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Scripture: Matthew 25: 31-40

Closing song: 183- I will sing of Jesus love

Opening song- love lifted me

Before sermon- power of your love

Pray right after song

Title: In his Image # Kindness

Sermon points:

Today I would like to bring out a few short points on the word kindness, a simple
word it may be but it is one with deep meaning in the life of a follower of Christ.

Sometimes I sit and ask myself questions …what really is kindness and by
extension …are we as Christians truly kind?

Has anyone ever watched the fox surprise squad? For those who are not familiar it
is program on a news station (Fox 5) where the news station goes around planning
surprises/ gifts/ money etc. for regular people in the community and this is funded
by local businesses in America.

I especially loved this episode where they went into a local supermarket in a not to
wealthy area in the country a day before their thanksgiving holiday. They just went
up to random people, without knowing their story, or if they needed it and bought
their groceries. The reactions were priceless, people hugged the reporters, some
even cried. Then, there was this one man, all he had was water and some noodles
in his trolley and he seems so appreciative of the fact that they were buying his
groceries for him. So the reporter dug deeper and it turned out that he was indeed
struggling and that was all he could afford to buy for thanksgiving. So the fox
surprise squad carried him on a shopping spree in the supermarket and they picked
up everything that he would have wanted but could not afford in food. It was such
a heart- warming, feel good story. And I don’t know if anyone else does this but I
usually find myself reading the you tube comments at the bottom after watching
that video.

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Most of the People praised the fox surprise squad, and what I found interesting is
that many individuals said that if they were millionaires they would do this, and do
that etc. and it got me thinking…..

Can kindness only take place as some big grand gesture, do we need to have
resources in order for us to be kind? And this is where my first point comes in for
the sermon today. Point number one:

Kindness is not just something you do but who you are (repeat)

What I am saying is that it is not something to do but someone to be.

Let’s take a look back at our scripture reading for today, Matthew 25: 31-40

Matthew 25:31-46 lets go down to verse 46

31
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,
then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one
from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34
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:
35
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:
36
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye
came unto me.
37
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an
hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

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40
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.
41
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed,
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no
drink:
43
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and
in prison, and ye visited me not.
44
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or
athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it
not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life
eternal.

So the scene is set, when it comes to people at the end of time, this is how the
distinction is made.

Do we realise that the righteous, represented by the sheep provided others with
very simple acts of kindness?

Notice the simple responses God noted in the actions of the righteous. Giving
someone a drink, something to eat, clothes to wear and a visit (stopping by and just
checking in to see how a person is doing). These are simple and basic things.
There’s no pomp, no plaque, no prestige.

God’s followers are not identified by saying, “Lord, Lord, I did this and I did that”
and repeating verbal expressions of their faith. They are noted for numerous acts of
self-sacrificing service, rendered unobtrusively to their fellow men.

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An unusual part of this judgment scene is the way those on the left hand try to
excuse themselves on the grounds that they had no opportunity to do so.

They ask in a tone of injured innocence, “Lord, when did I ever see you hungry or
thirsty or a stranger or sick …and it goes on…Lord I would never see you in need
and not come to minister to you!

This question is asked in a more condensed and agitated manner than they
surprised query of the righteous who were disclaiming the credit given to them.

Notice the King’s response,

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not for the lease of these, you did
not do it to me.” Matthew 25:45

So what can we gather from this?

It is not so much wrong-doing that evokes the severest censure, but the utter failure
to do that which is good.” Just as the door was shut on the foolish virgins for their
negligence, so those on the left are lost for failing to notice the many opportunities
for showing kindness which had been given them.

Let’s get back to the righteous…

The surprise of the righteous at this statement makes it impossible to think that
works of righteousness win salvation. How they treated the “least of these” was not
for the purpose of being accepted or rejected by the king. Therefore the sheep did
not show love to gain heaven. Kindness was simply a part of who they were.

Is genuine kindness a sincere part of who we are church?

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Have you noticed that the world is becoming more rude and less civil? With the
way things are going on in Barbados right now that is definitely the case.

You can find rudeness everywhere these days… at school, at home, at the
supermarket, in a gas station, in a restaurant, on the road….at church.

If I were to ask you to list some things that people do which are just rude or unkind
in the world today I’m sure that you could create a long list…

I could probably talk about people who honk their horn repeatedly and you are in a
long line of traffic. There’s no place to go, so why are you so angry?

What about people who cheat at the express line? You know that you are only
supposed to have 10 items and your trolley is full. I could probably go on and on.

