Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His loving-kindness endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is love, kindness, and goodness in Himself and in His dealings with human beings. Evangelist John Blanchard remind us:
The Lord loved us when there was nothing good to be seen in us and nothing good to be said for us….He loves each one of His people as if there was only one of them to love….God’s hand is sometimes turned against His people, when He disciplines us, but never His heart….He looks over us but never overlooks us….There is nothing the Christian can do to make God love us more, or love us less. The Lord’s love for His people is infinite and unconditional.
Here are some thoughts on ways God is kind to us. Use my list to prime the pump for your own Scripture study and help you notice more evidences of His kindness.
1. The Lord is kind. He gives us all life and breath. Isaiah 42:5 God the Lord, the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it….Acts 17:25 He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
We imitate God’s kindness as we make every lawful effort to preserve and prosper the lives of others. We can defend the weak and orphans and uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. We can rescue the needy and deliver them from wicked people.1 Job rescued the poor and the fatherless who had no one to assist them. He cared for dying people, widows, blind and lame people. He was a father to vulnerable people and took up the case of strangers.2 James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” We show we are Jesus’ disciples as we imitate His life-giving presence with others.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6)
2. The Lord is kind. He gives us family. Psalm 68:6 says God sets the lonely in families. The whole Bible and especially Psalms 127 and 128 show the Lord blessing families. Even when people don’t have a family by blood, marriage, or adoption, the Lord brings Jesus’ followers into a family of believers. See Ephesians 2:19-22 and the hymn: “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” by Pastor John Fawcett.
The early Christians in Acts chapter 2 practiced this family life. They were together and some voluntarily sold property and possessions to give to those who had need. They welcomed each other in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of outsiders. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. They imitated God’s kindness these ways and we can do the same.
To God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
3. The Lord is kind. He feeds us and the animals every day. In Genesis 1, the Lord created plants and trees to give us vegetables and fruits. The eyes of all creatures on planet earth look to Him as Creator and He gives them their food at the proper time. The Lord opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing.3
No wonder Jesus says that on Judgment Day, He will count whatever we have done for His needy brothers and sisters as done for Him. Christ mentions six “works of mercy” (acts of kindness): Feeding the hungry; Quenching thirst; Inviting in strangers; Clothing the needy; Looking after the sick; and Visiting prisoners.4 In Luke 15 the Savior teaches that good neighbors show mercy to people who need help and commands us, “Go and do likewise.”5
The Lord gives food to every creature. His loving-kindness endures forever. (Psalm 136:25)
4. The Lord is kind. He gives us water to drink. Psalm 104:10 says God makes springs gush forth in the valleys and makes water flow between the hills. In Isaiah 44:3, Jesus says: I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
God gives physical water to His creatures and we cannot live without it. Survivalists have a “rule of threes”: We can live 3 minutes without air; 3 hours without shelter; 3 days without water; and 3 weeks without food. I don’t want to test it! Jesus calls us to imitate His generosity and promises a reward if we give others even a cup of cold water in His name.6 The poorest person can refresh others this way.
Water is also used in Scripture as a symbol of God’s salvation, help, spiritual cleansing, eternal life, and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s filling is not just a once-for-all experience. Jesus’ followers need to be empowered by the Spirit repeatedly for worship, witness, service, and Christ-like living.7 Thank God, He gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! We can also ask God to fill our brothers and sisters in Christ.8
Praise God! He gives His good Spirit to instruct us (Nehemiah 9:20).
To be continued.
Go in peace (shalom=harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, well-being, and tranquility), beloved. Enjoy peace with God through Jesus today and be peace-makers who bless others in Jesus’ name!
Notes (various translations are used): 1 Psalm 82:3-4. 2 Job 29:12-17. 3 Psalm 145:15,16. 4 Matthew 25:31-46. 5 Luke 15:25-37. 6 Matt 10:42. 7 Eph 5:18. 8 Luke 11:13.