Twelve Days of Kindness–Day 12!

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV

When we have obtained a like measure of faith , “For He has given to all a measure of faith,” we can add to that measure of faith to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of who Christ is and how we are to conduct ourselves.

With all diligence–consistent determination to do what is right, we add virtue–a moral sense of ethics, based upon God’s Word. Then to virtue, we add knowledge–a consistent study of God’s Word. To knowledge we add self-control–the ability to operate in wisdom, not emotional turmoil. For our emotions will lead us astray, but those who control emotional outbursts appear wise and others will respect their ability.

When we have learned self-control, we then add perseverance–a stubborn determination to do what is right at all times–no matter what the circumstances are. And to perseverance, we add godliness–functioning in the true nature of Christ–no lies, no deceit, knowing He sees all we do.

With our Christlike nature, we add brotherly kindness–being kind to everyone and with kindness we add love for if we have not kindness–a genuine concern and consideration for others, we will not love.

If we don’t have love–we have not Christ–for He is Love.

The last eleven days have been a joy–an eye-opening experience–to extend kindness and observe the responses of others to the kindness. On this last day, the twelfth day of kindness, I pray all who extend kindness, will receive 100 times the kindness they have extended.

Prayerfully, when all are celebrating the birth of Jesus on tomorrow, some will remember a kindness extended to them in the past twelve days and will go out of their way to extend kindness to another. That’s what this season is all about–the giving of the greatest gift–Jesus Christ–who because of Him–we have eternal life with Him and can love to overflowing because of the love He has for us.

So, go forth and show kindness–every day–and watch how the world will change because a little kindness, goes a very long way.

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 11!

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. Titus 3:4-8

Can we ever attain extending the level of kindness to others that God has shown towards us? Probably not, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Instead of allowing our fickle emotions to rule us, we can and should allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. For if we allow Him to guide us, then we get closer to being more like God would have us to be.

Kindness is a virtue–an outcome, end result, of love and mercy–unconditional love and forgiveness–not holding onto grudges or past wrongs. If we are not kind people–full of love and mercy–it would be difficult, if not impossible to show kindness to others–a genuine, sincere kindness, not the phoniness that many produce in their attempt to pretend kindness.

Genuine kindness shown to others does so without thought of receiving anything in return. Sincere people are simply kind because it’s their nature to be kind–and not attempt to impress or prove anything to anyone else.

How do we know who’s sincere and who is disingenuous? Sincere people are openly generous with kind words and smiles–they seldom raise their voices in anger and would rather walk away from a situation than to belittle themselves trying to make a point or get “one-up” on someone else. Kind people are just so filled with love they simply do–no questions asked, because they genuinely want to help or to encourage others.

So, the question on this eleventh day of kindness is–are we sincere and genuine people? Do we act with a hidden agenda when we’re being kind because we expect to get something out of what we do?

I pray that every kindness extended to others is a genuine reflection of love and mercy and when opportunity presents itself, a door is open to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that everyone who has been reading this blog and extending kindness is filled to overflowing with more love to keep extending kindness beyond the twelve days. I also pray that we have become so inclined to being kind to others that kindness is now a genuine habit, one we won’t have to work on but will stand out as who we are.

Smile–someone needs it today!

 

 

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 10!

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV

Chosen by God, specifically–anointed to do His Will, living a life of holiness and loved, we are to exhibit mercy, kindness, humility (not overblown pride in self), meekness (not seeking the limelight), patience with all and putting up with all of us–God’s children. When a sister or brother-in-Christ has anything to say about us–if we need to forgive them; then let’s forgive them as Christ forgave us for the wrongs we did when we didn’t know any better.

But more than anything else–love–our love for one another should be the glue that cements our relationship with one another, perfecting our walk with one another and with God.

If we have not love–for the children of God–what do we really have? Absolutely nothing! For love is the key that opens the door for other being receptive to the Word of God. Love is demonstrated in our service to one another. Love forgives and brings with it–no shame. If we cannot love the family, how will we ever be able to go to others and convince them of love?