True story I will share with you today….so I was at the gas station with my
husband one night, there was one car in front of me and you know what you
do…you park behind the car and you wait until you can drive to the pump….so the
other car has put in their gas and begins to drive off and so I turn on my car and I
proceed to drive towards the pump…then out of nowhere this motorcycle man, I
kid you not drives through the exit as cars are exiting and tries to pull in his
motorcycle from the opposite way into the pump so he can cut me off and be
served first. So my brakes come to a screeching halt and I’m just there shocked, I
think the gas attendant was just as shocked as I was!….and you know what the
unbelievable part of it is? This man begins to curse and carry on as though he was
justified. This world is definitely becoming more rude.

But really how do you respond in kindness to difficult people?

This brings me to my second point for today

Kindness is tactful: be kind with your words not just truthful (repeat)

The truth is that people who have tact, have less to retract. Telling someone like
you think it is just reinforces that which is negative.

A wise man once said Im never persuasive if im abrasive. Then there are some
who have tact but no tone. Your tone of voice also could say a lot about how you
truly feel on the inside. I could say the nicest words but the way in which I say

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them has the ability to uplift or tear down and depress. (Let’s try the word hello-
surprised, happy, sad, annoyed). So yes, tone and tact go together.

And then there are times when you don’t have to have the last say, your voice
doesn’t have to be heard over all others…… as a matter of fact sometimes being
kind may involve you being silent. Proverbs 17:28 says

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his
lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

You know many times when we make these type of statements, there are those
who would say….well if a person is going wrong or I don’t agree with them, I
need to say something to them about it…. And my answer to that is one that you
can reflect on today…You can be kind even though you disagree with someone….

There’s the old adage that goes,

“People will long forget what you do but will always remember how you made
them feel”.

Do my words, do our words say that we are kind?

There was once a story told of a person who said “I cant wait to get back home
today! When a co worker asked why he replied emphatically “Im just so tired of
being nice and kind all day!”

This brings me to the third point: Be kind everywhere not only when seen

So many times it is easy to put on a smile and to be warm and kind at work or
church or anywhere outside of our homes but being kind when no one is
watching….. when we are at home, where our spouse, family or children are can
seem to be a big challenge. It’s funny because we say that these are the people we
love the most. Brethren, true kindness begins in the home.

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Ephesians 4:32- and be ye kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Are we kind when no one is watching?

Point number 4: Have the right motive

It is not the great results we attain but the motives from which we act, that weigh
with God. He prizes goodness and faithfulness more than the greatness of the work
accomplished- testimonies for the church vol.2 pg 510, 511

What is your motive for being kind? Is there some reward to be had? Maybe its not
monetary gain, but are you kind because you like the attention, the limelight that it
could give? Or maybe it could be so you can talk about all that you do with
others?... the common man may not know the true motives of your actions but
God knows, he sees the inward man. What does God see when he looks at you?

And finally brethren, point number 5: Be connected to the source of kindness

Simply put, Be kind as Christ was kind.

Was Jesus kind? Jesus was kind to zachessus, the woman caught in adultery, the
woman with the issue of blood, he healed the sick, he fed the hungry and the list
could go on and on…thing is when you read the bible you can’t help but see how
Jesus’ kindness permeated everything that he did.

Romans 5:8 puts it clearly:

– but god commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
christ died for us.

While we were yet sinners…. God showed how much he loved and cared for us…
people who don’t deserve it….isn’t that amazing?

Nehemiah expresses who God is in Nehemiah 9:17….although the people refused


to obey …thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and of great kindness and forsookest them not.
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John 15.5 states it clearly: I am the vine, ye are the branches

Kindness will only happen when we are connected to the source of kindness, it
dosent happen by just saying or screaming from the rooftop that you are a good
person. The truth is that perhaps nothing more discredits our Christian testimony
and ministry more deeply than unkindness.

We have all heard so many stories of people who are turned off of Christians or
even church because of that person/s they encountered who claimed that they were
a follower of Christ but their actions stated loudly otherwise. When people see you
who do they see? My prayer today is that they see Christ living in you.

If you have the desire to be transformed by Christ he says- let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus. The truth is that we each have to stand before God
…individually…..this is why we have to know christ for ourselves.

So I urge us today

Let Kindness not be just something you do but who you are

Learn that Kindness is tactful: so be kind with your words not just truthful

Be kind everywhere not only when you are seen

Have the right motives

And finally Be connected to the source of kindness

And that is Christ Jesus.

I pray we have all gathered something that will be of benefit as we continue to seek
God in all that we do.

Amen.

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