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TEXT: 1cor 13:4a “Love suffers long and is kind;….”

We are going to examine another virtue Paul added to the notion of longsuffering; the quality of kindness. The long-suffering of agape is a kind long-suffering. Again how does this add up that is elsewhere distinguished from love. Just as long-suffering is distinguished as a fruit of the Spirit, so is kindness (Gal.5:22). But in Paul’s revelation of love; definition of love, kindness describes love rather than standing alone as a separate virtue.
When Jesus commanded His people- us to love their enemies, He appealed to the love of God as the ultimate example of One who is kind toward those who are ungrateful and evil.
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. ….. For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back……Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:31-36).
The kindness of which Jesus spoke is related to the practical application of the Golden Rule. To be kind toward others is merely doing to them what we would like them to do to us. This kindness is linked to mercy. We have already seen that God’s love is manifested by and through His mercy. Mercy is an act of kindness. It is also an expression of tenderness.
David appealed to the tender mercy of God in his penitential prayer (Ps 51:1). The opposite of kindness or tender mercy is the destructive attitude of mean-spiritedness. The mean person takes pleasure in harming or injuring people. He or she enjoys other people’s pain. Though God Himself punishes the wicked, He takes no delight in their pain. It is one thing to be firm in applying justice; but don’t be cruel or mean to any person created by God.
If we examine the behavior of Jesus as He dealt with people during His public ministry, certain traits become evident. On the one hand, He was consistent with the description of the Messiah presented by the prophet Isaiah, as quoted by Matthew (12:15-21).

Jesus was careful never to break or crush the bruised reed. These are persons If we look at the way He treated the poor and oppressed, the infirm and the wayward, we quickly see this tender spirit at work. His kindness to the woman at the well (John 4:5-26) and even toward the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) displayed this attitude. One the other hand, when we see Jesus with the scribes and the Pharisees, we see a firmness and strength that is not so tender. He was not mean spirited, though the Pharisees imagined Him so in light of the strong words He used to rebuke them. To call people vipers, blind guides whitewashed tombs, and children of the Devil is not normally viewed as an exercise in tenderness (Matt. 12:34; 23:17,27,33;John 8:44). Again,Jesus’s pattern was clear: with the weak He was exceedingly tender. With the strong and powerful, He asked no quarter and gave none. This “double standard” was based on the responsibility that those in positions of power carried. With the religious leaders’ higher responsibility came a requisite culpability for injuring the lambs under their power and care. To the proud and arrogant, God is not always merciful. He will take down the mighty from the seats. This contrast of treatment is vividly expressed by the Virgin Mary in (Luke 1:46-55) The contrast is between God’s strength and His tender mercy. The Lord is tough and tender, just and merciful. He exalts the lowly and scatters the proud. People of God be careful in these last days of the End-time.


2TIM 4; JER 11&12; PS 124



Godhead Interdenominational Ministry

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