As Dear Children, let us be followers of god (Ephesians 5:1)
1. This verse contains a very important admonition. 2. It relates to certain people -- those who have become God's children. 3. Before we examine this admonition, let us be reminded of how we become God's children (Galatians 3:26-28). 4. After we become His children, God wants us to be followers of Him. 5. In our lesson we are concentrating on one of God's characteristics that we are to imitate -- "kindness." 6. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. GOD IS KIND
A. God's kindness is declared in Psalm 117. B. The Scriptures also describe God's kindness. 1. Jesus described it in Luke 6:35. a. God is kind to good people and to those who are grateful to Him. b. God is also "kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." 2. God's kindness is also described in Titus 3:3-7. C. God is certainly kind -- as His dear children we are to be followers of Him.
II. THE BIBLE SPECIFICALLY TEACHES GOD'S CHILDREN TO BE KIND
A. According to Ephesians 4:31-32, not only are God's children to be kind, but we are to put away everything that opposes kindness. B. The same basic information is presented in Colossians 3:8, 12-13. C. We learn from 2 Peter 1:7 that "brotherly kindness" is one of the Christian graces that we are to develop with "all diligence." D. A kind person possesses a pleasant or benevolent disposition, is considerate and helpful, and is compassionate and concerned about other people. E. Let us turn our attention to . . .
III. SOME ADDITIONAL PRINCIPLES THAT WILL HELP US TO BE KIND
A. To be kind, we must possess the right type of love. 1. (1 Corinthians 13:4) Love "is kind." 2. (1 Corinthians 13:5) Love "is not easily provoked." B. To be kind, we must not provoke people (Galatians 5:26). C. Kindness, as well as the lack of it, can be demonstrated through our words. 1. In describing the virtuous woman, Proverbs 31:26 says: "in her tongue is the law of kindness." 2. Let us follow the instructions given in James 1:19-20. D. Kindness, as well as the lack of it, will affect the way others treat us. 1. This is illustrated in 2 Chronicles 10:7. 2. The aged men of Israel advised Rehoboam to be kind to his people. 3. The king rejected this advice, and many of the Israelites rebelled against him (2 Chronicles 10:8-11, 16).
1. A key to being kind is having the right things in the heart (Proverbs 23:7). 2. In the heart where there are things such as envy, uncontrolled anger, hatred, evil speaking, grudges, and vengeance, kindness will be lacking. 3. In the heart where there are things such as courtesy, compassion, mercy, meekness, patience, humility, and forgiveness, kindness will abound. 4. As we endeavor to be followers of God, as dear children let us be kind.