Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why Kindness?

Biblical kindness,
being and acting as Christ toward the people
within our sphere of influence are what believers are called to do.
steve bowen

Kindness / generosity / grace / love are attributes that are consistently revealed in the Scriptures.

Kindness, by definition, is a deliberate act to bring a person back to God.
(Nelson’s Bible Dictionary)

Planed acts of kindness are more than just doing something nice for people. They are intentional acts of kindness that demonstrates the grace, generosity and mercy of God toward an individual or toward a community in a practical way.

An encouraging impression of grace is clearly presented by the activity of kindness when the act of kindness is reflected through our attitudes and through our words.
steve bowen

Jesus our example...

Jesus was the most friendly, open hearted person on the planet. People wanted to be in his presence. There was something genuine about him that was attractive. I can't imagine anyone being attracted by a weird, ethereal, Jesus. He was grounded. He was different. He actually actively cared for people. He was a person full of compassion, mercy and grace. He was emotionally moved to action by peoples needs. When hungry, He fed them. When sick, he healed them. When downcast, he encouraged them. His plan, to empower his disciples to do the same.

The religious leaders of the day didn't understand his open-heartedness expressed through his actions. Instead of drawing near to people, they became closed, and hard focusing upon the law instead of extending grace and mercy.

They called him 'a friend of sinners', a 'glutton and a wine drinker'. He was invited to parties, went to dinners with tax collectors, allowed questionable people to be in his sphere of influence and didn't flinch when prostitutes expressed their gratefulness. He was kind, and refreshingly different than the other religious leaders of the day.

His short list of kindness found in the book of John...

His first miracle, water to wine…

Remember? He was at a party with unbelievers…they ran out of wine, the host was in trouble, what did he do? He served, meeting their need, by giving away the best wine. In this first simple need meeting action—he revealed his glory.

Feeding the 5,000 X deux
The people were tired and hungry. He fed them and began to establish the principle of sharing, generosity and giving within the lives of His disciples...

He healed all who came to Him…
Demonstrating the kindness and love of God He went around doing good…and…healing all who were sick or oppressed…

His last act of service before the cross…
He washed the disciple’s feet leaving an example for them to do as He had done…

His last act of service post cross, before his ascension?
Think about it. He had just risen from the dead. He had conquered death and hell
by his death on the corss. He had ensured salvation for all who would believe in him. He had been honored by the father as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords having all power and authority. So, what does he choose to do for his disciples?
He cooks and feed the disciples a fish breakfast on the beach. Amazing!

He continually declared and demonstrated his life mission…

The Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus Mark 10:45

Why kindness?
Biblical kindness,
being and acting as Christ toward the people
within our sphere of influence are what believers are called to do.
steve bowen

We live in a culture where words alone no longer make an impact. Our culture is shouting, show us. Be the Christ(little c) you represent. If you say you follow him, then be him in attitude, in word and in action.

Kindness as a lifestyle is a first step toward redefining Jesus to our world.
steve bowen

Imagine if every believer chose to express His kindness toward the people within their sphere of influence for just a week. To seek to help, to serve, to care, to support others actively. Perhaps, people would then begin to discover a passion for living that would blow past apathy and indifference toward the Good News that would radically change our world.

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
John 20:21 NIV

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