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Colossians 3 kindness

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Kindness—Colossians 3:12—Gateway—August 5, 2001

Did you see our sign? It says “Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.” This morning I would like to speak about kindness. Our text is found in Colossians 3. Pastor Linda will read the verses for us. Please stand as we read God’s word.

Colossians is a wonderful book. Paul opens his letter to the Colossian church with thanksgiving and prayer and a discussion about Christ. He praises the church and commends them in regard to three things. Their faith toward the Lord. Their love toward each other and their hope toward the future. Like any good pastor, Paul prayed that they would grow in the knowledge of God. That they would please God. That they would bear fruit for God and continually be strengthened. He prayed that they would be thankful for what the Father did. For what the Son did. The father rescued them from the dominion of darkness. And in Jesus there is redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul was chosen to reveal God’s secret plan to them. The particulars of this secret are this. That Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.”

He was very passionate about this. Paul a man full of the spirit, did not want them to miss it. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord And Savior, he lives in you and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.” Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. He created all things. He sustains all things. He will reconcile all things. Jesus has been appointed head of the church.

Paul’s wish and dream, and prayer is that the Colossian church be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. That they understand God’s plan. That they guard themselves against theological deception. There were at least four dangerous and philosophies floating around.

Paul just wanted them to continue to grow in Christ and to rejoice and be thankful.

 

Having laid the doctrinal foundation in chapters 1 & 2 , Paul now makes the personal application. From the verses Linda just read Paul communicates the principles of holy living.

 

He says in verses 1-7--Put to death

In Christ, you have died to the old life and been raised to a new life, so make the new life the focus of your attention. Set your mind on it; seek to experience all that you have in Christ. “Set your mind on things above.” Make Christ a priority. Choose a closer relationship with Him, experience His resurrection power, victory over sin, the development of godly virtues.

Paul says in verses 8-9--Put off

Do you remember the story of Lazarus? Like Lazarus we must get rid of the grave clothes that belong to the old life. By faith, put off the old sins that bound us; Christ has set us free.

Paul  says in verses 10-25-- Put on

God wants you to wear “grace clothes,” not “grave clothes!” If your focus is

on heavenly things, you will obey God in earthly things, especially in your relationships with

others. You have a new nature with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience. Forgiveness and love, God’s peace and thankfulness, and the words of Christ.

Paul envisions believers taking on the character of the Lord Himself. The “new self” he speaks of in v. 10 is not something we construct by our own power. Our new identities take shape as we come to know Jesus better. He is the image of the invisible God and the One in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (1:15; 2:3). This “new self” is constantly being renewed until we attain a mature knowledge of God who created us and re-created us. The more we know and understand of God, the more we will be like God in character and conduct.

The one attribute of the new nature I want to focus on is kindness. Kindness is the readiness to do good, even when it may be undeserved. Don’t be worrying about other peoples kindness. You be kind. Quite often  we waste time critiquing others, when we should be looking at ourselves. If you can’t something kind and encouraging then be quiet. I remember doing one wedding, where you would think the members of the wedding party were more important than the bride and groom.

I really appreciate Max Lucado. Listen to this. He writes,  It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness, I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complaining that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control... I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. Kindness is love in action. Kindness, in both Old and New Testaments, refers to steadfast love expressed in actions. Steadfast love expressed in actions is kindness. “Marvelous kindness” is an attribute of the Lord. God shows kindness abundantly to His children. His loving kindness is everlasting. He wants us to be kind to one another (Eph. 4:32) and expects this kindness even in the midst of trials (2 Cor. 6:6).

Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life. Kindness has converted more sinners than, eloquence or learning. Kindness put off until tomorrow may become only a bitter regret. Be kind to unkind people—they need it the most

In the early Days of Christianity, there was some confusion among the pagans concerning the

words chrestos,  “kind” and Christos, “Christ” and the confusion carried over into uncertainty as

to whether these strange people were followers of someone they called Christos or whether they

had a religion based on kindness. A most fortunate point of confusion!!!

Mother Theresa said “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”

Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back. Have you ever noticed how much of the recorded life of Jesus was spent doing kind things? It was not a deed done to prove anything or to place people under obligation; he did it simply because he wanted to and he was concerned for people.

We live in a culture where kindness is often viewed as weakness. It does not fit the image of success. Those who practice kindness are often labeled as bleeding hearts. Jesus spent a great deal of his time simply showing concern for others.

We all want to be loved, yet in no area do we fail to be more like Jesus than in our relationships with each other. Only God knows how much division, anger, divorce, strife, and ill will could be avoided if we practiced the simple art of kindness. 

Proverbs 3:3 says never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace: write them deep within your heart.

I don’t have a clue who Washington Irving was but this is what he said, “A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”

 

 

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