Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Titus 3:4-5 - KINDNESS

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,

patience, KINDNESS, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 

when the goodness and loving kindness
of God our Savior appeared, he saved us,
not because of any works
of righteousness that we had done,
but according to his mercy
Titus 3:4-5
I remember one time reading about an event in famed religion professor Huston Smith's life. Preparing for a conference, he picked up their keynote speaker, Aldous Huxley, at the airport.
On their long drive to the university, Smith dared to ask the famed and aging atheist if he had an great insight on the meaning of life.
Huxley replied: "You know, Huston, it’s rather embarrassing to have spent one’s entire lifetime pondering the human condition and to come toward its close and find that I really don’t have anything more profound to pass on by way of advice than, "Try to be a little kinder.’"   
Without the hope of heaven, I guess that's the sum of a famous atheist's life -- "Be nice."
Another famous writer and thinker also advised that we should be nice and kind. But this great thinker -- the Apostle Paul -- linked kindness to both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul said that kindness is a fruit that the Spirit wishes to pour into you. In other words, "true kindness" is Spirit-inspired. And in light of this "true and Spirit-inspired kindness," listen to Paul explanation of kindness from our verse for today. In his letter to Titus, Paul said that ... 
  1. the greatest measure of kindness is from God, through Jesus Christ. 
  2. He linked kindness to "lov[e]" and "mercy."
  3. He showed how the actions of Jesus Christ are the fullest expression of kindness. 
  4. Which implies that Jesus' actions are the model for us expressing kindness.
  5. Finally, he also said that God's loving kindness leads where? To salvation!
Think about that. Kindness for kindness-sake is nice. But in the end is it really kind to be nice and friendly but leave people on a road that inevitably leads to death and destruction? The whole point of Jesus' cross-directed life was a kindness that put us on a road to salvation.
Which means ... If Jesus' links kindness and mercy to eternal salvation, let your kindness lead to salvation too.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who'll stand with
the famous writer and thinker
who's sold more copies
.. who do you think it was
Huxley's Brave New World
or Paul and the New Testament?
(The Bible is the best seller every year!)
The bible is the best selling book every year ... yet the least read.

Kindness ... if we truly think about it and apply it, we would all lead drastically different lives. There is a cliche' - 'kill 'em with kindness" - be nice to everyone - especially those it is difficult to be nice to. Hold doors, smile, make eye contact, pay for someone's order in a drive through.  Kindness doesn't have to be with people you know, It can be anonymous.  And random.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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