Tag: kindness

Extravagant grace

Scripture reading for March 27: 2nd Samuel 8-10

2 Samuel 9:6-7 “And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul you father, and you shall eat at my table always.”

David was a warrior and strong man of God.  He was always ready to fight the Lord’s battles and sought the Lord for most of his battles.  He had been involved in a struggle for leadership of the nation following the death of Saul and Jonathan, his friend.  God had brought David victory over Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth.  Now David was king, and one of the first acts of his rulership was to seek out any relatives of Saul or Jonathan that he might show kindness to based on his covenant promise to Jonathan. (2nd Samuel 9:1)

One son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, was still around and he was crippled in both feet from a fall.  David sent for Mephibosheth and greeted him warmly.  He restored all his grandfather’s land and property and placed Ziba, his servant, in charge to work the ground for him.  He gave Mephibosheth a seat at the king’s table like one of David’s own sons! (2nd Samuel 9:7)   This covenant kindness from King David towards a rival was unprecedented.

King David’s actions are much like that of our gracious God!  God honors those who are in covenant relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.  When we are crippled because of sin, He takes us into His house and seats us as one of His own sons.  He restores our property to us and lavishes us with blessing and restoration.  (2nd Corinthians 5:17) We have this amazing kindness and mercy that we can never repay!

Is there someone that you can show kindness towards today? How has God’s covenant mercy affected you ability to forgive those who have wronged you? Can you show mercy for Jesus’ sake?

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Members of one another!

Scripture reading for June 12th: Ephesians 4, Psalm 116, Proverbs 23

Ephesians 4: 25-32 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor be put away from you along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Although each believer is a dwelling place of God by His Spirit, there is also a corporate dwelling of God by the Spirit in His larger Body, the Church. Paul explains that we are joined together through faith in Christ. Because of this, we are to treat one another with honor and respect. This means telling the truth and respecting others property and reputations. It means doing honest work and sharing with those in need. It looks like godly speech, honoring and building up one another. Kindness and forgiveness are the normal attitudes to be practiced from the model of Jesus Christ, Who was kind and forgiving!

Psalm 116:8-9 “For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the example of Your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord! Thank You for the Holy Spirit dwelling in me empowering me to walk before You in the land of the living, loving You and loving my neighbors. I have given You my heart as a dwelling place and my body to love and serve You and those You place in my life, whether family or friends. May they see Jesus Christ in my life today.

Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways.”

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God’s kindness leads us to repent

Scripture reading for May 17th: Romans 2, Psalm 98, Proverbs 5

Romans 2: 2-5 “We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

It’s human nature to see the faults and sins of others and judge them harshly, often when we are involved in some of the same faults. This was the reasoning of Paul with the Roman believers who were judging others. God is the righteous Judge who sees each person and will judge each one impartially. He is also patient, giving time to each person to confess and turn from sinful practices. Paul emphasizes that many people judge God’s kindness and patience as approval and don’t change themselves. God’s kindness and patience is meant to lead them to repentance and deliverance from the final judgment in the day of God’s wrath. We are not to play games and blame others, but rather look in the mirror and act.

Psalm 98:3-4 “He has remembered His steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your kindness and patience with me, giving me time to repent instead of judging me. Forgive me when I have judged others or been impatient with them, yet tolerated sinful thoughts and behavior in my own life. Fill me with Your kindness and remember Your covenant of mercy and love through Jesus Christ to remove my sins and fill me with the joy of salvation.

Proverbs 5:21-22 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.”

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Saved by miraculous mercy!

Scripture reading for June 28th: Titus 3

Key Scriptures: Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

All believers have a past life. Paul described it in this passage and it is not very complementary. Paul says we were foolish, slaves, full of malice and envy and specializing in hatred and headed for God’s wrath and judgment. This was all that was possible in our sinful condition that we inherited from birth. But God through His Son, Jesus Christ, showed us His own goodness and kindness, leading us to repentance and faith. Through faith, not works, we gained mercy and were washed and renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit. God Himself, through Christ’s sacrifice, justifies all who believe and adopts them into His eternal family giving them an everlasting inheritance: the sure hope of eternal life! What a miraculous turn-around in our life and destiny because of God’s mercy in Christ! In response, we offer ourselves to God for His use in good works through faith.

Titus 3:14 “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great mercy and willingness to sacrifice Your own body on my behalf. Thank You for pouring on me and all who believe the Holy Spirit and revealing the hope of eternal life. In response to your great love, I give myself to You to be used as You will to accomplish Your great plan of salvation in all who will believe! To You be all glory, now and forever!

Romans 2:4-5 “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

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God’s kindness meant to lead to Repentance!

Scripture reading for May 25th:  2nd Samuel 18-20, Psalm 34, Romans 2

Key Scriptures:   Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, everyone of you who judges.  For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.  We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness  and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”  

Paul carefully explained to the Romans that judging others for sins they were committing would bring God’s wrath.  To them God’s patience was being mistaken for God’s approval of deeds He had stated in His Word as sinful.  These sins were enumerated in Romans chapter one.  Suppressing God’s Word and truth resulted in a downward spiral of ongoing judgment leading to sexual perversion and idolatry.  Failure to repent would lead to eternal wrath!  Beware!  Thankfully, God has kindly provided the way to escape His wrath and the bondage of practicing sin through faith in His Son.

Psalm 34:16  “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Thank You Lord Jesus for Your kindness and patience with me and all sinners, allowing time to repent and believe.  Use me to faithfully declare the Gospel that none may face Your wrath.

2nd Samuel 18:33  “And the king (David) was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept.  And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, . .”

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Life-giving speech and attitudes!

Scripture reading for August 28th:  Ephesians 4, Psalm 22, Proverbs 18

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  

The Holy Spirit from the Father marks each believer as a redeemed child of God.  As God’s children, we are being shaped inside to reflect His love and character to those around us.  Our actions and attitudes must begin to line up with the Word.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit and Christ living in us will affect our speech and how we treat others made in God’s image.  Our speech should now be life-giving, reflecting kindness and grace to our neighbors.

Faith Confession:  Father, thank You for marking me as Your redeemed child.  Help me to reflect this truth in my attitudes, speech and behavior today.

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruits.”  

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Win them with kindness!

Scripture reading for October 3rd:  Isaiah 22-24, 2nd Timothy 2

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 2:24-26 “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.  God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”  

Paul reinforces the traits that God’s servants must exhibit to make it possible for the Lord to reach those who are lost.  The lost inhabitants of earth are in a trap set by Satan and captured by him.  Repentance is their only hope of escape.  Kindness, gentleness, and sound teaching offers the best possibility for their repentance and entrance into the heavenly kingdom.

Isaiah 24:17-18 “Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!  He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare.  For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.” 

Prayer:  Lord, as a member of Your kingdom, let me show kindness and gentleness to the lost inhabitants of earth that they may escape the snare of the devil and escape judgment by repentance.  Amen!

 

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