Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
Dan I'm afraid of forgetting everything I'm going to say to you so that's why I bring notes with me to. Write it down in case you forget Well today we are continuing on in our series on the fruit of the spirit and we've gone through this long enough I wonder how many of you and don't worry I'm not going to actually call in anyone but how many of you have all nine fruits memorized in order.
A couple people do anyone who grew up in a want to should definitely prefer this be memorized but the furnace Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control and we've been through four we're on the middle fruit right now and then we'll look at four more in the weeks to come and I don't know if these are put in in order of importance or however Paul put these in here this kind of interesting the order that he put these in here but I wonder last week as we talk about patients did anyone here have any problems with patients last week and you know probably every week right every week we're dealing with patients and I was thinking it's kind of kind of the reverse for both of us where now when I preach the sermon I'm kind of at the end of that specific fruit and then I start on the new one and so you deal with that fruit the whole week after I've already dealt with it but I really enjoyed studying this and I hope that you have enjoyed this so far and I think with this series I hope everyone is learning maybe maybe learning something new maybe not necessarily nerd learning anything specifically new but I think all of us need to be reminded of the qualities of the fruit of the spirit and how they really apply to our lives well last week I think for me dealing with patience the thing that probably stood out the most that I got the most from it from my time of study was the fact that patience is a quality of strength not weakness a patient person sometimes we might think that there are a passive person or weak person but when we look. Patience in the Word of God It's the opposite of weakness a patient person is strong they will not allow circumstances and people to control or have really control over their emotions a weak person will give control of their emotions to anything that's going on in their life and so I think it's interesting that Paul follows up this quality of strength and toughness of patient person they've got to be a little bit tough he follows it up with something that's almost just kind of like the opposite which is kindness and so with patience you have the strength to endure and not be negatively affected by others but kindness is when you are affected by others and you respond to their needs and so patience and kindness they they kind of go together very well patience is when you don't respond and kindness is when you do respond to other people I think it's very interesting also that these two qualities are listed back to back in another list that Paul has some you might be familiar with this in first Corinthians thirteen the the chapter on love were the Apostle Paul defines what love is. Somewhere you might have that memorized I don't know but it says in First Corinthians thirteen forces love is patience and love is kind in so he has those two words back to back in that list as well I like to think of first Corinthians is sort of like a wedding passage for obvious reasons it goes really well during wedding ceremonies obviously it applies to other relationships as well but in a marriage two people need to they need to choose to love each other and I don't know if the list in First Corinthians is in order of importance but if you're in a marriage and if you've been in a marriage for one week or one year or fifty years you know that you need to have patience with your spouse. And you also need to practice kindness with your spouse right amen ladies that's right I think you need a little help there well for this fruit for this quality of the fruit the spirit or going to do is kind of follow the same pattern as we've been going through with the rest of them kind of look at the definition so we really understand what kindness means well look at some examples of it and then hopefully we'll see how we can apply it in our lives well for the definition of kindness again most of these qualities they don't really need to be defined however they do have a little bit more depth and meaning than we probably give them credit for and so on when it comes to kindness I think we all know it kind of says you definitely know when you're all round a person who's kind of correct and you definitely know when you're around a person who is who is unkind but just like when we looked at peace a couple weeks ago the Hebrew word shalom means so much more than just the absence of hostility peace has a very big meaning and kindness is very similar in that regard kindness is being thoughtful of other people more so than yourself in any particular situation and so to be kind means that you want to help others to encourage them or to comfort them or to do something that serves as a way to benefit them.
