“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
In a letter to the Galatians Paul notes kindness as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23). To strenghten his point Paul could have cited a particular inspiring example from the life of King David.
When David was forced to run into exile, pursued by King Saul, one of Saul’s son, Jonathan was kind to him. Where Jonathan would have seen David as a rival, at the risk of his life, he “made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord take vengeance on David's enemies” (I Samuel 20:16). Unfortunately Jonathan would perish during Saul’s last war. When the the throne eventually passed on to David, one of his first act was to be kind to one particular member of Saul’s household. “David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” ( 2 Samuel 9:1).
A crippled son of Jonathan was ushered before him. Immediately David promised, “I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” ( vv 7). And so it were!
Like David, kindness is that fruit of the gift of the Holy spirit, we must all share. Kindness differentiates children of God from all the mean haters and lovers of this world. It is a sign of our gratefulness for all the love God has shown us.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you are kind towards me today I pray to share that kindness in return as a sign of gratefulness, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!