningful for me today and it feels really timely for our culture right now. The Lord’s gentleness is hope to me.

  26. Lisa-Marie July 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    Robert Schuller once explained what it is to be MEEK in this acrostic:

    Emotionally stable

    Food for thought, huh?


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