Fruit of the Spirit series: Kindness that overcomes
The fruit of the Spirit is God’s true nature. His goal is to make us in His likeness and for us to have His nature, to be like Him.
How will this happen? It like anything else is a process.
- First we encounter truth and be born from above. A real spiritual birth. Lot of counterfeit conversions. You can say words and it not be from the heart.
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:9-10 Heart – Picture of heart/soul/spirit
Your way of life is chosen by your heart and carried out by your mind and will. The heart is where you first make your choices and where you choose what to believe.
Before a person will choose God they will have an encounter with the kindness of God, probably a multitude of encounters with the kindness of God.
As we become aware that this relentless kindness coming upon us is coming from God then we begin to become aware of Him.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4
“Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?” Passion transl.
“Do you despise the riches of His goodness, tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 MEV
God’s nature is to be relentlessly kind – to everyone!
“But love your enemies and continue to treat them well. When you lend money, don’t despair if you are never paid back, for it is not lost. You will receive a rich reward and you will be known as true children of the Most-High God, having his same nature. For your Father is famous for his kindness to heal even the thankless and cruel. Show mercy and compassion for others, just as your heavenly Father overflows with mercy and compassion for all.” Luke 6:35
God’s definition of kindness shatters our definition of what kindness! In fact, God’s kindness may be offensive to you because it is so outrageously extravagant.
- Like the word Prodigal in parable. “Prodigal” does not just mean wasteful, but extravagantly wasteful towards us and people we would not give the time of day to. The true prodigal in the parable is the father.
- You can’t just decide to be kind and think this is manifesting the of kindness of God that is a fruit of His nature.
You first have to experience this kindness yourself and be overcome by it! God is relentless about showing His kindness to you.
So somehow God arranges for us to run into His kindness while we are sinners not looking or even desiring Him. He arranges not one, but multitudes of opportunites for you to realize this.
- Sometimes it is so stunning you have to ask yourself why has God kept me from jail, or overdose, or from my own foolishness way of destroying my life?
- IT could be His kindness that put you in jail to save you, or stop you from something worse. You may not think being put in jail is the kindness of God until later you realize what God was saving you from! Ill. Paul was struck blind for 3 days by God. At first he may not have thought that was very kind of God – but later realized it was.
Ill. If you had met the Apostle Paul before he was converted you would not have liked him. HE was arrogant, know it all, better than anyone else, stubborn with a vile hatred for this new sect of people known as followers of Jesus.
Since scripture says it is the kindness of God that leads us to repent – how much of the kindness of God did it take to convert him?
We don’t know how many ways God kept showing Paul the kindness of God. One we do not know but scripture records one incident of the stoning of the first NT Xn martyr (Stephen) in Acts 7.
“Now Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then some men rose up disputing him. They stirred up the people and the elders and came and seized him and led him to the Sanhedrin. All who sat in the Sanhedrin saw his face as the face of an angel . . . When they heard his testimony they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed their teeth at him. . . they cried with a loud voice, closed their ears, and rushed at him and threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul (Paul).”
Before being converted Paul saw Stephen being persecuted, hated, beaten, and stoned while he in return showed the relentless, extravagant kindness of God. It made a significant impact on him.
IT was one of the many encounters seeing the kindness of God that eventually brought about repentance and conversion in Paul.
Kindness is who God is – when you encounter God you encounter His lovingkindness. The more we encounter or behold His kindness the more we become like Him. This is how it works.
“But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18
Before he was converted, Paul saw the glory of God in Stephen during his persecution and death.
Maybe in the trial you are going through this moment, someone is watching you and observing the glory of God and being convinced that God is real and their hearts are starting to desire what you have.
Our mission: Presenting Jesus, the revelation of truth and grace that transforms lives.
Your story is to be God’s story. You are His epistle. Your life is telling a story and people are reading your story to find out if God is real.
Ill. Let’s say you encounter a really nasty mean person. God helps you allow His Anointing of kindness to respond to them – called grace.
- God knows they are going to need over a 100 encounters with His kindness before they break. Maybe they show no signs of appreciation of your kindness to them. Could it be that you are only #67 of the 100 encounters of kindness they need to experience before they get saved?
Ill. Pam working as home health nurse at with Dolly. No one like this lady, she was mean and cursed the nurses, doctors.
- Pam was there for such a time as this – to represent Jesus by first acts of kindness to this mean nasty lost person. It took time but slowly Dolly was being changed by encountering the kindness of God.
We must remember who we are presenting and re-presenting.
“So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us.” II Cor. 5:20
Lord, how can I be Your Ambassador and best present you in this situation?
- It is a choice beloved- and you get to choose.
“I don’t get to choose who God sends to me to minister to – but I do get to choose how I minister to them!” Jimmy Dan Stanford
Ill. Your neighborhood, workplace, are places where God has assigned you to minister the kindness of God to people. You don’t get to choose who God sends to you to minister – just how.
- No one makes us angry – they just expose what is already hidden inside you waiting to come out.
Ill. When God begins to take us to a higher place in Him, one of the first things that happen is we have to realize some ugliness still in us. He is removing the veil for us to see what is really there. Don’t; be discouraged – realize it is for what it is – rejoice God is showing you so you can repent and change the way you think. You don’t want that old stuff with you at your next level of glory.
Just agree with God that is is not who you really are in Him. This has no place in your life with Him. Then come boldly to the throne of grace to receive His mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The more we behold the kindness of God the more we become like Him to others. That is how it works.
His kindness is not just random acts of kindness – it is relentless kindness that does not change based on our behavior.
Concl: This part of God’s nature is first manifested to you – then eventually it changes your heart towards God.
First it flows to you – then one day it begins to flow through you!
First you experience by encountering the kindness of God.
From here you repent – change your mind about God and receive Him as your God, Lord, and only Savior.
Now with His DNA in you – you are supernaturally equipped to let His kindness flow through you and overcome any obstacle in the way.
- Evangelism begins with the uncommon relentless kindness of God begin given to people who don’t deserve the time of day.
You are here today in church – probably due to experiencing the kindness of God through someone.
- Romans 2:4 says that God’s kindness leads us to repentance—not his anger, or our fear of his retribution, or our feelings of guilt. As we begin to understand the extent of the depth of his kindness to us, the way we see the world begins to change. Our allegiances change. Our direction changes.