In The Spirit of Kindness Ephesians 2: 4-7

In The Spirit of Kindness Ephesians 2: 4-7

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”I work in an environment where kindness is something that is called for. It is expected, but not always given so it makes the work place a cautious place to operate in. That is why this message came to life.{{more}}Kindness seems like something that is pretty ordinary, but when you start to really think about it, kindness is remarkable and inspiring. The exhibition of the fruit of kindness can literally change the lives of those around us. When you think of kindness, chances are that one of the first names that comes to mind is Mister Rogers. A year or two before Fred Roger’s death someone in Philadelphia where he lived stole his car. The news media got a hold of the story and before long all the local TV stations were broadcasting the story. Thousands of Philadelphia citizens saw the story, including the thief who stole the car. This criminal had dealt with his own share of difficult times, but he knew that when he was small Fred Rogers had been a positive influence on him. Within 48 hours the car was back in the spot where he left it, along with a note saying “If we had known it was yours, we never would have taken it!” Kindness may be one of the most underrated fruits on the fruit stand.Probably more people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world. How many times in your life have you felt discouraged or felt like everything was against you only to be met by someone who was willing to show kindness to you.I wonder how many lives have been changed by someone showing the fruit of kindness.When I think of the word kindness, what comes to mind is thoughts of the nice grandmother figure that is waiting there with a bunch of cookies for you? Is kindness emotional feeling? The dictionary defines kindness as: the practice of being or the capability to be sympathetic and compassionate. The English word does not fully capture the meaning of the original word. Kindness is more than being capable of being sympathetic and compassionate.The very nature of exhibiting kindness to another person makes that person have a sense of worth and usefulness. By exhibiting kindness to another person we are affirming their worth as a person, we are telling them that they are important enough for us to be inconvenienced, by them or that we would give them special attention. It is closely related to being gentle.Jesus’ kindness is the believer’s example. Matthew 19:13-14 says, “When some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them, Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’’ Amen!Matthew 11:28-29 says, on another occasion He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 shall find rest for your souls” Amen! Jesus by allowing the children to come to Him showed them their worth to Him. The children were important to Him. His display of kindness to them let them know that. When Jesus calls those who are weary and heavy-laden to come to Him for rest, His kindness toward them shows us how important we are to Him. It has been said that “Kindness is a language the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear and understand.Jesus understands our weakness. He knows why we have weaknesses. Jesus has compassion for us. If Jesus did not understand our weakness, then He would not be able to be kind to us when we struggle. Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.” Amen!Jesus walked in our shoes so He can relate to us. Jesus will be gentle and kind to you because He knows why you are struggling. You can come to Him when you struggle! When you understand other people and can walk in their shoes, you will treat them with kindness also, you will make them feel worthy.Telling the truth in love is part of being kind. Jesus could have come to live as a man and He could have just spent His time excusing your sin by telling us things that were not true.” It is so sad to see so many people who are living a life of sin have people excuse their sin by telling them they are born that way.I saw a man on television Thursday evening tell another person that God created him to be a homosexual so therefore God did not look down on that sin. Somewhere along the line, someone, probably under the umbrella of kindness or compassion, told this man his sin was not his fault so therefore he could not overcome it or should he even try to overcome it.John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Amen! Jesus has set us free from the bondage of sin by being truthful to us. If we are going to be kind, we must share the truth in love with other people. We cannot pervert the truth because we do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or that we are afraid to challenge them.It is hard to be kind to those with whom you do not forgive. Jesus has forgiven your sins. Romans 3:23 – 24 says, “Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory. They receive God’s approval freely by an act of his kindness£ through the price Christ Jesus paid to set us free from sin.” Jesus found us worth saving, so He saved us from our sins. All the times you have sinned against Him are forgiven when you accept Him is our Lord and Savior. Amen!If you cannot forgive someone, do you think you are going to treat them with kindness? Psalms 139:15-17 says, “By dying on the cross, by that very act of kindness, my worth is affirmed. It does not matter what the rest of the world thinks about me, Jesus says I have a high self-worth.” Amen!People need to know they are valuable to God; people need to know they have enough value to us that we would extend kindness to them. These things can help us not only to feel the emotion of kindness, but also help us to put action behind the emotion.Sometimes you want to do things for people who can repay us in kind: Be nice to the boss to get a promotion; buy a candy bar from the neighbor kid, so they will buy popcorn from you during soccer season; or babysit for a friend so they will babysit for you. But God says to give to those who cannot give back. Luke 14:14 says, “And you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” Sounds like a pretty good payday to me! So many times you do not show kindness because you are not willing to go thru the trouble. In the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37 we see a man who was in some trouble. Luke 10:30-7 says, Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. “By chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. “Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” The Good Samaritan went out of his way to help this person in need. You must be willing to allow yourselves to be inconvenienced if we are going to show kindness to others. Amen!Remember that others have been kind to you. David and Jonathan were best of friends. When King Saul was trying to kill David, Jonathan, Saul’s son, protected David and showed him kindness, even though he knew it would mean he would never sit on the throne. When Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle and David became king, he looked for anyone who was alive in Jonathans family. Most of the time this was done to make sure no one else would claim the throne from the previous king. David wanted to show kindness to Jonathan’s survivors because of the kindness Jonathan showed to him. He was able to do this through Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. He was crippled because of an accidental fall when he was escaping after Jonathan and Saul were killed. David took care of Mephibosheth; he remembered the kindness shown to him. You never know when your kindness could change the life of another person. God wants His people to be kind. When you allow the Spirit to grow in your lives, you will be able to be kind to those around us. The ultimate act of kindness was Jesus dying for you. Now you know why you should an act of kindness!