“The best of all is, God is with us.” Raising his arms in victory, these were John Wesley’s final words, welling up from the deepest part of his soul. He experienced the fulfillment of God’s promise of His presence: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
Yes, Immanuel, God is with us wherever we go, so do not fear. Has the meaning of Christmas truly filled your spirit? Are you still filled with fear like the Shepherd’s or are you thinking of the spirit of Kindness or other fruit of the Spirit? I have been writing about “kindness” and how to live in it.
You know that the Bible is full of scripture on kindness. A brief review this morning showed 56 texts dealing with God’s kindness or the need for each of us to model His kindness. Proverbs is full of admonitions on kindness, 11:17 says, “A kind man benefits himself.” Do not forget God’s benefits. Proverbs 12:25, “but a kind word cheers him up.” We also know that a happy heart makes the face cheerful and that a cheerful heart has a continual feast- hallelujah. Back to kindness, “however is kind to the poor lends to God and is honored by God.” Perhaps one of our favorite verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4 reminds us that love in patient and kind. And Paul continues in Ephesians 4:32 saying, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving just as Christ forgave us. In Ephesians 2:7 he says that Christ’s incomparable riches of grace are expressed in his kindness. In 1 Thessalonians 5:15 he tells us to, “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” Did you get that, to be kind to each and every, ALL people. Now there’s the hitch. There are difficult people in this world, right? Well, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will be kind to all, for the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So what do we do? “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:12-14). Peter opens this book by saying that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through Him who gave us this great and precious promise.
Well, there are some more thoughts about my theme word and character trait of the New Year. I am feeling better that I can do it with God’s help. How about you? Happy New Year.
I have listed a website that has a short talk on kindness that is worthy of a listen.