Ephesians 4:32

 

Memorial Day video
Let’s make sure that we take time to pray for the families who grieve the loss of their loved ones who sacrificed for our country.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

We have been talking about having unity in Jesus as He prayed. We have unity when we are in Him and treat one another as He wants us to. Last week we focused on Accepting / Welcoming each other; today I want us to see how to be kind and compassionate to one another.

KIND AND COMPASSIONATE
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to ONE ANOTHER, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Be compassionate – tenderhearted, sympathetic toward one another. Having compassion means walking a mile in their shoes, identify with others and the road they are traveling.
Have you ever been hard on someone and then you experience a similar circumstance and then you understood and had compassion.
Let’s have compassion and understanding with each other without having to walk where they have walked. Walk with them. Who do you know that is struggling? Show compassion and walk beside them during their struggle.
Is there someone who drives you crazy? Then show kindness and get to know them and show compassion for what they have been through in life.

Every time Sarah has to be in the hospital there is always an outpouring of compassion for her and the rest of us. We thank you! We experience compassion and kindness from the Dr. and nurses as well. We had several Drs. going above the call of duty to care for Julia and the baby she carries since she was exposed to chicken poxes also. It makes you break down in tears when people sure tender hearts to our concerns and fears.
Sarah experienced more compassion as her friends decided to postpone the Sweet 16 ball until she was better. I would not have asked them to do that but out of their compassion the postponed (Pray everyone is well on June 10th.)

The other word Paul uses is Kind. Be Kind – Being kind is not just being polite but being useful and good.
We need to be kind to each other – our kindness is shown in how we help each other. When we arrived at the Children’s hospital at 2:30am on Sunday morning we were greeted by a rude, not kind security guard. She may have been the rudest person I have ever encounter at Children’s. All I needed was a little kindness and compassion not attitude. It is not like we wanted to be there waiting for the charge nurse to take us upstairs to the CICU. I wasn’t having a great day either but I didn’t treat her rudely.

Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

It doesn’t matter what kind of day you are having you can still treat others with kindness and compassion. Get over yourself and treat people the way Jesus expects you to.

I was touch this month when I received IDES newsletter. I am glad that we can support a mission that helps people in times of need. IDES supplied food to 17 villages through one of our missions in Kenya. One of the villages invited the mission to come and preach Jesus for the first time because of this act of kindness. Another group of elders walked all day to come and say thanks. The picture is of the kids retrieving every kernel from the back of the truck, they didn’t want any to go to waste.

Kindness and compassion go a long way. Let’s work on being more kind and compassionate toward one another.

We can be kind because Jesus first showed us kindness.

Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

God expressed His kindness by sending Jesus. How can you express your kindness?
God did not have to show us kindness but He wanted to, that is how much He loves each one of us.

How can we show this kindness and compassion? By forgiving as Christ forgave.

To be kind and compassionate to those who are kind and compassionate to you is easy but that is not the context of this passage.

Jesus said,
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The context of Ephesians 4 is forgiving those who have attacked you. Paul says quit holding onto bitterness. Getting rid of bitterness is God’s wisdom but Satan says be bitter.
Many people hold on to bitterness but what good has come from being bitter? Nothing good comes from bitterness – Forgiveness is what benefits us in our relationships and our position with Christ.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The opposite of being kind and compassionate is having rage, bitterness, anger and slander. When you are angry and bitter you can’t be kind. Forgive those who have sinned against you and then you will be able to be kind and compassionate.

Matthew West penned “Forgiveness” after encountering the story of Renee, who lost her 20-year-old daughter in a drunk-driving accident. Renee experienced a lot of bitterness as a result of the loss; despite the sentencing of the driver, Eric, to 22 years in prison, she did not experience peace. When she eventually visited Eric in prison, and forgave him of his crime, she experienced true freedom. Today, she and Eric tour around the country speaking about the dangers of drunk driving.
Though Renee has said that she cannot forget, she has forgiven Eric Smallridge for killing her child. “I could be angry, hateful and bitter,” Renee said. “But I didn’t want to live my life that way. There was no way I could move on and live a happy life without forgiving Eric.”
Renee Napier has said that she has grown to love Eric Smallridge and his family and now considers him to be like a “son” to her.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to ONE ANOTHER, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Few of us have to forgive so much. If Renee can forgive and give kindness and compassion can’t we with the help of Almighty God.

It may not be easy but forgiveness is always possible through the power of God. Vicki and I meet with and forgave the Dr. who misdiagnosed Michael. It was just a couple hours after the Dr. examined Michael that he went into cardiac arrest. People said sue the Dr. – why that wouldn’t bring Michael back; Jesus said forgive and that brought us peace.

Who have you forgiven? Is there anyone else you need to forgive?

Acts 7:54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

God I forgive them for killing me, please forgive them.
How can we have this attitude of Christ who said the same thing as He was being crucified?
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

We can forgive because Jesus forgave us. We can forgive because we have experienced the kindness of God.
Each one of us is a sinner and our sin put Jesus on the cross. When Jesus said, Father, forgive them. He was talking about us also. We did not kill the Father’s son on the cross because we were drunk on alcohol we killed Jesus because we were drunk on sin. God the Father forgave us and continues to forgive us as we remain in Jesus even though we killed His son. We are not even in prison for our actions; He forgave us and set us free.
How can we be so ungrateful and refuse to forgive others? We are enjoying the grace of God and that should motivate us to share that grace with others.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (kind).

Have you tasted that the Lord is good? Have you tasted His kindness, have you experienced His saving grace?

Maybe we are not kind and compassionate to others because we have yet to grasp God’s kindness and compassion. Read the Gospels and see Jesus, hear Him communicate with the hurting and with sinners. Watch Him surrender His life on the cross to save you.
Eric Smallridge did not deserve to be forgiven by Renee Napier and he definitely did not deserve to be treated as a son. But that is forgiveness.
We are worse than Eric – we do not deserve to be forgiven by God and we definitely do not deserve to be treat as sons. But that is God’s forgiveness – He sent Jesus to die on the cross so that we could live in Heaven.

Will you accept His forgiveness today?