The Oxford Dictionary definition for kindness is “having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature.”
In Galatians Saul the religious terrorist who became Paul the Apostle of Jesus lists kindness as one of the nine traits considered to be the “fruit of the Spirit.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4 he states, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”. Condemnation, criticism, and complaints thrive when kindness is absent. In a society that increasingly no longer knows what the truth is are we compromising kindness in our pursuit of truth?
In the gospels Jesus always responded kindly to broken and sinful people. He reacted unkindly towards the proud, legalistical and hypocritical. His planned kindness towards the broken woman at the well is counterculture. Sometimes consistent acts of kindness do more than arguments based on words or ideologies. On this anniversary of 9/11, a massively cruel day in history, consider sowing kindness, towards a stranger, or a friend.
I lead a fisherman in a salvation prayer at Castlerock beach, a few days ago. It was a bold and brave act and illustrated that the heart can still be saved.
Psalm 107 lines up with this 107 th blogpost – “Give Thanks To The Lord, For He Is Good, For His Loving-Kindness Is Forever.”
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination and wonder.” Ronald Regan.
I agree with the quote above. Do you? But when it comes to evaluating the ‘push it to the limit’ approach to life there are limits we need to respect. The bumper stickers, quotes and people who declare there are “NO LIMITS” are false. When others ask you to push it to the limit or tell you there are no limits ask YOUrself;
1. Do I understand what limits are being addressed?
2. Is it a perceived limit?
3. Is it an artificial limit that is keeping me down?
4. Am I willing to test my artificial or perceived limits?
5. What limits in life need to be respected ?
6. What’s the difference between exceeding apparent limits and crossing all limits?
7. What situations might call for an intentional limiting of my involvement with others?
“I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth. I was there when he set the limits of the seas,so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations, I was the architect at his side.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
People with good character have a lot of grace.
One of John Wesley’s best contributions to theology was his understanding of prevenient grace. Broadly speaking, this is the grace that “goes before” — it precedes human action and reflects God’s heart for his creation. It’s available to all — there is no “natural man” left in a purely fallen state without a measure of God’s restorative grace.
To keep it simple, it’s:
Grace before we knew we needed it.
“I have this image of the circus and the trapeze artists, and they’re doing these incredible things way up high and it’s dangerous. Life is like that. Sometimes they begin to fall and there’s a net there. Sometimes it’s people, we begin to fall. And through prevenience, we have a net available to us. Grace is everywhere. We are caught up in the net of God’s care. John Wesley understood this grace. It is this grace that was so compelling for John Wesley that he shared with the whole world, and it reaches out to us today.” Gary Henderson, UMC.
“Messiah, the stone which the builders rejected, to become the head cornerstone.”
Psalm 118:22-23, Isaiah 8:14-15, Isaiah 28:16.
When I worked at Jews for Jesus in San Francisco I discovered everybody needs to hear the gospel. And God’s chosen people (the Jews) are certainly no exception. Y’shua came in fulfillment of the writings of Jewish prophets who were writing to Jewish people. So if Jews don’t need Jesus, no one does! Yes, Jews and Gentiles both need salvation in Jesus, but you don’t have to be Jewish to have an effective witness to Jewish people
Richard Harvey is a charismatic Messianic Jew from London. He was awarded his PhD in 2008 for his pioneering study Mapping Messianic Jewish Theology. Richard was a founder member of the London Messianic Congregation in 1979, and served on the staff of the Church’s Ministry Among the Jewish People (CMJ), an Anglican mission, from 1982 to 1991. In 1992 he was the first UK Director of Jews for Jesus.
His most recent book “Luther and the Jews: Putting Right the Lies” is a timely contribution to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Richard left All Nations College in 2011 to become Senior Researcher with Jews for Jesus. His work involves writing and researching Messianic Jewish Theology, and also teaching, training and mentoring in the UK, Israel and worldwide. In 2013 and 2017 he presented papers at the World Congress of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem on the subject of Messianic Jews. His blog “On this day in Messianic Jewish history” traces the experiences of Jewish believers.
Richard will be in Northern Ireland this September 21-23 and Dublin 23-25. I’ll be organizing his speaking schedule. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet a brilliant theologian, author and scholar. To arrange a talk please contact me at;
Phone: 07712 701537
or respond in the comments section.
I love learning about how to succeed in life from a wide range of creative leaders. And I love sharing the learning with others. I recognise that setting goals can sometimes leave us feeling deflated once they are reached so focusing on what we want out of life might work better for some. For true success in any endeavor, we can try the following;
C1: A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.
C2: A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal.
C3: A focused CONCENTRATION on what it will take to reach that goal.
C4: A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.
C5: An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing.
C6: A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.
C7: A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.
Source : True Success: A New Philosophy of Excellence. — Tom Morris.
“Grace isn’t an excuse to stay in your sin. It’s the power to get out of it.” Kris Vallotton
Grace is the key concept throughout the bible and in the Christian faith. My favorite definition for grace is: I couldn’t earn it and I don’t deserve it.
I deserved the punishment of Hell, but God graciously bestowed on me the gift of His Son who suffered and paid the price for me. Knowing this causes me to seek to know just how to show grace to others.
This 100th post (Woo Hoo !) coincides with the 100th River Liffey swim in Dublin.
Does this mean grace is only for disciples of Jesus?
No … grace and kindness are evident everywhere. While we can’t offer salvation to other people, we can embody grace in word and deed through our responses, presence, keeping short accounts, saying thank you, leading others, taking interest in others and choosing to live a life of love and joy!
Let me know if you like these grace themed songs :