Sunday, February 1, 2009

... and then there is KINDNESS

#4 of the Fruit

So far, we have looked at four of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul wrote about in Galatians. We considered the need of being connected to the Vine; that is abiding with Jesus at all times…connected to Him through a living relationship found in Jesus alone. We spoke about the need of Love in our lives. Joy being a main ingredient in the Believer’s life. Then true Peace—that passes all understanding. And last week, we spoke on Patience. Today, the Fruit of Kindness.

What is it like to be kind? What is it like to do a kind act toward someone? What is it like to be on the receiving end of kindness? Do you like being around kind people? What is the M.O. of people who show kindness? (Modus operandi often used in the abbreviated forms M.O. or simply Method) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "mode of operation".) I’d pick our dear friend Michi H.

If you could pass on any single advice concerning a life of Kindness, what would you say or teach?

When you think of a ‘Kind Person’ what image do you have? A positive one or negative… In History, what names do you associate with being a Kind Person? Is that a quality that is sought after today in the World of business? The arts? In Politics? …In Faith?

Would you call Jesus a kind person? Did He show kindness to people or was He not kind at all?
Let’s look at the Word of God—for this is our source of all knowledge of Him and His ways—and see the following from:

Isa 63:7. I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us— yes, the many good things He has done for the House of Israel, according to His compassion and many kindnesses.

How has God shown you kindness this week? What is His M.O.?

Here is a place where such things can be brought out into the open. Isaiah wrote that he would take this to the streets…so all could hear for God had done MANY GOOD THINGS.

We are told to be not only connected to the Lord but also to do what He did.

In John 14:12.: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Jesus told us of what the Father told Him.

John 15:15. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.

One of the things He told us is to tell others of His Kindness. Simple, yes? Not made up stories, not deep theological discourses, not 50 things God wants you to know---just the things He has done for you.

So what has He done for you?
•Directs our hearts.
•Gives us compassion.
•Moves us to action.
•Forgives our bitter heart.
•Restores broken relationships.

All these things are evidence of His Kindness toward us! These are the ‘things’ He wants us to tell. Tell our story.

Rom 11:22. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

His kindness toward us is intense! Think of where we once walked, the life we once lived—
•far from Him,
•distant from the Grace of God,
•self-centered life

Look at the list in Galatians of the 15 negative ways of life we all once walked in—day in and day out! 15 acts of a spiritually defiant, rebellious life VS 9 spiritually, meek, gentle, humble functioning ways of living life in it’s fullness.

Luke 7:46-48 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The Lord showed sincere kindness to the lady, while the others wanted to stone her. He saw in her a heart that was broken. A life that was worth saving. He extended His Heart of Kindness toward her. In His kindness He did not condemn her, but set her free.

Later, Peter takes these fruit and gives them a growing standard…movement from just something small, for us to grow up into the person God designed us to be. Add to your Faith.

There in the life and growing. Please read:

2 Peter 1:5-9. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

What kind of kindness does He show us?

Ps 18: 30. As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.

He covers us as we connect with Him.

His kindness is not like the kindness of men…not self-seeking, boastful, arrogant, but the kind of kindness that shows us His Character.

Listen to what Jeremiah says!

Jeremiah 9:24. “but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

To find kindness in our life in increasing measure is found in the knowing of the God of all kindness.
“…that he understands and knows Me…”

Being connected to Him, abiding IN Jesus, one finds this Character of God & His Kindness one of the same.

And we come to the Communion Table today to remember His Kindness to us, in that while we were still sinners, He died for us. How Great a Kindness! Not to turn His back on us!
\Psalm 103/
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear Him,
and His righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep His covenant
and remember to obey His precepts.
The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His bidding,
who obey His word.
Praise the LORD, all His heavenly hosts,
you His servants who do His will.
Praise the LORD, all His works
everywhere in His dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Next week, the Lord has opened the door for us to fellowship with VCF, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, as their worship hall is being fixed up. Those who are in the area, please come BEFORE 10:30! Please do not stay away!

If this post has helped you in any way, we would really like to hear how. Send your questions and or comments to May His Grace fill you as you look to Him for life.

Thank you.


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Pastor Stan