Jesus taught the two greatest commandments but he also taught us the golden rule that hopefully everyone here knows the Golden Rule Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You That's a great way to think about kindness I think I'm the most important point of kindness is that it is an action. It's something that you do you actually do to or for another person and so in other words if you say hello to somebody in the smile back at you they're not being kind maybe polite or very pleasant but. Kindness is when you actually do something for another person patience is about what you don't do you don't retaliate you don't lose your temper the kindness is about what you do for another person and not because you have to a kind person isn't doing something because it is their duty to do it they truly want to genuinely benefit another person and without the hope or expectation of being rewarded or paid back in fact if you think about kindness as we're talking about it today kindness it's going to cost the person who is kind to another person it's going to cost them something it's not free if you're kind to another person at the very least it costs you time because you have to take time out of your schedule and sometimes it might take up some of your resources some of your energy and maybe even some of your finances to be kind with another person in fact an interesting thing about the word for kindness is it it is often linked with the word generosity those words can almost be interchangeable many times throughout Scripture in fact if you can think of a kind person in your life is that person also generous not just generous with their money but generous with different parts of their life and so kindness and generosity those are two really great synonyms that work together kind of help us understand what kindness means well in the Old Testament God is often praised for his kindness and there is a word in the Hebrew that is it is kind of like the word shalom it means so much more than just on what piece really our understanding of peace and the Greek or the Hebrew word often translated kindness is the Greek word the Hebrew word has said and I'm probably not pronouncing that right is probably more like said something like that those in the Hebrew words you can probably try to figure out how to pronounce it but many times as we look at the Old Testament it's true. They to many different words but many times this word has said it's translated love with the emphasis on a faithful kind of love a love that is not going to give up in quit it can also be translated many times in the Hebrew Old Testament using the word loyal and so someone who is kind is loving they are also loyal There is this commitment aspect that someone has to another person that is kind also this word has said can be translated mercy or compassion and so and we think of someone who is kind this is kind of a deep in a rich full meaning but for those of you who grew up on the King James Version some of you probably still use that version today almost every time this word is used in the Old Testament the King James version used a double word to translate has said and it uses the word loving kindness the loving kindness of God the Father and so whenever we see this Hebrew word in the Old Testament it's really showing us God to be faithful to his covenant promises and paying careful attention to our needs and acting in generous and merciful love providing everything for our blessing and benefit and so that's what kindness means why I want to take a look at some examples in the Bible and on your sermon notes you'll notice I have some scripture references and so let's look at the first one and maybe the best one in the entire Bible that one is probably the most popular one is Psalm twenty three many you are familiar with Psalm twenty three but this is a great chapter it's a short chapter were David talks about the Lord is my shepherd but in this one tire chapter we see God as represented as being a kind God I love being a loyal faithful generous God. Psalm twenty three let's go ahead and read the whole thing it's a pretty short Psalm twenty three.
And it starts off by saying David is saying this about God He says the Lord is mine shepherd I shall not want and just stop there for just a second what kind of Shepherd do sheep need a kind shepherd right someone who's genuinely going to be interested in the welfare and the benefit of the sheep and can she pay back the shepherd I mean not really generally speaking not really and so this Shepherd needs to have a kind heart to benefit the sheep and so this is how David is describing God he's a kind God The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want and this is what God does for him. He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside still waters he resource my soul he leads me and paths of righteousness for his namesake even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup overflows Surely goodness and in this word is said Goodness and mercy or kindness or God's generosity Surely goodness and his said shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever and so this is a great example of the kindness of God King David is saying God is so kind these are all the things that he does for me and he actually uses that word has said in this passage another passage of your An already in Psalm just turned over to Psalm one hundred thirty six.
Psalm one hundred thirty six we're not going to read this entire chapter but at the end of every verse. He uses the same phrase King David uses a same phrase and this this Hebrew word has said is in there and the E.S.P. translates it the same every time I'm sure I didn't look at the other trying. Elation to see what they use but in Psalm one hundred thirty six just verse one says Give thanks to the Lord for He is good his has said his kindness his steadfast love endures forever that's what the E.S.B. the translates this word has said. You know if someone were to ask you to describe God to them. Maybe even like an atheist so much as I don't even believe that God exists sure to prove to me that God exists how would you describe God you might go through a list of all is actually all the on these He's omnipotent he's all powerful he's omniscient he's he's all knowing but would you describe him as first and foremost a kind God a God who provides for all of our needs it's interesting in Acts Chapter fourteen I want you to turn over their. Acceptor fourteen when Paul and Silas were on their first missionary journey they came to a city called Let's drop and Paul he on heals a man who was not able to use his feet he was crippled from birth and as soon as he does that these are pagans and so they believe in the of the Greek gods and so they said the gods have visited us and they were going to they were to sacrifice our RAM to him and they were going to do all these things for Paul and he's saying no no I'm just I'm just I'm me and I'm just like you and this is how Paul describes God to these people who do not know the Living God acts fourteen let's pick up in verse fifteen
Acts fourteen beginning in verse fifteen Paul is saying men why are you doing these things we are also men of like nature with you and we bring you good news that you should turn from these they ain't things to a living God And now he describes God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them in past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways yet he did not leave himself without witness for he did good by giving you reigns from heaven and fruitful seasons satisfying your hearts with food and glad and so the way that Paul describes to these pagans who God is he shares with them God's Chris said his kindness God gives rain he allows there to be fruit in and all the blessings that come from living here in this world you know there's a lot of bad things in this world it's pretty obvious all you need to do is open your eyes and you can see that but if we open our eyes and we notice the world around us we can see God's genuine kindness to us how we benefits us he does all things for our benefit. Another act of kindness from God one that we might not necessarily think about is found in Romans chapter two.
