Devotion – July 2023

Love is Kind

Have you ever had a trying day and then, out of the blue, someone comes along and shows a little kindness toward you? I remember one such day when it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong – a day when I should have stayed in bed! Then quite out of the blue I was handed a beautiful red rose. The person who gave it to me had made a special trip to my place of work and, as she handed me the rose, she whispered, “I feel you needed this today”, and with that, she left. I do not know how she knew, but I do know that God knew.

Out of all the spiritual fruits, kindness in my book would have to be one of the most beautiful. Scripture has several descriptions of love, one of which is “love is kind”. When the Bible describes love, it is describing the attributes of God, because God is love. And when mentioning the kindness from God it reveals a much deeper concern, compassion, and empathy. This form of kindness, when gifted from God, is not self-seeking, nor is it duty bound. It is recognised by its humble, spontaneous love and concern, the type that only the Holy Spirit can place on our heart.

This kindness appears in many forms, although having the same attributes, it doesn’t always present in the way we might imagine. For instance, kindness can take much courage, especially when it appears in the form of speaking the truth. Jesus said that if someone sins against us, we are to go to that person in private and speak with them, this is an act of kindness. Standing up for somebody who is being mistreated or bullied is a great kindness, however, speaking to the perpetrator out of concern for their behaviour is a kindness that goes that one step further.

The Bible is filled with verses that mention and demonstrate the kindness of God toward us. God’s kindness always goes several steps further, above and beyond anything we could comprehend. For instance, he allowed Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. The kindness of God the Father as he watched his Son die, coupled with the kindness of the Son as he hung on the cross, is outside our understanding, especially when we realise that we participated in this scene.

We are the perpetrators, the bullies, the ones who threw the dice, we filled the sponge with vinegar, we hammered in the nails! Each of us shares the guilt and shame of these events because our sin is the reason for these events. Yet Jesus, out of great love for us, in the face of our behaviour, asked his Father to forgive us – simply saying, “they know not what they do”. This is the loving kindness that passes all understanding. If we, in our limited capacity, try to unpack the unfathomable – a Father watching his Son being tortured, and a Son willingly going to the cross on our behalf – well, we simply cannot, because this act of merciful kindness is far too great!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grant us the fruit of kindness, so that we may be able to fulfill the words of Paul: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV) In Jesus holy name we pray. Amen.

About the Author

Dee Simons

I was born in the Wimmera district of Victoria (Minyip) and raised in the Western District of Victoria. My husband, Bruce, and I have been blessed with three children. We have recently been gifted with our first grandchild. Our home is situated in the scenic township of Dunkeld and we are members at Trinity Lutheran Church, Warrayure. During the week you will find me behind the front desk at Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Hamilton. I have worked at the college over the past 17 years. I wish to acknowledge my family – often the first to hear a new devotion, and all those people who encouraged and inspired me to keep writing, giving me opportunity to share these words. Finally, I thank and give all glory to God, who I know, without any doubt or hesitation, is the one who holds my pen. Often after I finish a devotion and read back over the words, I am flabbergasted that I actually wrote them. I know that there is a higher power directing my thoughts to paper. The Holy Spirit is at work here and I am always emotionally touched when I think that this God would even contemplate to use me to do his work. That is the true miracle. My prayer is that God will bless you through these devotions.

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