At one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived
and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us,
not because of righteous things that we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Ouch. Tough words, hard words about our sins. About my sins. Don’t like to read them, hear them or acknowledge them. Yet, they are true words from God’s Word about us – about you, about me – before we put our faith in the salvation and renewal offered to us by the blood of Jesus, by the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins. Sadly, this struggle for my mind, heart, words, actions, reactions and interactions goes on, and will go on, on this side of Heaven. And it will for you, too. Thanks be to God for His kindness and love that have forever set His children free from the bondage of this struggle!
God’s kind of kindness is so different from what we offer to others. God’s kind of kindness is so different from what others have offered to us. And it makes all the difference for us right now and for all of eternity!
God’s kind of kindness to us is not based on anything we have done. It cannot be earned. It is not deserved. God’s kind of kindness is not conditional. God is unchangeable. God’s kind of kindness is based on who God is and not on who we are. God’s kind of kindness is not limited by our own perceptions of self or by how others view us. God’s kind of kindness is not limited by how we have been wounded, treated or twisted by others or by our circumstances. God’s kind of kindness is not weakened by the ways we have been hurt by others, nor by the ways we have been hurtful towards others. God’s kind of kindness is not altered because we have been hated or hateful.
God’s kind of kindness comes to us through His unfailing, unlimited love and unleashed mercy – offering us full forgiveness for our sins, healing for our minds, renewal for our lives and eternal life with our Holy God – through the sacrificial death and conquering resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death and resurrection have destroyed the power that sin and death had held over our lives. Through the blood of Christ this bondage is broken. We are set free.
Each of us is given the choice to accept and fully receive the salvation kindness, love and mercy offered to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. And as we accept and receive salvation, God’s Holy Spirit – who has been generously and powerfully given to us, to live within us – is able to fully cleanse us and fully renew us for all eternity. We each also have a choice to make about continually giving ourselves over to the Spirit’s washing and renewal work within us. We have a choice to make about giving the Spirit more elbow room so that God’s freeing, powerful purpose of transforming us to be more like Jesus will be done every day of our lives. Moment by moment. Thought by thought. Word by word. Action by action.
May we each allow the freedom and power of God’s kind of kindness – that cost Jesus His life – to rule over and lead our lives completely!