Go to Romans chapter two and then we're going to look at a great story in the Old Testament but in Romans chapter two.
Paul is beginning to talk to the Romans and kind of describing who God is in the relationship that God has with mankind and here he says something interesting about the kindness of God and one of the reasons why God acts in a kind way to mankind.
So Romans chapter two and would start in verse three Romans chapter two beginning in verse three. Paul writes Do you suppose oh man you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself that you will escape. The judgment of God or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance it's kind of interesting how God displays his kindness to all mankind as a way to lead them towards repentance and yet most of mankind will take advantage of God's kindness and so in these couple passages that we've read hopefully we're seeing that this is who God is God is a kind God he's a generous benevolent loving faithful God to us and as we're dealing with the fruit of the Spirit what we're trying to realize is if God is these things if he is a kind God he is trying to manifest that quality of the fruit the spirit in us so that you and I will be kind as well why I want to do I want to look at a really good story on kindness between two people and then hopefully uses to kind of inspire us to do the same things so I want you to churn in your Bibles to First Samuel Chapter twenty and this is a story of King David.
First Samuel Chapter twenty will begin in verse twelve and so you to get some kind of background on this how many of you know who King David's Well this is before he was king who was David's best friend. Jonathan that's right and Jonathan had his father King Saul and there was a time when David knew he was going to be king had been prophesied that he was going to be King and David said to Jonathan Jonathan your father is trying to kill me and Jonathan saying no no that's not true I would know he confides in me he tells me everything and Davis says no you've got to trust me he's trying to kill me and so this what we're going to do he invited me to a dinner I'm not going to show up for the dinner and this is how you're going to know if he's trying to kill me or not by the way he responds if it's not that big of a deal that I'm not at the dinner that maybe I was wrong but if you responds in anger it's because he was. Ending to kill me and so this is a conversation a J. a David and Jonathan are having and Jonathan is realizing that their relationship their friendship is probably coming to an end and he asked David to do something for him he asked him to show him kindness not only in his life however long his life is going to live but also to show kindness to his offspring so let's read this this passage and this would be a great movie in this this passage or this scene would be very intense very emotional First Samuel Chapter twenty and will start in verse twelve percent Chapter twenty beginning in verse twelve.
And Jonathan said to David the Lord the God of Israel be witness when I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow or the third day behold if he is well disposed towards David then I shall not that shall I not then send disclose it to you in other words if he's not upset with you all let you know verse thirteen but should it please my father to do you harm the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also if I do not disclose it to you and send you away the Jew may go in safety may the Lord be with you as he has been with my father if I am still alive show me the steadfast love Here's the Greek word the Hebrew word aside in kindness show me the steadfast love of the Lord that I may not die and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth and Jonathan made a covenant with the House of David saying May the Lord take vengeance on David's enemies and Jonathan may David swear again by his love for him for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
No Jonathan knew David was going to be King it was. Obvious And usually what happens to the former king's family it doesn't go so well for them.
Jonathan and Saul were both killed in a battle and eventually David became king and so turn over to Second Samuel Chapter nine Second Samuel Chapter nine we get later on into gave David's kingship and he remembers this covenant that he had with Jonathan. And so this is what he says Second Samuel Chapter nine beginning in verse one
says and David said. Is there still anyone left of the House of Saul that I may show him kindness for David for Jonathan sake and you know the interesting thing about this I don't know exactly how many years ago and by I probably could have figured that out but.
