THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 10-17-10
LESSON TITLE: “IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND: BROTHERLY KINDNESS”
Hear the words of God in Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” How wonderful it is to know that we can count on God and that He is with us every step of the way in this life.
Thanks for joining us this Lord’s Day for the study of God’s Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord’s day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s begin praising our God through song. Won’t you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us of what God has promised the faithful in the end? The name of the song, “Just over in the Glory Land!”
(SONG # 1)
We learned earlier this day that God is always with us: each moment of every day, no matter where we go, our God is with us every step of the way. Isn’t that a wonderful promise for us in this life, to know that we are never alone or by ourselves - because God is always by the side of the faithful.
I remember this same idea being presented several other times throughout the Bible. For example, do you recall what the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 13:5, “…I will never leave you or forsake you.” And in Matthew 28:20, even our Lord confirms such truth. There Jesus told His disciples, “And lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age.” Wow, isn’t this a great encouragement to know? Thanks be to God for such glorious and beautiful truths.
However, in similar passages there is a further promise which God connected to this one which is equally encouraging. This idea is found in Deuteronomy 31:6. There we read, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Sound familiar? It probably does because it’s what we read earlier, as being quoted by the Hebrew writer. Again, praise God for this wondrous truth! However, notice that He does not stop there. Now let’s read verse six together, “So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Now there is a real question for consideration! If God truly is God and can do what He says, what are we worried about, why do we fear. The fact is man and this world can do nothing to us that really matters as long as God is on our side. So let me ask, do you have this kind of faith and trust in your God? Just how much are you focused on God in your everyday life? Choose today to cast all your cares upon your Creator, for He is always there for you and ready to help!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on Peter’s statement, “If These Things Are Yours and Abound.” Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, “Brotherly Kindness.” So please stay with us this day and after our next song together, I will return and lead us in the main study of the day.
But now it’s time to join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
One of my favorite passages in the Bible has to do with the life of Moses when he was actually back in the mountain, that is Mt. Sinai in order to receive the commandments for the second time. While there, you might recall that Moses actually asked God if he might see Him. We know the story well because certainly no man has ever seen God and God reiterates that to Moses, and no man will see God really until the Day of Judgment when we go there to be in Heaven with Him. However, we do see that He said, “I will allow you to see My Glory.”
But then I love the way that God declares Himself as He passes by Moses after placing him in the cleft of the rock and covering Moses with His own hand. It says there that, “God said, ‘The Lord God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression of sins.’”
We see here God, a loving God, a caring God, a good God. But what I also see here is a kind God of grace and mercy, all these kind characteristics that are demonstrated including the idea of forgiveness. I remember David the Psalmist there in Psalm 117 making this statement beginning in verse 1. “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, laud Him all you peoples for His merciful kindness is great toward us and the Truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”
His what? His merciful kindness! Is to whom? All peoples, all peoples as this text says who He has shown His love to! Oh yes, we serve a great and a kind God, a God that is so kind with His mercy and His grace and His love that He has given us opportunity time and time again to hear the Truth and to obey. In fact, we have that opportunity up and until the day that we leave this earth or we die. Our God is a loving God.
With those things in mind then, in our main text today as we’ve been studying from the book of 2 Peter and chapter 1 looking at those Christian graces or virtues or whatever you would like to call them. The thing we are to look at specifically today is found there in that text is telling us that we must be those who are striving for brotherly kindness. In fact, the verse there tells us specifically that we are to add to godliness brotherly kindness. You see we have the great opportunity as those who are striving to be godly to demonstrate that godliness in and through brotherly kindness. Of course then after brotherly kindness he adds the concept of love that is all encompassing. Everything else balled up into one. Anything that we might have missed is right there in love. We will actually look at that together next week.
