“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away… And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity. (1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)
As we continue looking at This will be our first of many devotionals on the events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In every example, we will be seeing Christ giving of Himself for the benefit of others...
The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Kindness (To Be Useful In Meeting The Needs of Others)
Christ’s life on earth was a continuing display of love on behalf of all mankind. One of the ways He showed His love was by meeting the needs of others. Anyone familiar with the life of Christ knows that every event in His life could be used to illustrate this wonderful characteristic of love. He was CONSTANTLY living His life to meet some need that existed in the lives of those He touched.
For our devotional today, I would like us to look at one event that summarizes many of His actions which displays His kindness to those around Him…
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few;Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
In this account from the book of Matthew, we find much of the work of Christ summarized for our benefit.
Here we are told that Christ met the needs of others by:
1. teaching in their synagogues,- He taught them truths about Himself from the Word of God which spiritually benefited lost and save alike.
2. preaching the gospel of the kingdom, - He shared with them the good news of salvation which gives entrance into His eternal kingdom. This gave spiritual benefit specifically to the lost.
3. healing every sickness and every disease among the people. – He worked to meet their physical needs as well, as He healed them of many various afflictions and and weaknesses in their bodies.
Notice how He met their needs:
1. he saw the multitudes– He took the time and care to notice those around Him
2. he was moved with compassion on them, - His love for them produced a desire to help them meet their needs
3. because they fainted, - He recognized their physical needs (fainted – lacking food)
4. and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.– He recognized their spiritual needs (no shepherd, no spiritual guidance)
5. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few;Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.–
He was not filled with pride, but recognized His human limitations, sought help from His heavenly Father and His spiritual brethren to meet the great needs around Him. Oh how important it is for us to follow Christ’s wonderful example as we seek to show our love for others through kindness and compassion!
1. Look for opportunities to be show kindness
2. Allow our love for the Lord and others to motivate and drive us to give of ourselves for others
3. Look for physical needs (which can open up opportunities to share Christ to the lost and encourage the saved.)
4. Look for spiritual needs and share the appropriate truths from God’s Word through our speech and actions
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Always seek guidance from the Lord. Also use our spiritual community to find help for those whom we cannot help on our own. Many times, the Lord uses us to recognize needs while using others to help in meeting those needs.
Our Lesson To Be Learned:
Always keep in mind… any kindness we show to others when motivated from a heart of Scriptural love is, in actuality, an act of kindness to Christ Himself!
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
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