Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
In order to minister to other people, you must yield to the Spirit of God to be effective in your ministries. We have discussed love, joy, peace and patience over the past few weeks, but now we will look at kindness. Kindness must indeed be a part of your ministry.
Kindness is something people have to learn to do because it requires one to extend oneself–to go that extra mile and do what is necessary. What we need to realize is that kindness truly reflects the love of God to those who receive it.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”
People will often use appearances of a person’s life to make a decision about who one really is, but is it really true? We have to look underneath the surface to see a person for who he or she is.
If you go deeper, you may see the following:
- Abuse and/or neglect
- Family issues/divorce
- Substance abuse
- Parent unwilling to participate
- Truancy/grades/trouble at school
- Lying/not telling the whole story
- Gang involvement
What is hidden for these people that has a profound effect on life? A person in ministry is to study the person and their behaviors in order to perform in the best way as God speaks to you about that person. We want to see a person grow from these negative experiences and mature into someone who can overcome these issues and, eventually, grow in Christ as his or her life is being transformed.
We don’t fight with God about forgiveness or healing in our lives. We wind up fighting with Him about the transformation of our lives. The fight is about the uncertainty of what we will be become. It can be frightening to some people.
In Galatians 5:22, kindness and goodness is being beneficial for others. Kindness is responding in love to a person. It produces benefits, advantages and favors to others. It is not about whether someone deserves it or is worthy to receive it. That needs to be removed from any consideration. If you want to be a blessing to someone else, then there should be a benefit received by the other person from your acts of kindness.
Kindness is the act of contributing to the improvement of a person’s life or condition.
Kindness does not mean you should expect to receive something in return, for sometimes you will not even receive a “thank you” for your actions. Not receiving something should never keep you from being kind to others.
People do not want to acknowledge this, but you ar either a blessing to others or a curse to others. Either you build people up or you tear them down. Consider that your inaction in another person’s life makes no appreciable impact, as well.
God can always make life better, but as Christians, we are also to make life better for others in our ministry; otherwise, there is no room for the Spirit to work in a person’s life. They must see your kindness in order to see the true presence of Christ and gravitate towards Him. Jesus came in order for people to not just have life, but the true life–an abundant life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
The Lord is good and upright;
therefore He shows sinners the way.
God sets the pace for believers and even for sinners as to the way one is to go. Your kindness to strangers or to people who may or may not appreciate your actions still have a guideline for instruction.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will show him the way he should choose.
But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.
God is kind and even merciful to the ungrateful and the wicked. This is why you should never stop being kind to others in order that they can see God’s grace and mercy extended to them. God wants you to see them the way that He sees them–as people who need Jesus Christ in order that they can live the abundant life. It is up to the person to repent and make a decision, but your kindness leads them towards repentance.
Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
God’s grace is visible through His kindness. It is agape love for us. Our kindness, in turn, is to also come from an agape love for others.
6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
We are instructed to put on kindness.
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
We are to allow the Holy Spirit to clothe us in kindness, as we are unable to do so on our own.
The flesh can bring forth kindness, but it has limitations because that kindness is bound by the flesh and does not have a lasting effect. Our true response to the Holy Spirit in kindness will have a positive effect and influence that goes far beyond what the flesh can accomplish.
We are to practice our kindness in-house before we go outside.
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
This command was to the Ephesians church, which was made up of different groups of people, including Jews and Romans, who were normally very hostile to each other. This was for people within the church to see where there peace was to come from. We’re all in the same family through the blood of Christ. We need to see this and practice it in our church today.
For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.
Ephesians 4:1-3, 27
1 Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.
27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.
If you are going to be a minister of God’s saving grace and be a servant of His, you must be kind to all people.
2 Corinthians 6:4-6
4 But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:
by great endurance, by afflictions,
by hardship, by difficulties,
5 by beatings, by imprisonments,
by riots, by labors,
by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,
6 by purity, by knowledge,
by patience, by kindness,
by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
Prove who you are in Jesus Christ to others.