Bible Ballistics: A Heritage of Kindness??? Vol. 5 #13
I spent most of this week on the road, traveling over 2,000 miles since last Sunday. Our trip started off as a pleasure trip to see family and friends, but then on our way home we received word of the death of my dad’s only remaining sibling, my Uncle Stuart. While it meant some long hours of driving, we wouldn’t have been anywhere else but there for this special man and his family, who are so dear to my family and me.
While my body was (and still is) tired, it was a blessing beyond measure to see a good and godly man honored for a life well lived. One of those who spoke at the service said something that has been resonant in my heart and mind ever since, and I’d like to share a few thoughts with you about “heritage”. While describing the kindness of my dear uncle, John (a grandson-in-law) stated that being with and around this precious man, had brought him to realize that kindness was a ‘heritable’ thing.
Heritable-able to be inherited.
I have turned this over and over in my mind, and would like to spend our time today considering ‘heritage’. While most people think of material possessions as their ‘heritage’, I want to consider another arena of heritage.
Psalm 16:5-9 says, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. 6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.”
God calls us to Himself and when we accept Him, He is the “portion of our inheritance”—we become ‘children of God’! Children who are to reflect the character of our God! We are made ‘joint heirs’ with our Lord Jesus; we receive a “heritage” of God, as well as from God. And it is something we are to pass on to our own and the world.
Romans 8:16-18, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Is the power of God at work in me? in you? God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, within us, is the evidence that I belong to Jesus. An evidence within us that is to be displayed to the world by our character. As D. L. Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” In other words, what you do when no one is looking. And a ‘character’ of kindness and integrity was the heritage that my uncle left to all who knew him. I was abundantly blessed to share in the kindness of this precious man, of his sister and his brothers (one of whom was my father). They were all abundantly endowed with kindness, which they each expressed to their own, and others.
How can we do this? Let’s look at scripture to find out how it should look to those around us:
Luke 6:35-36, “ But love ye your enemies,
and do good,
hoping for nothing again;
and your reward shall be great,
and ye shall be the children of the Highest:
for he is kind unto the unthankful
and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful,
as your Father also is merciful.“
Our kindness is to be expressed to all—
to those who like us
as well as those who don’t.
We are called to extend goodness to others because God extended kindness to us when we were in our sin. This attitude kind of flies in the face of what goes on around us doesn’t it? (Especially on social media??)
“Let all bitterness,
and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another,
forgiving one another,
even as God
for Christ’s sake
hath forgiven you.”
Kindness forgives—because I am forgiven. I don’t need to hold on to bitterness, anger, fussing and cussing—I am to be kind instead!!! To be a reflection of God’s character in me. Not always easy, but by God’s grace, do-able!!!
Ephesians 5:9-10, “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
Our behavior is to be evidence to the world of what God has done in our hearts. My dear uncle was an example to everyone of what the fruit of the Spirit of God looks like.
Colossians 3:12-17, “ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies,
humbleness of mind,
13 Forbearing one another,
and forgiving one another,
if any man have a quarrel against any:
even as Christ forgave you,
so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another
and spiritual songs,
singing with grace
in your hearts to the Lord
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Putting off the unkindness of the world, and putting on what God has put in us—His character by His Spirit.
Romans 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
God’s love in me and you, being seen by the world. And we can only do that as we trust in Jesus, depend on Him and do things His way. The only way:
John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.”
What heritage am I leaving to those around me? What heritage are you leaving to those around you? Will we live a ‘heritable’ kindness that others will desire to emulate? Or something less? Thank you Uncle Stuart for the heritage of kindness that you lived before everyone. I’ll miss that wonderful smile and my hugs!!!
Will we live and ‘do all things through Christ’? Or will we go our own way and find that “without me ye can do nothing”?
It’s your choice—today is all we have, and the choice is always yours to make.