Love is Active

Love Is #2

I Corinthians 13:4

Illustration:  Allowing cars to merge into my lane going to Walmart / Lady letting me cut in front of her with one item

Picture of traffic merging

Picture of overloaded shopping cart

This morning we are going to examine how love is active as it demonstrates kindness

I Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Let’s begin with a definition of kind

Definition

Kind – to be useful, serving and gracious

The word was also used in describing food that was both good and good for you

Someone would say, Thanks for dinner, that was a kind salad

Picture of tasty food

Just as in every element of the list of characteristics of love in this passage, there is a secret to help us be more kind

Secret

We can be kind when we recognize God’s kindness toward us

Example

In Nehemiah 9, Nehemiah shared God’s actions and attitudes toward Israel and their actions and attitudes toward God

In verse 17 he describes the rebellion of Israel and God’s response of kindness and mercy

Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey,
And they were not mindful of Your wonders
That You did among them.
But they hardened their necks,
And in their rebellion
They appointed a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.

Psalm 63 describes a time in David’s life when it would be easy to allow the circumstances to overshadow the kindness of God

Most believe that it was written when he was running from his own son Absalom who had rebelled and taken over the kingdom

But even in the midst of miserable circumstances, David recognized God’s kindness

Psalm 63:3-4 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus demonstrated kindness

While others looked at the problems of people, Jesus showed kindness to them

A great example of this is the story of Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus was despised and deceitful

He was wealthy and powerful, but hated by everyone

Jesus stopped and spent time at Zacchaeus’ house – I am guessing He was one of very few, if any who had spent the time to show kindness to this hated man

Ephesians 4:32 gives the challenge to be kind as we follow the example of Christ

Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Our kindness involves a tender heart and forgiveness

God’s example points us to the extent of kindness

Extent

We like to put restrictions on our kindness

One is that we will show kindness when it is shown to us

However …

Kindness shown to us is not a requirement

Aren’t you glad that God’s kindness towards us is not based upon our kindness towards Him and others

We are to be kind, no matter the actions and attitudes directed toward us

Jesus also reminds us that …

Kindness extends to enemies

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged us to the far-reaching extent of love and kindness

Luke 6:27-29, 32-36 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Love is active and so is the characteristic of kindness

A form of the word “kind” is found in Matthew 11:30

Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Jesus used the picture of a yoke of oxen to describe His kindness toward us.  The phrase “is easy” comes from the same root as the word “kind” in I Corinthians 13:4

What they would do is they would take an inexperienced ox and team it with one that is experienced

They would put the harness tightly upon the experienced ox and loosely on the inexperienced one

The experienced animal would be doing all the work and the inexperienced one would be along for the ride

Jesus has done that in our salvation and also His kindness is evident in our daily life

As we show love and demonstrate kindness we are to follow the example of Jesus

We must look for opportunities to demonstrate kindness and run toward them

Run to Serve

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