David doesn't have to do this he made this covenant with Jonathan Jonathan is long dead if David does not show kindness to any of Jonathan's relatives Jonathan is not going to know but because of this covenant that he had and the love that he had for his dear friend Jonathan he said this is what he wants to do in verse two says now there was a servant of the House of Saul whose name was Zuba and they called him to David and the king said to him are you zero and he said I am your servant and the king said is there not still some one of the House of Saul that I may show the kindness of God to him in service said to the king there is still a son of Jonathan he is crippled in his feet the king said to him Where is he and service said to the king he is in the House of Machir the son of a meal at load of our thinking David sent him brought him from the house of the cure the son of a meal a load of bar and a fever chef the son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David and fell on his face and paid homage and David said my feeble Sheth and he answered him Behold I am your servant and David said Do not fear for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan and I will restate or to you all the land of Saul your father and you shall eat at my table always.
Now that is a huge act of kindness diva did not need to do this but because of his love for Jonathan he chose to be kind he's letting the fever chef live he's comforting him he's providing for his daily needs any is restoring the wealth of his grandfather Saul King David did not need to do this at all but he did this why because he's choosing to be kind to him a feed a chef just like David knew God was kind to him.
Well what about you has anyone ever been kind to you in a moment of vulnerability maybe someone helped you out financially maybe someone comforted you or or helped you physically you know I was thinking I gotta come up with an example of the time someone did this to me and and the first thing that came to mind I don't know why I thought of this but it was about eleven years ago maybe ten or eleven years ago and this is right after we moved to Phoenix and for those of you who remember I had this really cool sports car it was a Mercury Sable I.
Wish it was a sports car anyway I was driving that around and I was going down I seventeen and this was either July or August or September so it was hot and I've also noticed that here's a rule of life in Phoenix if your car's going to break down it's going to break down when it's really hot like one hundred ten right that's just how it works here and so I'm driving my awesome sweet Mercury Sable down I seventeen and I got off on Bell and so many of you are familiar with that intersection and I get off on Bell and my car just dies it just completely dies and I'm in you know where the bus stop is that little area they kind of pull off to the side and I pull off to the side I'm on Belle it's very busy I'm in flip flops it's about one hundred ten degrees outside and my car will not start at all and I'm thinking you've got to be kidding me right here of all places and so I get out of my car and it's uphill and so I'm sort of trying to push my car and and so a couple acts of kindness I want to share these with you but the first thing is and I I must not only have been out there for. One minute and out of nowhere two young guys pull their cars over and they get behind my Mercury and they push they go get in we're going to push you to this this parking lot over here and so they pushed me on my word of these people coming from and as soon as they pushed me into the parking lot they said All right see you later on like thank you so much for doing that so that was a first act of kindness maybe they were angels who now are probably not he was they were just very helpful people and I'm sitting there and I'm going oh great well now I'm not on Bill road in my broken down car but I have no idea how to fix cars as my wife will attest each time something breaks it's like I don't know what to do that's why I know some of you someone you're on my speed now and then it you know Matt has some broke you know what do I do and so the only person I knew at that time was Mirna boat him many of you know whom or both campus she worked at Rodeo Ford down in Avondale and I didn't have a mechanic at that point that I knew and I trusted like you need a mechanic that you can trust when it comes to your cars and so I called them around and I said Marina I'm going to park it up here and I seventeen Abella my car won't start it's probably the alternator the starter in my battery seems to be dead and she said OK Stay right there we're coming to get you and she left to work in her truck and a tow truck they came up they picked up my car and she told me what was wrong with it I can remember who was wrong with it they towed it back down to her work they fixed it and she left me her personal vehicle to drive and tell it was fixed.
It was just one of those moments where I thought.
I don't know what to do I don't know how to fix this and in two different cases God is like I've got this for you I'll provide and he used people who said I will be kind to you.
And I greatly appreciate that always remember that you know as as a guy especially me it's hard to have those moments where you just you can't fix something you just don't know what to do but it's times like that I think. Teaches Us very valuable lessons to be receptive to his kindness and also to know that there's times when we need to be kind and truly generous and benefit other people well how are we to put this into practice how are we to do this well obviously we are putting kindness into practice by being kind to right it kind of goes without saying but I want to just give a couple things that I think we need to practice when it comes to this this quality of the fruit of the spirit how many of you remember Blockbuster Video EVERYONE over a certain age probably remembers that remember all the stickers that they would put on the V.H.S. tapes and at the store Be Kind Rewind So you know our age is kind of aging ourselves but do you know it was a have a good they were trying to get everyone to be in because if you didn't rewind the tape what I'm going to the next person they couldn't watch the movie and they had to rewind it so kids the V.H.S. tapes they they were automatically actually there now OK.
