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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Is Kind”

SIH TOTT ICON“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…

 

 

Christ’s Life:

 

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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What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 2-Repentance

SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

 The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

 This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

 Blog Entry #1 Salvation  

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

 We now begin our study with blog entry #2…. Repentance….

 THE SCRIPTURES: 

Luke 13:1-5 (KJV)  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in JerusalemI tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 Luke 24:45-48 (KJV)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

 Acts 3:17-21 (KJV)  And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers.  But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

 Matt 9:10-13 (KJV)  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 Acts 26:20 (KJV) But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 Acts 3:26 (KJV)  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 THE STUDY:

 What does the Bible mean by the term “repentance”?  Repentance carries with it the idea “to turn from” or “to change your mind”, “to reverse”, or “to reconsider”. 

 Biblically, repentance refers to an inward change of mind and desires that result in an outward change of action…

Acts 26:20 (KJV) – But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 Here in our Acts 26:20 text, we see that the term repentance is describing an inward change.  In the context, we have those who had not come to believe in Jesus being told they must “repent”  .  This repentance would lead them to “turn to God” and then “do works meet for repentance”.  (“works meet for repentance” refers to works that are suitable or fitting for repentance.)

 When we are told to repent the Bible is saying that we must change our minds about….

 God’s Word – the message of the Bible, what it says about our sin, Christ, salvation, service and the eternal things of God.  The first step in our coming to Christ, is acceptance of the Word and what it says as being the very Words of God.  (John 6:63-64, John 17:17-19)

 Our Sin – the presence of sin in our lives, the guilt we have upon us because of that sin, and the judgment of God that will fall upon us due to our sin. We must come to an acceptance of all of these truths, as a part of our salvation experience. ( Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12, Rom 1:16-18)

 The Person of Jesus – Jesus, the very Son of God the Father, and God Himself, coming in obedience to His Father’s desires.  Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, or in other words, the One   Anointed by God to secure the salvation of His people.   Acceptance of the true person of Christ is of utmost importance.  (John 10:30, John 1:1-14, John 14:9)

 The Work of Jesus – Although it is true that Jesus was “a prophet”, and “a wonderful example for us to follow”, His work goes far beyond these things.  Christ, when He came to the earth was the One chosen by God the Father to live an absolutely perfect, sinless life.  When Christ was crucified, He was “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”  When He died on the cross, He was paying the price for sin.  His death satisfied the demands of His Heavenly Father against our sin.  It is through His shed blood that we can find forgiveness for our sins.  Coming to a belief in these things is a part of true repentance. (1 John 3:4-5, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 8:1-4, Gal 3:13-14, Eph 5:1-2, 1 Pet 1:18-23)

 Our Goals in Life – Where before our repentance we were living according to the goals and desires of this world and our flesh, at repentance, we now desire to seek to please Him as Lord of our lives.  This change in our goals for living is also a part of Godly repentance that works salvation in our lives. (Gal 6:14-15, 2 Cor 5:14-21)

 Repentance is for Jew and Gentile alike

 Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 Repentance, or a change of attitude and beliefs about our Lord, is a responsibility handed to all men everywhere. Both Jew and Gentile have been given this responsibility.  Based on our above text, we can see that repentance is a command handed down to all men, from their Creator, Jehovah God.  Our God will hold all men responsible to fulfill this command, by establishing a future time of judgment for all.

 Repentance is for those who recognize their sinfulness

 Matt 9:10-13 (KJV)  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 For an individual to come to repentance they must recognize their sinful condition.  No one can say, “Well, I know I’m a good person who is not in need of forgiveness but I will go to Christ for communion without seeing a need for my life to change.” 

 Remember repentance involves CHANGING what we believe about ourselves and our condition.  If we have never seen our sinfulness, and we continue to believe in our innocence, as we come to Christ, no change has taken place.  Therefore, no repentance has occurred in the life of the individual.

 Repentance leads to salvation

 Luke 13:1-5 (KJV)  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 Acts 3:17-21 (KJV)  And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

 A sincere change in our beliefs (resulting in an acknowlegement of the truth concerning:

1. our sinful condition;  2. our coming judgment; 3. and the basis and source of Divine forgiveness) will result on an individual coming to Christ for salvation.   A sincere, true type of repentance will lead a man to Christ and His gracious salvation.

 Therefore, repentance is a part of the great commission (the proclamation of the gospel message)

Luke 24:45-48 (KJV)  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

 Based upon our study so far, we can easily see the necessity of repentance in the process of salvation.  This is reaffirmed to us in the above passage, that makes it plain that repentance is a part of the great commission.  What is the great commission?  It is the responsibility to tell others about Christ and His work of salvation on behalf of sinful mankind.  We can see this clearly when Christ says “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:”

 In the context, of telling others about Him and His work, Christ declares “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.”

 Repentance is a gift of God.  It is the result of God working in the heart of sinful mankind.

Acts 11:18 (KJV)  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Acts 3:26 (KJV)  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 What great grace!  Our Lord, saw fit to work in the heart of sinful mankind, convicting of sin, convincing of His work, and bringing that sinful man to Himself.  Why did He have to work in this way?  Because lost mankind cannot come to Christ apart from the Lord’s intervention…

 John 5:39-40 (KJV)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

 John 6:44-51 (KJV)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.   This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

In this blog entry we have seen the very basic principle of the necessity of repentance in the salvation experience… In the following blog entries we will continue to study, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation. 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth. 

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