One of the simplest ways we can show kindness to others is by our ability to love–even the unlovable. This does not mean we allow others to misuse and abuse us or to take advantage of our kindness. It means we love them from afar–never seeking to do them any harm or allowing others to harm them, always praying for them, and doing nothing that will make them feel unworthy.

When people take our kindness for weakness, we don’t argue with them or attempt to get back at them, we simply move forward–without the baggage that comes with those who manipulate for self-gain, rather than doing what is best for all. We love them enough to tell them the truth, but shake the dust off our feet when they choose not to hear us.

On this tenth day of showing kindness, someone may need to know they are loved and forgiven–of whatever offense they may have committed–and now is the time to set them free as well as ourselves. This is the perfect opening to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in explaining how great His love for us is and how He has forgiven us. Love someone enough to share the Gospel with them–with the demonstration of kindness.

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 9!

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 alive together 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, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV

From what Paul expresses here, in order to show kindness, we must be rich in mercy in our attitudes towards others.

Are we rich in mercy–being kind even when people have done nothing to warrant our kindness?

For that is what mercy is and does. Had it not been for God’s mercy–His willingness to not give us what we deserved for our sins, where would we be? I’m not saying we should pretend to be God, but we can act Godly in our relationships with others. Think about it! If we had been given what we deserved by God, none of us would have an opportunity for eternal life with Him.

So, if we understand mercy and have received His mercy, can we not show mercy towards others and therefore extend kindness whether warranted or not? There are some people who are so mean, their jaws might break if they attempted to smile, but smile at them anyway. Some won’t return a morning greeting, but greet them anyway. And still others might turn up at their noses when you treat them with kindness, but be kind any way.

On this ninth day of showing kindness, be vigilant and very determined to complete the mission whether others understand it or not, appreciate it or not, and whether they are receptive or not.  Remember, we are not responsible for their response, but in what we do and how we respond to them.

Have a great day showing kindness!

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 8!

We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 2 Corinthians 6:3-7 NKJV

On this 8th day of kindness, we are reminded by Paul that everything we do–EVERYTHING–should align with the Word so that we don’t offend anyone by what we do. This is especially true for those who are called by God to teach His Word and are walking–in life–according to His Word.

Sometimes, the truth offends people, but the truth must be told anyway. Now, do we sugarcoat truth or just tell it like it is? If a person is offended by truth, no matter how we try to water it or soften the blow–they’re going to be offended. As one actor poignantly stated, “You can’t handle the truth.”

Why is it that people cannot handle truth? Our perceptions of truth or what is true, are not always based upon truth as it really is. If we are blinded by our bias, our perceptions are cloudy and when people speak truth to us–we don’t accept it as truth because it is in opposition to how we want to conduct our lives.

For instance, there are some people who are natural leaders and some who simply want to be leaders, but they lack the intellect to know what true, effective leaders do. But because they have convinced themselves they know more than those who try to assist them, they become offended by truth because the truth reveals to them what they lack.

The truth reveals to all of us what we lack and what we must change within ourselves and how we do things. Since none of us knows everything there is to know, we must count on others to keep us honest by reminding us when we’re headed in the wrong direction. Considering our own ineptitude about so many things, someone has written a book about everything any of us could ever experience in life. Their opinion in what they write doesn’t necessarily constitute truth, but it is enough to make us think and either confirm or refute what we think we know.

But if our desire is to please God, then we should demonstrate our ability to be patient and kind, as it pertains to what we must accomplish in our ministry that honors Him.

Are we ready to demonstrate all that God desires for us to do? Today is a good day to honor Him by our extending kindness in showing patience, and acting in truth, according to God’s Word, and not our feelings.

 

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 7!

And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. Acts 28:2 NKJV

When Paul and his fellow shipmates were shipwrecked and they ended up on an island, those living on the island made them feel welcomed. Not only did they share food and drink with them, but they saw to their comfort in the cold rain and made them a fire to keep them warm.

