Twelve Days of Kindness!

Blessed be the LORD,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! Psalm 31:21 NKJV

For the next twelve days, I’m departing from my usual commentary upon scripture, but I’m using them to encourage all to think of acts of kindness that we can perform each and every day until we reach the day of celebrating the greatness kindness shown to us–the gift of Jesus Christ.

For today, look deep into your heart and hear Holy Spirit speaking as He directs you to perform–just one act of kindness today.

An act of kindness cannot be measured by the amount of dollars spent, but in the sincerity and consideration of the act itself and how it will benefit the receiver. Remember–the greatest gift we could ever receive had a price tag we could not afford to pay–God’s sacrifice so we may have eternal life.

For some people–a smile and a hug are all they require. A phone call just to say, “I love you” or “I was thinking about you” will make someone’s day just a little bit brighter.

Will you consider participating in this twelve days of kindness?

Great! Each day, we’ll add one more act of kindness until we reach Christmas Day when we will  perform 12 acts of kindness as a gift in celebration of our Lord and Savior’s birth.

I’m keeping a journal, not for the sake of getting recognition, but so I’ll remember who the recipient of my act of kindness is. I’m seeking new people daily and not just family or those I know. For if we only show kindness to those we know, is it really by direction of Holy Spirit? We should show kindness to family and friends on a regular basis, but there are so many people who have not family or friends who need to receive our gift.

Check in tomorrow for a new verse of scripture to keep us encouraged to making this Christmas the best for a lot of people!

What Must We Believe?

“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21,22 NIV)

Most of us know the story of Jesus and the fig tree that had leaves, but no fruit. When Jesus saw the leaves, He expected to find figs, but there were none and since He was hungry, and now frustrated, He spoke to the tree and said it would wither and die. When the disciples came back past the tree, they were amazed that the tree was withered.

The tree with leaves had the appearance of bearing fruit, but was barren. When we look at ourselves in our walk, following the precepts of Jesus, how do we look? Do we have the appearance of bearing fruit, yet no fruit exists? Are we just superficial Christians–mimicking phrases, following traditions that have no meaning, giving lip service, but no real praise, mumbling words resembling prayer, but have no power, carrying our bibles that we won’t read, and wearing crosses that bear no witness of our understanding of the work on the cross?

Do we know how to generate love in any environment we find ourselves simply because we know how to love? Is there real joy in our lives that overflows onto all we meet? Do we have peace in our hearts, homes and community? Do we know how to teach with gentleness, remembering that we too are imperfect people? Do we know how to show kindness and compassion to those in need? Are we faithful–totally committed to do that we do, to do it well? Have we disciplined ourselves so others can see we live a disciplined life–free of anxiety, anger, and intolerance? Are we fruit-bearing Christians or do we just have the appearance of being one?

Now, what Jesus referenced to His disciples was more about their faith and what they would be able to do if they believed what they heard. They heard Him what He said to the tree, but apparently did not believe it would happen since they were amazed at what happened. He knew there was doubt lingering in them which is why they were amazed and told them that if they “didn’t doubt” they could say, to the mountain, “go move into the sea and it would.” Why must they say it? So they could hear what they said and since Jesus told them to do it, it would be so. “Faith coming by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.”

We must believe The Word (Jesus is The Word) and when we pray, we can have whatever we ask for when we don’t doubt The Word. In another passage, Jesus reminds us that whatever we ask of the Father, in His name, He would do it–as long as we don’t doubt it will be done.

The reason many do not see answered prayers is because of doubt and unbelief or because of asking for things that do not align with The Word. When we know The Word, we do not pray amiss (out of alignment with The Word) and we know that God is not hard of hearing or forgetful. Those are our weaknesses, not His.

So when we pray–we only need to ask for what we want–once–and then we give thanks for it until we receive it. Giving thanks to God what we have faith to receive--removes doubt. For if we know, we already have what we ask for, why would we need to keep asking for it?

In order to see faith operate on a daily basis, we must “hear” The Word and keep hearing The Word, building our faith in Him so He will move on our behalf since He is moved by faith, not by feelings.

Drawn With Kindness!

“The LORD appeared to us in the past,saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

I will be the first to admit that sometimes, trying to expound upon God’s Word does not always seem like we’re trying to draw people with kindness. But then, I have to think about what kindness is.

Is it a kindness to let people follow a path, blindly, when we know there is danger ahead?

Is it a kindness to give people incomplete instructions and hope they’ll figure it out?

Is it a kindness to let people think there are no consequences for disobedience?

Is it a kindness to tell people they must do, “as we say” or “do?”

Is it a kindness to let people wander through life believing there is no hell?

Loving parents always have rules to protect their children and since God is our loving Father, He has rules to protect us from harm. The rules are simply this–love Him with all our heart and mind (spiritually and naturally) and to love others as ourselves.

To truly love God would mean that we understand Him, in order to understand Him, we have to know Him and in order to know Him, we have to know how He wants us to live, and in order to know how He wants us to live, we must get into His Word. That’s how we love Him with all our heart and mind.

To love others as we love ourselves, we must think about how we treat ourselves. Do we abuse and misuse us? Do we lie and steal from ourselves? Do we sabotage our own progress? Do we manipulate ourselves and cause harm to us? Now, while I know the answer to these questions is sometimes–a resounding yes, that yes for Believers should be in our Before Christ (BC) time. Now that we know better, we should be doing better. I have learned that we cannot truly love anyone else until we first love us. We cannot give what we do not have.

Now, do we have all the tools we need to draw others to Jesus Christ? We do, if we love Him and love self. When we allow Holy Spirit to lead us in all we do, He will instruct us in how to speak truth, without it being a lie, but will convict of sin and ignite desire to please God. That is being drawn with kindness!

He is Love!

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I John 4:8 NKJV)

How do we know–He is Love?

Who else would have left their throne in heaven,

Wrapped themselves in flesh and came through a birth canal

When they didn’t have to do it?

Who else would endure the insults and persecutions

Of the religious sects, yet heal, and raise the dead?

Who else would care enough to accept the lunch of a child

And by blessing the little, fed the multitudes, because He cared?

Who else would love us so much that He spent precious last moments,

Before His arrest, praying for us who would choose to believe and follow Him?

Who else would endure the flaying of His skin, being nailed to a cross,

For our sins when He had committed none of them?

Who else would endure the tauntings of those who did not understand,

He hung on that cross for all who dared to believe and would rise again?

Who else would enter into hell and defeat Satan on his own turf

And rise with all power in His Hands and then transfer that power to us?

Who else would love us in spite of us and give us chance after chance

To get living for Him right?

Who else–would you–would I–endure it all because of Love?

No! God alone loves us enough to have done it all and would do it again,

Just because He is Love and can do nothing else, but Love!

Thank You, Lord for Your Love, Mercy, Grace, And Kindness

Shown towards me even when I didn’t deserve it.

Now, help me to have a mindset to always live to please You,

In all that I say and do,

So others will know about Your Great Love,

For all of mankind!

If we say–we are His Children, then we must Love

Like He loves–unconditionally–with no hate abiding within.

With Loving Kindness!

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

We should never forget how we were drawn into the love of God with understanding of His love–no greater love can anyone have for another–willingness to die for them. That’s God’s love.

It is the knowledge of this love that draws us into the circle of love that is never ending, yet extends itself to all who will receive, widening the circle, with a continuous flow of love for God and each other. With loving kindness were we drawn into the circle of Love and now we must be the vehicles that draw and widen the circle by the love we show to each other. Extend–loving kindness to all you meet and greet in the name of the Lord Jesus and share your story with them, drawing them into the circle, loving them each step of the way.