But look it up in a museum or something like that anyway but when it comes to kindness I think this is something we all have to realize this is a habit now we have to work on we have to work on being kind and I think um I want to offer two things I guess when it comes to kindness that we need to practice one is we need to remove the excuses that we come up with to not being kind and then also we have to look for the opportunities but when it comes to excuses for being kind I think there's probably dozens that we could come up with but maybe the number one excuse that all of us will have for reasons why we're not kind as often as we should be is this we're too busy and we just can't be interrupted right all of us are busy doing stuff our schedules are full and we're doing good things hopefully hopefully I we can all say that but we have our To Do lists and we don't want to be. Interrupted and so I think one way that we can get around this is literally to put time in your schedule to be kind to another person and by that I mean this every now and then there's an opportunity like when your car breaks down on a seventeen a bell that someone needs people to jump in and help help out but if someone is in need of people being kind to them oftentimes it's not in an emergency situation they're just in that stage in their life and if you're aware of that look at your schedule and just carve out a chunk of time where you can be kind to another person make that a priority give yourself a margin in your life so that God can use you he can manifest in your life kindness so that you can help other people. And also when it comes to looking for opportunities obviously there are going to be random strangers that we come across from time to time that need us to be kind to them but I think the most important thing is that we're kind to the people we know and sometimes we look at a person's life and we realize they're just going through a very difficult time whatever it means whether it's emotionally or financially or relationally something is going on and we can carve out time and make sure that we're really reaching out to those people who are in need of some kindness I guess here's some ideas. Mike McFadden Pastor Mike is doing our parenting class talking about some of the young parents for those of you who remember what it was like with young kids something you could do is just offer to watch their kids for free and let the parents go out on a date that would be kind of be very kind or if if you know someone that is short on money and they need some things that are fixed in their house maybe you can be kind enough to them and offer them some financial help whether they're family members or friends I remember when we were first married we were first married we were dirt poor I think that's another thing everyone should be dirt. Or for a while in their life so they can enjoy it when they have a little extra resources but when I had a different car this was before the sports car Mercury Sable and I drove that thing until the tires were as bald as they could get I couldn't afford new tires and I remember one day at church someone came up to me and said I notice the tires on your car you really need to get new tires and I go yeah I know I'm getting ready to do it and he handed me a check and said No you're getting them right now we don't want you to get hurt and I just I was just just amazed by that act of kindness by somebody else and sometimes the kind of kindness that we can give to somebody else is just simply emotional support I give you know someone that is going through a very rough time just simply saying hey let's go out let's grab lunch let's get a cup of coffee and just just listen you don't necessarily have to fix their problems and nine times out of ten you can't fix their problems but a kind act is just listening to someone share the burdens that are going on in their hearts. You know each quality of the fruit of the spirit it needs to be cultivated we need to work with the Holy Spirit so he can produce this in our lives but if we open up our eyes to the world around us there are so many opportunities for you and for me to be kind to others just like God was kind to us. I want to end with a passage of Scripture it's found in Micah Chapter six so if you think you can find Micah fast enough go for it Micah chapter six and I love this passage because it's also a song or about to sing as we close our service but in this passage Micah kind of asked the age old question God What is it that you want from us what what is it that we can do to make you happy and so my kid goes through a list of different things and he gets down to the one thing that God really wants for us to do and so in Micah Chapter six beginning in verse six.
It goes like this.
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high Shall I come before him with burnt offerings with calves a year old is that we're God wants is that going to please him will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams and ten thousands of rivers of oil shall I give my firstborn for my transgression the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul. And here is the answer.
He has told you oh man what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness. And to walk humbly with your god. That's what God wants from us to be kind.
Let's close in prayer
Dear God as we as we walk with you I pray that you will help us to reflect you.
Lord right now has as we've been going through these different qualities of the fruit of the Spirit to give yourself so that your qualities may be produced in our lives and as we have focused on your kindness this morning help us to be sensitive and aware and thoughtful of the needs of the people in our lives help us father to be kind like you are in the greatest act of kindness that you have shown to us as you gave your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have the hope of eternal life and we could never approach that level of kindness but Father you are kind you have proven it over and over and so help us to cultivate this fruit of the Spirit in our lives so that we can reach out to others in benefit them in a way that you have benefited us who previously was down Christ's sake.