Posts Tagged ‘Kindness

08
Aug
17

Showing Kindness To Enemies

When someone treats you like an enemy, the last thing you want to do is be kind to them. We’d much rather try to get revenge on those who harm us. Solomon said that we should be kind and show compassion to our enemies. He wrote:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you. – Proverbs 25:21-22 (NIV)

Notice that there are two things that will happen when we show kindness to our enemies and adversaries. First, we heap proverbial burning coals on their head. They may feel guilt and shame over how they have treated you. Second, the Lord will reward you. God does not reward vengeance. Instead, He rewards kindness and compassion. Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. We do this by showing kindness to them, not in seeking revenge.
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31
Jul
17

Showing Kindness To The Poor

One of the biggest political debates of our time, among many, is what to do with the poor and poverty-stricken. What do we do with people who are less fortunate or who have fallen on hard times? Solomon said that we should be kind to them and for a very good reason. He wrote:

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done. – Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)

Do you show contempt for the poor or do you want to show them kindness? Let’s face it, many of us are closer to being poor than we want to be. If you were to be laid off or if you were to lose your job, you’d be living in the poor house in a matter of months, if not weeks.  So why would we ever show contempt for the poor? Let’s find ways to be kind to them and to give them a hand up. We who have been blessed must recognize that God has been good and generous toward us.  So let’s be generous with our blessings knowing that God will bless us even more when we do.
13
Mar
17

The New Clothes

Good Monday morning to you! After taking some time to talk about the ways we used to live and how they are inappropriate for God’s people, Paul turns to how we should live now. He says:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Since we are all one in Christ and Christ is in us, we must live differently than the ways we used to live. One of the most important aspects of being a follower of Jesus is that we put others before ourselves. Instead of putting ourselves first, we put Jesus first and then others. We are to be compassionate, kind and humble. We are to be gentle and patient when we deal with others. This is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. It’s not how the world operates. However, it is how we operate because we don’t belong to the world anymore.
06
Jan
16

A Good Reminder

Good Wednesday morning to you!  In this life are bound to come troubles, difficulties and disappointments.  In this life are bound to come hardships, roadblocks and people who will let you down.  Someone is going to mess up your day today.  It’s simple mathematics.  You’re going to come into contact with hundreds of people today in one way or another.  It may be a co-worker or a neighbor or a friend.  It might be someone at the grocery store or on the freeway.  You’re going to run into someone having a rotten day and it will seem like they were put on this earth to ruin your day.  Remember this – they weren’t.  Remember that they may be going through something about which you have no idea.  They may be losing a loved one.  They may be going through a break up of some kind.  Their coffee maker might be on the fritz.  You never know what someone is going through, so be patient and kind to everyone you meet.  After all, you don’t want to be the person who ruins someone else’s day.  Think about that as you move about through this Wednesday.  God bless…

20
Jul
15

Doing Good To All People

Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
What we do here on earth matters for eternity.  We will all be judged for everything we’ve done here on earth.  ​While this may be a reason for fear for many, it does not have to be terrifying.  Paul tells the Galatians that if they live their lives to please the flesh they “will reap destruction,” but if they live their lives to please God they “will reap eternal life” from God’s Spirit (vs. 8, NIV).  So how do we do that?  We should “do good to all people” (vs 10, NIV).  This is done individually and corporately.  This is done for those outside the church and for “those who belong to the family of believers” (vs. 10, NIV).
As individuals, we evidence the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as we deal with people outside the family of faith and with those who are a part of it.  The evidence of the Spirit’s control in our lives are when we become more loving, joyful, peacemaking, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.  This fruit manifests itself as we deal with other people both inside and outside the church.
As churches, we are called to do good to all people as well.  God loves the world and we, as the church of Jesus Christ, must reflect His love and light to this dark world.  We need to pray for those who persecute us.  We need to do good to all people.  We point too many fingers and preach judgment and Hell-fire without balancing it with grace and love.  Do we need to make people aware of the judgment to come?  Absolutely.  Do we need to warn people about the reality of Hell?  Absolutely.  Do we need to love people into the Kingdom and balance grace with truth?  Absolutely.  That’s what Jesus did.  When we do good to all people, we do so because we love all people just as God loves all people.  So when Jesus comes back to take us all home, He will recognize us as His people because we look just like Him.
Prayer: Father God, fill me with Your love today that I might see opportunities to do good to all people.  Help me to love first, love often and love well.  Thank You for Your love and grace…
Amen
22
Jun
15

At One Time… But When…

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  — Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)

People like to reminisce.  We talk about the good ol’ days.  We talk about better times that once were.  We remember fondly those days when life wasn’t so hard.  We forget the bad days.  We forget the hard times.  We only remember the good.  When it comes to our spiritual journeys, though, we don’t have many good ol’ days.  As we look back on this marathon of a life that we are in, we can recall those days when we were far from God for one reason or another.  We wandered away.  We sinned for a season.  We were prodigal children living in far away lands.  At one time we were sinners.

God likes to forget the past.  The author of Hebrews wrote that God would forgive our wickedness and remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).  God reached out to us in our sinfulness and gave us the ultimate “But when…”.  We did all of the sinning and God has done all of the forgiving and forgetting.  God isn’t dwelling in the past.  He is creating our future with us.  We are headed towards a bright and glorious future in His presence for all of eternity.  We have been freed and forgiven!  Let’s live like it today!

Where have you been and where are you going?  How can you follow God’s example and forget the past today?

01
Oct
13

We Need Each Other

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  – Hebrews 10:23-25, NIV)

The author of Hebrews, in the second part of chapter 10, encourages his audience to “hold unswervingly” to hope.  In other words, sway neither to the left or the right.  Keep on truckin’ on toward hope!  Why?  Because, as he says, God is faithful to His promises.  Psalm 145:17 (NIV) says:

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.

Since God is faithful to us, we must remain faithful to Him.  We do this in a couple of ways.
First, we encourage one another to be loving and kind (Hebrews 10:24).  This means that we need others to remind us that we are to be faithful in loving God and others and to do good works.
Second, we faithfully gather together for worship, the Lord’s Supper, teaching and encouragement (Hebrews 10:25).  Some may say that they can be a Christian without going to church.  That’s not true!  Hebrews specifically says that we need to meet together.  The more I read and understand Christianity, the more I believe that it is a team sport!  We need to be helping each other.  We need to be sharpening each other.  We need to be encouraging one another.  We need to be loving one another.  Jesus never intended the church to be full of Lone Ranger Christians.  He prayed for unity in the body so that we would all be one family of believers, not a bunch of individuals trying to figure out how to do this Christian thing.  We need fellowship and community to grow as Christians.  We need accountability and the occasional rebuke to follow Jesus more closely.  We need love in our lives from our fellow believers.  Some have given up on the church, but I believe that the church has a life-changing message of hope about Jesus!  If you have given up on the church, give it another try.  You need to be part of a community of believers who can strengthen you and whom you can help strengthen.  Don’t give up on the church, but remain faithful to Christ and His church.

Hebrews 10:19-39 (NIV)

A Call to Persevere in Faith

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”

38 And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.




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