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CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. A few weeks ago I started a series of sermons based on 1 Corinthians 13, & we began to consider what Paul said was "the most excellent way" to live. And that "most excellent way" is the way of love.
In those first few verses Paul said that love is more important than spiritual gifts, or knowledge, or faith, or generosity, or even a willingness to die for Christ. For even if we had all that, but did not have love, they would be as useless & empty as beating a gong outside a pagan temple.
In vs. 4, Paul tells us that love is patient, love has a long fuse, love is slow to boil, love counts down before it blasts off. Then he tells us that "love is kind." And that is what I want us to consider this morning.
B. If you were describing our world, would you describe it as a kind world? Drive along Boca Chica Blvd., or try to get waited on in a crowded store, or even watch your favorite sport on television.
In fact, we have come to expect violence in football & basketball, & especially in hockey. But the one beautiful & graceful sport that we have always considered above all that is figure skating. And my wife loves to watch figure skating.
Sheís not all that enthused about baseball or basketball or football, especially with the problems the Cowboys have had recently. But she enjoys figure skating. Yet, two years ago Tanya Harding showed us that even figure skaters can be so intent on winning as to do bodily harm to another.
ILL. I heard a story about a woman who was standing at a bus stop. She had just cashed her tax refund check, so she was carrying more money than usual & was a little bit nervous about that. She glanced around & noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. And as she watched, she saw a man walk up to him, hand him some money, & whisper something in his ear.
She was so touched by that act of kindness that she decided to do the same. In a burst of generosity, she reached into her purse, took out $10, handed it to the man, & whispered to him, "Never despair, never despair."
The next day when she came to the bus stop, there he was again. But this time he walked up to her & handed her $110. Dumbfounded, she asked, "Whatís this?" He said, "You won, lady. Never Despair paid 10 to 1."
APPL. Now I canít promise that every act of kindness will pay 10 to 1. At times kindness may even cost you something, & require sacrifices on your part.
C. So with that in mind, letís look at a couple of the clearest examples of kindness in the Bible. They are found in Luke 8:40-56. In this passage we see Jesus showing kindness to 2 people who are entirely different.
One is a man & the other is a woman. One is an outcast, poor & unknown. The other is rich & influential & the ruler of a synagogue. And yet, Jesus treats both of them with great kindness.
By the time of this story, Jesus had gained a great deal of fame & was at the pinnacle of his popularity. People respected Him as a healer & a teacher, & crowds were swarming around Him wherever He went. In fact, there were times when Jesus had to go off in secret to get time to rest & to pray.
But despite the pressures of popularity, despite the crowds constantly pushing in around Him, despite all the demands on His time, Jesus, in His kindness,
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