Kindness Incarnate – Two Portraits

Kindness Incarnate

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared. Titus 3:4

The Greek word for kindness in Titus 3:4, chrestotes, has its origin in the smaller word, chre—“to lend.” It’s not hard to see how the idea of kindness evolved from the act of lending. When someone is in need we step forward and lend what aid we can. We might lend a neighbor our car or give them our daughter’s outgrown baby clothes for their new arrival. Both, whether temporary or permanent, are acts of kindness.

Need, giving, and kindness are linked together intimately by two verses: John 3:16 and Titus 3:4. The first verse we know well: God saw our need and gave us His Son as the remedy. But in the second verse, God’s Son is actually referred to as “the kindness . . . of God.” Jesus appearing on earth was not only evidence of kindness, He was kindness itself; He was kindness incarnate. Instead of judging the earth, God sent kindness Himself to earth to save us. In a day when it appears there is little kindness on earth, it is good to remember that God’s love was demonstrated by kindness. Not the kindness of His Son, but the kindness which is His Son.

Think of ways you can be kindness to someone in need today. You can appear in their life as kindness incarnate.

Kindness is a grace that all can understand. J. C. Ryle


Two Portraits

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22

Clutching two framed photographs, the proud grandmother showed them to friends in the church foyer. The first picture was of her daughter back in her homeland of Burundi. The second was of her grandson, born recently to that daughter. But the daughter wasn’t holding her newborn. She had died giving birth to him.

A friend approached and looked at the pictures. Reflexively, she reached up and held that dear grandmother’s face in her hands. All she could say through her own tears was, “I know. I know.”

When we put our cares into His hands, He puts His peace into our hearts.

And she did know. Two months earlier she had buried a son.

There’s something special about the comfort of others who have experienced our pain. They know. Just before Jesus’s arrest, He warned His disciples, “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.” But in the next breath He comforted them: “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20). In mere hours, the disciples would be devastated by Jesus’s arrest and crucifixion. But their crushing grief soon turned to a joy they could not have imagined when they saw Him alive again.

Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isa. 53:4). We have a Savior who doesn’t merely know about our pain; He lived it. He knows. He cares. One day our grief will be turned into joy.

Lord, thank You for going to the cross for us. We certainly know trouble in this world, but You overcame the world and took our sin and pain for us. We look forward to the day when our sorrows will be turned into joy and we see You face to face.

When we put our cares into His hands, He puts His peace into our hearts.

INSIGHT:It was necessary for Jesus, who is fully God, to be made in every respect like us—fully human—so that He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Only by becoming a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. While on earth, the Lord Jesus “walked in our shoes” and, therefore, He fully knows and understands us. We are now to walk in His “shoes” and imitate His example of compassion and care. “In your relationships with one another,” Paul tells us, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). How can you bring comfort to others today by walking in Jesus’s shoes?

 

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