How often have people landed in our lives–and needed to feel welcome? Think about it! Some people come into our lives for a season–a purpose–and whether we know or not–if the purpose is part of God’s plan, it will be fulfilled.

On two different occasions, I’ve had young women to land in my life–both of them were 17 years-old. The first one was homeless and she was exchanging her body for a bed to sleep in. When I realized what she was doing and watched her going in and out of a known drug house, Holy Spirit spoke to me and I offered a place to live until she finished school. She had nothing, so we went shopping and bought her clothes and made her feel as welcome as we could. She attended church with us, ate with us as a family, but there was a hygiene issue that literally offended everyone–even the dog. She would not bathe and no matter what I said, she would not conform. Eventually, I had to ask her to leave.

The second young lady was in her last year of high school and her mother was moving out of the state. Knowing how that felt to be moved in my last year of school–when asked to do so–I readily agreed to allow her to stay with me so she could finish school. Once again, this young woman had never owned pajamas, didn’t know how to make up a bed and thought that eating cereal out of a mixing bowl was appropriate. At this point in my life, I was married and my husband and I soon agreed that she could no longer stay with us. She had turned 18 and thought that meant she could do whatever she wanted to do–and not follow our rules. After the fourth offense, she was asked to leave.

What was the purpose of them living with me? I don’t know about them, but I learned a great deal about myself and exercising wisdom in trying to help others. It’s not wrong to try to help, but we must realize sometimes, our compassionate hearts are not appreciated by everyone.

So, during this seventh day of kindness, realize that not everyone will appreciate your effort, but God is watching and He knows. Who can you make feel welcomed into your life? Do we make guests in our churches and homes feel welcomed? Make sure that Holy Spirit is leading or that could lead to other problems. Remember this–if others don’t respond to us the way we expect them to respond, we simply keep doing us–knowing that God loves us and He will reward us for obeying.

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 5!

Twelve Days of Kindness-Day 5!

What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar. Proverbs 19:22 NKJV

In all of the Bible, the word man does not necessarily mean a male, but is referencing mankind. And in order to accurately determine who is being referenced, we must study the word from the original context, based upon the language being used. In this verse, man is referencing Adam which was the name of both the male and the female, until the fall in the garden.

So what God desires in us is for us to be kind to one another and we see that being kind is not just reserved for those with wealth, but for those who have a compassionate heart and know truth and will not lie.

Once again, I had a great day yesterday.  Armed with my golden hearts and a determination to see others smiled, I handed them out until I had no more. Now, for today, I must print more. Everywhere we went (my husband and I) I passed out a heart and watched people smile when they read the message. What a great feeling! I think I’ll continue to do this long past the time of the twelve days because watching others smile, puts a smile on my face as well as fills my heart. I love the feeling.

When we walked into a restaurant, I asked the Lord to reveal to me who He wanted me to give a heart and even though I was tempted to hand them to some people, He steered me in other directions. I watched one man’s eyes fill with tears on a parking lot after he read the message. I have no idea what was going on in his life, but I prayed that God would address every issue in his life and bring him into a closer relationship with Him.

The message is not a bible tract; it is simply a note of encouragement.

Here’s the heart for any who would like to copy and use (I don’t know if it can be copied from above).

Love2

Have a wonderful spreading kindness!

Twelve Acts of Kindness-Day 2

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!

For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORDendures forever.

Praise the LORD!

There is a theory about developing good habits–if a person does something 21 times, consistently–the habit is established. Therefore, I pray that extending acts of kindness will be deeply embedded in our hearts since we will have extended an act of kindness 78 times by December 25, 2015.

Yesterday was a good day. Greeting workers at Kroger and seeing them smile made my day and so it was an exchange of kindness that fit the challenge. I also made a phone call to someone I had not spoken to in almost a year. We talked long enough to drain batteries on cell phones. What a wonderful way to end the evening.

Today, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do to put a smile on at least two faces, if not more. I’m loving the deliberate search for an opportunity to show kindness and so far, it has cost me nothing, but a smile and kind words.

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!