But this day we want to look at this concept of brotherly kindness and understand that we really need to re-emphasize these two words. First of all, we find the concept of brother. We know what in the flesh a brother is, but from a spiritual standpoint, a brother is one who is in the family with me, the spiritual family, God’s family. That is my brother. So it says, “Brother or brotherly kindness.” So what is kindness? Well kindness is some sort of act of goodness or some type of act of favor towards someone else. Like many other Biblical characteristics even like grace, someone may not even deserve kindness, yet we are to be what? Kind!
Do you remember what the Bible says about our God? “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What kindness! What kindness and goodness and love that He would still show such a characteristic to us although we were not worthy and we still were guilty of sin. And so kindness is a beautiful, beautiful thought.
In fact, throughout the Bible we see the element of kindness in many different lists of those things that Christians are required to do if they are right with God.
For instance, in the book of Galatians chapter 5 we have the “Works of the flesh,” notice the plural concept there, or the “Fruit of the Spirit,” the singular concept of the “Fruit of the Spirit.” In other words, there is only one God and there is only one fruit that we bear from or according to God and that is the “Fruit of the Spirit.”
Guess what is found there in that list in verse 22. Well our topic today: Kindness, the concept of kindness. If we are to walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh, if we are to show forth the characteristics of God, we are to be a kind people.
In the book of Colossians a similar text is found. Colossians 3 and verse 12, and as it deals with there specifically about the elect of God. Paul says, “The elect of God,” in verse 12, “must be kind,” or “they must show kindness to others.” Well you see again the need that we have to be kind to another.
Not only there but we might actually turn together to a text that is found in 2 Corinthians chapter 6. Again, we find an opportunity to know what it is that God wants of those as Paul says, “Who are ministers of God.” Those who are “workers together,” in verse 1 and “recipients of the grace of God, ministers of the work there,” in verse 3, “that is before the faithful.”
Did you notice what he says though as we move on there in that same text? Did you notice amongst those characteristics such as those things like purity and knowledge and longsuffering, he then in verse 6 says, “By kindness.” I am a minister of God at least in one way, by my kindness. In other words, I am able to let others know that I am of God when I demonstrate myself to be kind to them, again whether deserving or not, that I am willing to show forth that type of an attitude or spirit that is not my own, that is beyond me, that is about God.
You know when we think about God, God certainly is that great Creator and that perfect One who is able to do these things as we just said to perfection, but we can at least strive to be kind. But when I am kind and people see me be kind and they wonder, “Why would they be kind to me?” or “How could he continue to be kind to them in such a situation?” What does that accomplish? What does that reflect on? God Almighty! And so we know we are to be kind and we know that that kindness is actually supposed to extend to all of those in this life.
In fact, the Bible tells us multiple times that we are even to do what? Love our enemies! Would that not include kindness? Matthew 5:44 says that “we love them and those that speak spitefully against us or persecute us,” we are to do what? “Do good to them!” Is that not kindness? Whether they deserve it or not. Is that not the spirit of goodness and kindness and mercy and grace and love that God would demonstrate and has demonstrated even to me, and then in turn that I must demonstrate to others. Certainly that is the great kindness of God.
Let’s look specifically at a text that might show us that even in more detail. There as Paul dealt with a church at Ephesus, we find in chapter 2 an encouraging thought concerning the great kindness that God showed us, but I want you to specifically with me to note how He showed that great love or kindness. Verse 4 begins there, again of Ephesians chapter 2, “But God who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses made us together alive with Christ, by grace you have been saved, and raised us up together and made us sit together in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Now hear verse 7. “That in the ages to come He might show the exceedingly great riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in or through Jesus Christ.” What did my God do? He was willing to show me such kindness that He allowed His own Son, Deity, to become a mere man and to die for my sins, to suffer the cruelest death of the day that I might live and have life. What kindness! What kindness, brethren!
I hope this is helping us to understand the extent of kindness. “Oh if he says that to me one more time, I’m going to tell him right back.” Or “If they do that to me one more time, I’m going to…” Brethren, our spirit is a spirit in God as kindness that we are willing to do good even in the face of evil. That is the spirit, my friend, of God.
