NCFI Cares: Be Kindness

The Lord has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).

Scripture teaches to “put on kindness” like a garment to wear (Colossians 5:12); yet we can change our garment of kindness into selfishness and pride pretty quickly. We also learn that the Holy Spirit working within us brings out the fruit of kindness (Galatians 5:22); yet sometimes our fruit is less sincere and under-ripe. Throughout scripture we see how the kindness of God is demonstrated and extended kindness to others.

Here, in Micah we are instructed that we are to “love kindness” or “mercy” in the KJV. The Hebrew word checed is translated to mercy, goodness, faithfulness and frequently used to describe God as lovingkindness. Notice how Moses, the writer of Exodus, described the LORD’s presence and proclamation.

Then the LORD passed by in front of Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (checed) and truth; who keeps lovingkindness (checed)” (Exodus 34:6)

In other words, checed is an attribute or character of God’s presence. Thus, kindness is our presence, our personality, and the essence of our spirit  Checed is not based on a mood, emotion, action or attitude. Instead it should be so greatly ingrained within us that spills out continuously onto others.

 

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NCFI Cares: Love–The gift that keeps on giving.

ncfi-values

As I looked into the  NCFI value “Love”  I was overwhelmed with where to start. Until I found an excellent definition from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) written by William Evans entitled Source of Man’s Love

Whatever love there is in man, whether it be toward God or toward his fellowman, has its source in God–“Love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1Jo 4:7); “We love, because he first loved us” (1 Jo 4:19). Trench, in speaking of agape, says it is a word born within the bosom of revealed religion. Heathen writers do not use it at all, their nearest approach to it being philanthropia or philadelphia–the love between those of the same blood. Love in the heart of man is the offspring of the love of God. Only the regenerated heart can truly love as God loves; to this higher form of love the unregenerate can lay no claim (1 Jo 4:7, 19, 21; 2:7-11; 3:10; 4:11 f). The regenerate man is able to see his fellow-man as God sees him, value him as God values him, not so much because of what he is by reason of his sin and unloveliness, but because of what, through Christ, he may become; he sees man’s intrinsic worth and possibility in Christ (2 Co 5:14-17). This love is also created in the heart of man by the Holy Ghost (Ro 5:5), and is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22). It is also stimulated by the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, more than anyone else, manifested to the world the spirit and nature of true love (Joh 13:34; 15:12; Ga 2:20; Eph 5:25-27; 1 Jo 4:9 f).

In other words, God gives us love. Not for us to keep, like a selfish child. Instead it is given to us to share and give to others. The mystery of God’s love is the more we give love, the more we receive love. Truly, love is the gift that keeps on giving.