Sometimes people say…serving, being kind is not the good news…In fact it’s not biblical…It always amazes me what I hear such statements. Usually, the statements come from angry, unkind people. I often want to ask, Could I speak to your wife / husband for a few minutes? I’d ask, Is your husband / wife kind, caring and serving at home? How do they treat you and the kids?
Being kind, caring and open hearted toward others is a heart skill.
My friend Doug Roe states. ‘An Evangelist is a friendly open hearted person.’
He says this because Jesus was the most friendly open hearted person to have ever lived. He was a friend of sinners and went to parties with notorious sinners (the message). He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed.
A casual read of the gospels will reveal Jesus as a friendly open hearted person…He usually became ticked at the self-righteous, the self-promoted, the pious, those who turned God’s law in to a weapon against people who didn’t act, dress or believe like them.
Jesus grew in favor with God and men…how? the good deeds that flowed out of his life reflected the kindness of his Father. See Jesus…See God.
So, what about Kindness and Good Deeds?
A brief biblical overview of Kindness, Lovingkindness
• In the Old Testament, the word translated as “kindness” or “lovingkindness” refers to God’s long-suffering love—God’s loyal love and favor toward His people. His determination to keep loving His people in spite of their sin and rebellion. This attribute of God is revealed through His divine mercy and forgiveness toward all men.
but a deliberate act to bring a person back to God.
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary
• David’s plea for forgiveness was based on his understanding and experience of God’s unfailing love.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love (lovingkindness); according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (NIV)
• Jeremiah the prophet knew that God delighted in those who knew God as a Kind God.
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (NIV)
• Hosea was a living picture of God’s unfailing love toward Israel.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly / kindly to her. (NIV)
(An amazing revelation of God’s Grace and Mercy! check the context!)
• In the New Testament, the Greek word translated as “grace” best represents the idea of God’s kindness or lovingkindness. Biblical kindness is revealed by God’s consistent day by day unfailing grace. Because God has been gracious toward believers, all believers should endeavor to treat all people with kindness, grace and tolerance.
(Jesus) But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (NIV) Jesus
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. NIV
• Faith In A Good God Is Essential To Living A Positive The Christian Life.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV) (We believe He is… and… He is a good God.)
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. (NAS)
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
Who the Holy Spirit? What does He do? This passage describes His personality as active love, joy, peace patience, kindness…
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (NIV)
• What’s The Point?
Understanding God’s Grace and Kindness has everything to do with how we view / live life and how we treat people as we attempt to reach our world.
• Points to ponder:
How do you view God? What’s your image? How has your view of God been shaped? Why?
Think of a time when you experienced undeserved grace, mercy and love. How did that event change you or touch your heart.
How is your presentation of the good news based on your perception (how we view and see) of God’s nature?
- How can we reveal God kindness in tangible practical ways?
The Bible Encourages All Believers To Be A People Who Practice Good Deeds.
God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.(NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
1 Tim 6:17-19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (NIV)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope —the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (zealous for good works.) 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. (NIV)
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (NIV)
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. (NIV)
1 Pet 2:15
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. (NIV)
1 Pet 2:12
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.(NAS)
Good deeds are a reflection of the good good news believers have received.
that opens hearts to the good news.
Because it affects the heart.
Acts of kindness expressed by genuine love reaches the heart. By offering to do simple acts of kindness your church can begin to gain access into the lives of the people they are attempting to reach. Most people will remember your deeds of kindness much more than the words you speak. Acts of love + Words of love = incredible power.
Because anyone can serve. It’s doable.
Most people are not gifted vocally as evangelists. Most people are fearful and timid. However, both young and old can express God’s love and kindness through a simple act of humble service. Serving others helps to remove most of our e:fear factor.
Because it will begin to produce an outward focused spirit to come upon the Church.
As you begin to serve you will discover an amazing thing… As you go out to serve you will begin to notice people and notice needs. Going and serving begins to shift our way of looking from inward: me, us and ours to outward: the needs of others and their need of a savior. Seeing need often produces a willingness to go.
Because it is obtainable.
Most projects can be accomplished in a couple of hours.
Because Serving others creates opportunity.
Most Christians do not have on ramps into the lives of of the people within their sphere of influence. Our greatest fear…is talking to strangers. Their greatest fear…is talking to strangers. Serving someone is a natural bridge. Their question is usually, “Why?” This question can open the door for relationship and further conversation.
Because it begins to create a humble and servant-like attitude in our lives.
How do you learn to serve? By serving. Serving others involves humility and an enlargement of heart toward other people. Serving others produces a healthy other-centredness.
Because it is simple, quick, and high volume sowing.
Little training is needed. How much training does it take to say to a person, “Hi! We are a church in your area. You looked too thirsty to pass up. Would you like diet or regular?” Many seeds can be sown in a few hours. People need to begin to take first steps into e:opportunities.
Because for the most part it is non-offensive and culturally relevant.
Serving others breaks down barriers and builds bridges between your church and your community. The principle is go, serve, give, then adjust. You will never know what will work…until you begin to do something. Ready…Fire…Aim is the principle.
Because it is good for the church.
As we go and do deeds of kindness there will begin to have a sense of accomplishment and adventure. Because serving others is Low risk…High grace…
Because it blesses the Heart of God.
Obedience to the great commissioner gladdens the heart of God. As we go, serve, and reach He will begin to enlarge our hearts with His care for our area, and He will release His favor into our lives.
It’s Team building.
It allows shy people to get their feet wet.
It doesn’t require a huge amount of training.
It provides a safe place for over-ambitious people.
It doesn’t just rely on vocal gifting.