So when we tie all of these things together, if I am to do good to all men even as we read in Galatians chapter 6, verse 10 says that, “We are to do good to all men especially in the household of faith.” How much more so to my brother? If I am supposed to treat my enemy with love and respect and kindness and goodness, how much more my brother? Now why do we even bring this up? Because folks, you and I know that usually it is those in life that you love the most or that you are closest to, sometimes even family members or brethren who do you the most wrong, who are the nastiest to you and the ugliest to you, who take advantage of you and hurt you and harm you and talk behind your back. And so brethren, sometimes the hardest one to show kindness is to that brother who should know better. We go out in the world and we say, “Well this guy doesn’t know what he is doing. He doesn’t have any sense. He is doing that and he really doesn’t know better.” But then we go to church and someone does these things against me and they don’t show kindness and then I am really hurt because I say and think in my mind, “They are my brother and they shouldn’t do this. This is sinful.” Well you see it is hard to deal with, isn’t it? And so therefore, Peter says, “If you’re going to have all these attributes and all these Christian graces, if you’re going to be all that God wants you to be, if you’re going to abound to the end and receive that which is fruitful, you must love and be kind to your brethren.” Isn’t that what it is all wrapped up in? That beautiful, beautiful concept of love, that love that Paul tied so well to the idea as well of kindness.
I like how he said it there in Romans chapter 12. He mentions there the love that the brethren had, but then he goes on to clarify that that love was tied to kindness. Read with me there in that same text, verse 10, Romans 12 and verse 10. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love in honor, giving preference to one another.” Do what? Be kind, kindly affectionate. Show that love and that care. To whom? Each other! Even to the extent that we would read here of forgiveness. Well that makes perfect sense. Because now we have seen Peter says it through the Holy Spirit. We have seen Paul state this fact through the Holy Spirit. Now we can even go back to John’s books. In fact, specifically in 1 John and there in chapter 4 we begin to learn that “God is love.” But before he says, “God is love,” in verse 7 he says this, “Let us love one another.” Why? “God is love.” I must love my brethren. I must love those who are around me. How much did God love me? Enough to give His Son, enough to allow His Son to die on the cross. We must love one another and extend that kindness and all those other great things because God first loved us (verse 10).
But then guess what he says again not only in verse 7 but in verse 11. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to (guess what) love one another.”
As we go on, he continues to reiterate that point and encourage us. Verse 20 says this, “If someone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother…” In other words, loving God yet not loving the brother, showing kindness to God, but not showing kindness to a brother. He says, “He is a liar for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
You see the reality is clear. We must demonstrate Christ. God! We must show forth love no matter how hard it can be. We must show a kindness as God did from the very beginning of creation and we must give our best to the Creator and make sure that He knows just how much we love Him.
I like the way that Jesus said it in John chapter 13. He says, “They know you are My disciples because you love one another.”
You know when you think about being out in the world and somebody sees you out there and maybe you’re arguing with a brother in Christ or you’re yelling them out or acting in a way that you shouldn’t and somebody thinks, “If that’s what is in the church, if that’s what God is like, if that’s what God wants of His people then I don’t want any part of it.” You see, that’s what we often display and we don’t even see that love between brethren. We find a brother in Christ who is suffering, who is struggling, maybe in a mental way or a financial or a physical way and no one in the church helps him, and someone looks and says, “Where’s the kindness? Where’s the love? Where’s the care?”
You see brethren; it’s the very opportunity that we have to demonstrate these things, to show myself kind that allows me for possibly a moment to allow someone to see something beyond my worthless physical existence and that something is God. That something is the spirit of Christ, the ability to know that I can strive, as we saw in 2 Peter chapter 1, to achieve at least to a point that divine nature, to enjoy in it and to demonstrate an action such wondrous principles as brotherly kindness.
Are you showing such love to your brethren? Are you showing such kindness that you might give glory to God, that you might praise His holy name?
(SONG # 3 - “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
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What attitude do you have toward your fellow brethren? Is it one of kindness, love and mercy? Why not choose to demonstrate such wondrous characteristics of God today!