Sunday, October 11, 2015

The message today at NRN - Show a little kindness


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.                                Galatians 5:22-23

What Is Kindness?

Kindness does not necessarily mean being nice. One can be kind and not nice. Nice is defined by as being agreeable. In contrast, kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do, kindness that is also service.
Kindness is goodness in action, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence.  The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control. The word kindness comes from the Greek word chrestotes (khray-stot-ace), which means to be friendly to others; display moral goodness and integrity. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of chrestotes was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind, or gentle. The apostle Paul uses this word to depict God's incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved:

 Think about how kind God is! Also think about how firm he is! He was hard on those who stopped following him. But he is kind to you. So you must continue to live in his kindness.                                                                            Romans 11:22

God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.  He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.  God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.         Ephesians 2:6-8   

One scholar has noted that when the word KIND is applied to interpersonal relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when KINDNESS is working in a believer, he seeks to become adaptable to the needs of those who are around him. 

ILL. I heard a story about a woman who was standing at a bus stop. She had just cashed her tax refund check, so she was carrying more money than usual & was a little bit nervous about that. She glanced around & noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. And as she watched, she saw a man walk up to him, hand him some money, & whisper something in his ear.
She was so touched by that act of kindness that she decided to do the same. In a burst of generosity, she reached into her purse, took out $10, handed it to the man, & whispered to him, "Never despair, never despair."
The next day when she came to the bus stop, there he was again. But this time he walked up to her & handed her $110. Dumbfounded, she asked, "What’s this?" He said, "You won, lady. Never Despair paid 10 to 1."

Now I can’t promise that every act of kindness will pay 10 to 1. At times kindness may even cost you something, & require sacrifices on your part.

1. Kindness begins with ACTION

Your care for others is the measure of your greatness.
                                                                  Luke 9:48 LB

ILL: In his book: CONSPIRACY OF KINDNESS, Steve Sjogren tells the true story of Joe Delaney and his eight-year-old son, Jared, who were playing catch in their backyard.
“Jared asked, ‘Dad, is there a God?’
“Joe replied that he went to church only a few times when he was a kid; he really had no idea.
“Jared ran into the house. ‘I’ll be right back!’ he yelled.
“Moments later he returned with a helium balloon from the circus, a pen, and an index card. ‘I’m going to send God an airmail message,’ Jared explained: ‘Dear God,’ wrote Jared, ‘if You are real, and You are there, send people who know you to Dad and me.’
“‘God, I hope You’re watching,’ Joe thought, as they watched the balloon and message sail away.
“Two days later, Joe and Jared pulled into a wash sponsored by Sjogren’s church. When Joe asked, ‘How much?’ Sjogren answered, ‘It’s free. No strings attached. We just want to show God’s love in a practical way.’
“‘Are you guys Christians, the kind of Christians who believe in God?’ Joe asked.
“Sjogren said, ‘Yes, we’re that kind of Christians.’ From that encounter, Steve led Joe to faith in Christ. Many people may be only one act of kindness from meeting a true Christian”

2. Kindness begins with DEVOTION

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.  Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people and you will earn a good reputation.                 Proverbs 3:1-4 NLT

3. Kindness begins with INVITATION

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.  Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.                        
                                                                        Colossians 3:12-17

Closing ILL:  A true story - One day, a young man was out selling goods from door to door to pay his way through college.  As he was beginning college, he was very poor and he was hungry. He hadn’t sold anything, and finally he was down to one thin dime, and he realized that he had a crisis. And so he knocked on the door and was determined that he would ask them for a meal, instead of trying to sell something. A really nice lady came to the door and he said, “Ma’am, could you give me a drink of water?” And she came back with a full glass of milk. She said, “You look hungry. Here’s a cold glass of milk.” As he drank the glass of cold milk, they talked and he said, "How much do I owe you for the milk?" She said, "Well, You don't owe me anything. Mother taught us never to accept money for kindness." And he said, "Well, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger because of the milk, but he felt just encouraged to go on. And he did go on, and he finished college. Years later, that nice lady became critically ill. Local doctors told her, “We don’t understand what’s wrong with you. We’re going to send you to the big city hospital.” And they sent her there. And there at that hospital it was discovered that she had a rare disease.

And Dr. Howard Kelly was called for the consultation. And he heard the name of the lady and he thought, “I recognize that name. She’s from my home town, where I went to college.” And so he went in with his doctor's uniform and everything, and immediately recognized her as the woman who gave him the glass of milk. And he determined that he would do his very best to help her because she had helped him.  And so they struggled, and after a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office would send him the bill, and he wrote on the edge of the bill "PAID IN FULL BY ONE GLASS OF MILK.” And when she got the bill, tears came to her eyes. You never know what kindness will do.

The Greatest Act of kindness ever shown:

But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.                                                                                                                                     Romans 5:8

No comments: