Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Kindness & Good Deeds are Deeply Rooted in the Bible
God’s Kindness Defined
Kindness is central to God's nature, His loyal love and His favor toward His people. In the Old Testament, the word translated as "kindness" or "lovingkindness" refers to God's long-suffering love—His determination to keep His promises to His chosen people in spite of their sin and rebellion. This attribute of God was consistently shown through His divine mercy and His forgiveness toward His people. He is the Lord God, who delights in demonstrating kindness in the earth.
Let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24
"Kindness is not an apathetic response,
but a deliberate act to bring a person back to God." NBD
Jesus Demonstrated Kindness
He continually declared, taught, and demonstrated the value of kindness by serving others practically, spiritually, and physically. Jesus was a Word-Worker! He demonstrated and then invited people to repent and follow His ways.
“But Jesus called them to Himself and said,"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”NASB Matthew 20:25-28
Early Church Leaders Modeled Humility and Serving.
And encouraged others to do the same. Paul’s consistently defined himself and his team as bond-slaves, and as servants.
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 1 Co. 3:5-6
It is interesting to read the thought—connected passages concerning doing good and serving others. The Pastoral Epistles were to be read by every leader, and every church. In particular to give instruction to Pastors, and to encourage positive behavior among the church. Serving others and doing good were central.
~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. 1 Tim 6:17-19
~For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 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. Titus 2:11-15
~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 Titus 3:8
~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 Titus 3:14
~Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence. 1 John 3:18-19
~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) 1 Pet 2:12
~For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. (NIV) 1 Pet 2:15
God’s Kindness Leads People to Repentance.
David's plea for forgiveness was based on his understanding, and his experience of God's unfailing love...Gods' Loving Kindness.
~Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love (loving kindness); according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (NIV) Ps 51:1-2
In the New Testament, the Greek word translated as "grace" best represents the idea of God's kindness or lovingkindness... HIs consistent day by day unfailing grace. Because God has been merciful and gracious toward us, we should treat all people with kindness, grace and mercy.
~(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) Luke 6:35
~God’s kindness leads to repentance... NIV Ro. 2:4
Our Beliefs Determine our Actions.
Believing that God is Good and Kind is our foundational belief. This core belief enhances our connection to God as Father and this naturally flows into our relationships with others. What we believe about God's nature and character will shape our thoughts, our attitudes and our actions. These core beliefs govern how we treat ourselves and others. If we believe God is a loving Father I will tend to extend love and kindness toward ourselves and toward others who are created in His image.
~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) Heb. 11:6
We believe God is, and that He is good—by faith.
~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) Acts 10:38
~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) Eph 2:6-7
~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) Titus 3:4-5
Holy Spirit Reveals the Goodness and the Character of God...
by the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit revealed through the lives of believers.
~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) Gal 5:22-23
~Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit. NIV 1 Co. 14:1
God’s Kindness impacts how we Treat People as we Reach Them
Our presentation, and our demonstration of the Good News is based on our perception of God's nature and character—how we view, experience, and see Him. If we only see Him as a severe God...we may have a tendency to be severe toward ourselves and others. If we only see Him as kind we may not have proper honor for God’s holiness and nature.
We hold these truths in tension. If we were to choose which side to fall upon it would be fall upon the merciful kind side. All who fell at the feet of Jesus received mercy, grace, salvation, and healing.
~Freely give, as you have received. Have we received love, mercy and forgiveness? Thus, we should willingly, and gracefully, extend His love and kindness to others in all kinds of ways. 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. Gal 6:9-10
To learn more, www.KindnessOutreach.com or firstname.lastname@example.org