October 6, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love envies not, and is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4
You cannot view the life of Christ without seeing this virtue of kindness emanating from Him in every circumstance that He confronted. There was a generous, warm, compassionate nature that was evident in all He did. These virtues the Lord desires to see manifested in our lives.
What was your response when someone expressed these qualities of love at a time you were in great distress? When that happened to me, I was overwhelmed that someone cared and desired to come along aside of me in my distress and express a measure of God's love. Such virtues we need to manifest in our lives toward those God brings before us. How moving it is to see someone who is genuinely kind. We need to be sensitive to the need of others, and not hesitate to show kindness through compassion, care, encouragement, and prayer.
Peter says, "add to your godliness brotherly love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). It is interesting that Peter first mentions godliness, and then challenges the believer to add brotherly love. Before we can manifest any measure of brotherly love, we must have our lives characterized by godliness. Certainly this emphasizes from where such love is initiated and sustained--from GOD. Brotherly love is the fruit of godliness, and kindness is the fruit of brotherly love.
Two things will be evident in a person who exemplifies kindness. First, he has a "compassionate sensitivity" to the heart of others. His spirit seems drawn to the one who needs an expression of kindness. There is within their heart a kindred spirit, a tenderness, and a longing to show kindness for Jesus' sake. Secondly, I believe such a one is always seeking out opportunities to show some measure of loving concern, identifying with that one in need, knowing it will magnify the Lord when they are led by the Holy Spirit.
Now this is done, NOT in the energy of the flesh, but purely in response to, and in the power of, the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it is merely fleshly concern and motivated from our carnal nature. Genuine godly kindness is born of God and instilled in our hearts as we are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit will impact that person with "the love of God."
Look at two occasions that show such godly kindness. Is there a more heart-moving scene than when Joseph, after all the jealousy, hatred, bitterness, and betrayal shown to him by his brothers, is now in position to execute vengeance on them. They stand before Joseph, who is second only to the king of Egypt, and with mercy and grace he speaks to them in kindness and love...I AM JOSEPH! Wow! What a scene!
What immeasurable kindness David showed to the son of Jonathan, because of the covenant he had made with Jonathan. "Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" (2 Samuel 9:1). Then the crippled, miserable, and lonely son of Jonathan is brought before David. David speaks kindly to him, and "restores to him all of the land of Saul." Then he says, "you shall eat at my table continually as one of the king's sons!" What a moving scene of godly kindness and love.
Oh, that such kindness would adorn our life, and find expression to the many on every side, who are hurting and longing for someone to show them "kindness for Jesus' sake." Let kindness reign in your life to change the life of another.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-06
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