Kindness (July 1, 2011)

Cultivation

How do we, as Christians cultivate kindness in our hearts by faith? Ephesians 4:30-5:2.

Weeding: There is one central sin that attacks this fruit. There is one weed that chokes kindness out at it’s source, which is the Holy Spirit. Read 4:30. How do we grieve the Holy Spirit, or as 1 Thessalonians says, quench the Holy Spirit? We do so by our own sin. Sin, at it’s root is pride, or self-centeredness. The war of kindness within your heart arrives as you wrestle with your own pride and selfishness. Illustration:

Watering: There are five things to which you must look in this passage to nourish your heart toward kindness:

  1. Look at God’s love for you. Look at God’s unmerited affection towards you (Read 5:1; Loved children!) [We won’t walk in love until we are overwhelmed by the reality that we are loved]
  2. Look at the cost of God’s love for you (Read 5:2). [God delighted in the horrible crucifixion of Jesus because of his love for you. He so loved the world that he not only sent his son, but he smashed his son as well because of his great love]
  3. Look at the result of God’s costly love (Ephesians 4:32; God, in Christ forgave you!) You are forgiven!
  4. Look at the resources deposited into your heart (Ephesians 4:30-31; The Holy Spirit!)
  5. Look at your brothers in the Bible: 2 Samuel 9. David showed kindness to Mephibosheth because of his covenant faithfulness to Jonathan. God showed you kindness because of his covenant faithfulness to Jesus.
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