Kindness

May 30, 2013

Kindness

Colosians 3:12-13
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

“Kindness”, an obvious word with an obvious application, it is often descriptive of one of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. Kindness is so obvious and so simple and yet so missing among so many of us. It is simply goodness and favor toward another person. Many families and relationships are missing this little social grace from their words and actions. Even in our every day encounters with strangers and people that we interact with, we fail at this little thing called kindness. Oh yes, we feign kindness through superficial words and platitudes, but is it an issue of our heart? True kindness pities, it empathizes, sympathizes and identifies with another’s need. Kindness puts itself in the place of its neighbor and then responds appropriately according to how it would want to be treated. Kindness isn’t a social mask that we put on to give the illusion of our graciousness; it is something that issues out of the foundation of who we are in Christ. Kindness genuinely cares for another and will not think about going out of its way to minister or help another. Kindness overlooks the opportunity to be right when it is at the expense of another. It compliments the rest of the attributes of the Spirit and it chooses the high road even at its own expense. Kindness is what covers another with grace and favor even when they may not deserve it. Kindness is slow to be offended and it returns good for evil. True kindness is often the brunt of abuse and is commonly taken for granted. Yet, it is the kindness working in us that causes our Father to smile and reminds Him of Himself.
Today and each day of your life, develop the habit of random acts of kindness, not just on the deserving but on the undeserving as well. Practice that kindness on the ones you say you love and yet always rub you the wrong way. While others may not always appreciate it and it may be abused by some, you will never regret the warmth it leaves inside and the smile it puts on the face of God.

Blessings,
kent

Where my faith leads me, I will follow

1Timothy 6:10-12
10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Most of us are aware that faith is paramount and essential to our walk and relationship with God. Without faith we know that it impossible to please God, for it takes faith to believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We often hear teachings that instruct us that through faith we can obtain all things if we only believe. Perhaps what some of us miss is that faith doesn’t stand alone, it has other key components that work with it if is truly godliness we seek. In our scripture today we see that misdirected faith can lead us to much grief. Here we are instructed not only to pursue faith, but righteousness, godliness, love, endurance and gentleness. We may remember from Galatians 5:22-23 that all of these are attributes and fruit of the Spirit.
Our faith can take us in many directions, but are all of them the will and purpose of God in our lives? How do we know? Faith has a motive. Some of us can listen to teachings on prosperity, health and wealth and all we really hear is God wants to give me all that I want and desire. Yes, God does desire to bless you, but more than that He desires that our hearts are in the right place in the blessing. Our scripture today speaks of the love of money as the root of evil. More than many of us realize our faith can be motivated by covetousness cloaked in religious apparel. If our motivation is wrong then faith won’t lead us where we need to go and we won’t produce the fruit of the Spirit. After speaking to us of the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5 goes on in verses 24-26 to talk to us about motivation, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
It is really the love of God in us that should motivate our faith. Galatians 5:6 tells us, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Often we wonder why our faith doesn’t seem to work. What is our true motive behind our faith? Love has to be the motivation for our faith to work; otherwise it can’t produce the life and works of God. James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.” What is the underlying motive of our faith today, is it really to please and walk with God or ultimately to better ourselves. Is it the love of God or the love of self that compels us? Faith can work from each one, but they will not lead us down the same road or produce the same results. To follow God you indeed need faith, but you also need the heart and love of God for your faith to operate out of. Then you will walk by the Spirit for the purpose of pleasing and honoring the Lord and not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. When we are truly walking in the unselfish love of God, then we will see our faith be more effectual and accomplishing the will and purpose of God through our lives. Our faith will lead us in the way of righteousness, godliness, love, endurance and gentleness; these, in turn will become the motivating forces in our life and our faith.

Blessings,
kent

Jeremiah 31:25
For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.

Word from the Lord: Rest and Surrender

Lift up your head you who are weary and heavy laden. I am your rest, your comfort and your strength. Come and rest in My presence, commune and fellowship with Me. Worship me and be strengthened as My Life will flow back into you and well up within. Focus on Me, cease to allow your problems and challenges to consume all of your energy. I am your refuge. I am your strength. I am your wisdom, provision, power and deliverer.
I know it is often hard for you to open up your hand and release the control to me, but until you do, you will be continually frustrated and stressed about your circumstances. When you come to Me with open hands and open heart; sharing everything with Me and making me a partner in all that confronts you, then am I able to work on your behalf and bring about solutions and provisions that are far beyond your ability, power or wisdom without Me.
In My presence is fullness of joy. At My right hand are treasures for evermore. How long will you struggle and frustrate My better plans and purposes of you? I am not looking for what you can produce or how good you can be. I am looking for a life surrender to allow Me to live and show Myself strong in you.
When a child wants to help a parent with a project, left to their knowledge and abilities they will most likely make a mess of it. If the child is willing to submit to the guiding teaching hand of the parent then they are able to learn what they did not know and gain the experience they lacked in their immaturity. I am discipling you in My ways, if you will humble yourself and walk with Me, not ahead of Me. If you will wait and watch, you will learn. I am a faithful teacher, but My lessons take time and patience. They take faith, humility and the trust that I will do what I have said I will do.
Abraham got his Ishmael, because he and Sara ran ahead of Me, trying to produce in their own strength what I had promised them. Their efforts produced the works of the flesh and not of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit as you allow the process of the Spirit to work in and through you. If you try and produce it in your strength it will only be a counterfeit and not bear the fruit that only I in you, can produce.
Many things want to distract you. Many things rob the higher things that I want to give you. It is a time to put you focus upon Me. Operate out of a place of practicing, living and operating in My presence. Turn your will, emotions and your mind continually back to me. Abide in a place of continual prayer, praise, worship and acknowledgement of My presence that is with you. Your highest is not in being self-sufficient, but in being God-sufficient. This is what it is to walk in the Spirit and by the Spirit, overcome the works of the flesh. When your identity is in Me then you become what I am. What you see me do, you do. What you hear me speak, you say.
Come now and rest yourself in My presence. Experience My joy, My peace and My direction in your life. There is no richer place in this earth than the center of My will and purpose for you because there, My kingdom has come and there My will is done in earth as it is in heaven.
If you want My best. If you seek My highest, then come and abide with Me in My presence. The world will pass away and all that is of the world. My kingdom is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. There you will find fullness, rest and contentment.
Come and abide in Me.

Blessings,
kent

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