Summary: Show kindness and you’d have served Christ! Heed the call to reflect God’ kindness. Make effrots to cultivate it. Take initiative to show kindness.
Read Matthew 25:31-46 – show kindness and you’d have served Christ!
How did Jesus distinguish the sheep from the goats? From the way they treat others. The tree shall be known by its fruits.
• He is not making them into sheep and goats. He is dividing them as He sees them.
• Believers of Christ will have the life of Christ in them; they will bear the Fruit of the Spirit, and it will show in their acts of kindness.
Jesus is by no means making a theological statement about salvation by the acts of kindness. We are not saved by good works; we’re saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
• And true faith shows. By its fruit I will know the tree. By your kind actions I will know you are my sheep!
• James says true faith can be seen - James 2:14-16, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
The one who has Christ will display the character of Christ – and that’s KINDNESS.
• Kindness reveals a life that is transformed by Christ. Kindness reveals the love of God in our hearts. Kindness reveals the character of Christ in our lives.
• The kind acts I do did not make me kind; it is the other way around, I do kind acts because I’ve been made new by Christ.
• His sheep will do kind acts. The things we do reveal WHO we are.
• The Lord says: “When I see KINDNESS, I’ll know they are sheep. They are My sheep because they are just LIKE ME!”
When Jesus returns, He will not commend us for the knowledge we’ve acquired, the fame we have gotten, or the fortune we have gained, but by the kindness we’ve shown.
(1) Heed the Call to REFLECT GOD’S KINDNESS
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
God is kind. Right from the beginning, we see God’s kindness, in the Garden of Eden.
• When Adam and Eve sinned and hid from God, realising they were naked and in shame, Gen 3:21 “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
• This was a gracious act of kindness on God’s part. It was significant because this was the first slaughter of an animal, and it points to the ultimate slaughter of the Lamb of God for the covering of man’s sin.
• God wants to remove the shame of sin and clothe us with the righteousness of Christ.
And then we saw the next sin – Cain killed his brother Abel in Gen 4. He was banished from the land and lived a life of a wanderer.
• But God showed His kindness to Cain when He put a mark on Cain “so that no one who found him would kill him”. (Gen 4:15).
We see God’s kindness flows through the pages of the Bible, particularly so towards His people Israel.
• Isa 54:8 “In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.”
Our response to the poor, despised, afflicted, sick and in need, is a reflection of the character of Christ. It makes us truly like Him.
• This is how we show our love to Him in response to the love He shown to us, by our love for people, expressed through our acts of kindness.
• “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
• Whoever loves God must also love his brother (1 John 4:21). Kindness is God’s love in action.
(2) Make Efforts to CULTIVATE KINDNESS
Eph 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We need to be reminded, because we are not born to be naturally kind-hearted; we GROW to become one. Kindness needs to be taught and caught and practiced.
• Sociologist Robert Wuthnow did a study of young volunteers who are involved in serving their community. He found out that performing acts of caring is more learned than innate.
• We need to learn it, practice it and we need to model it for our young.
There is this true story about a family that always prayed at the meal saying this, “Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let this food be a blessing to us.”