|설교본문||1 Corinthians 13:4|
|설교 한 주일||December 18, 2011|
“Love is Kind”
1 Corinthians 13:4
Are you kind? Most of the Filipino people are very kind, I know. Maybe if you are so that kind person, I think this sermon is useless. However, let’s see how God teaches us today on this topic – love is kind.
(Reading 1 Corinthians: 13 – 4 NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
When I was young, one singer before sang a song Love is Real... But today, love is patient and love is kind. Kindness – everybody says “I’m kind...” and then we think he is a kind person or not. Let us see what is ‘kind’. We have to have one model. If you don’t have a model, there’s no way we could understand and realize what the real kindness is meant about by the Bible. Everybody says, “You are kind...very kind of you...” If you are being served you will say, “You are very good and you are kind...”
We have a model. What kind of a role model we have in the Bible so we will not be misfocused; we will not be disoriented? When you see Matthew 8:1-3, it says, “When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.” About the ‘kind’ in the Bible, it says, ‘Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man.’ Well, I would like to say today that this is one good model of kindness that we can see in the Bible because kindness is reaching out hand. Jesus reached out His hand to the people who are suffering from leprosy. That is one model of how we live in the life and acts of kindness and goodness.
You may say it’s very easy reaching your hands out. But consider where Jesus reached. Jesus reached out His hand to the people, to somebody who has leprosy. In those days, nobody touched that man who was suffering from leprosy. Not only touch, they never get too close to that people. Think about us, if we have something or some occasion if we have somebody that we want to reach out our hand and somebody or situation that you don’t like to reach your hands out; if you do have, you are not kind. Jesus met a woman in the City of Sychar – a very dirty woman, a Samaritan lady that the Jews never even talked to – but Jesus opened His mouth to speak with that woman. If we have somebody you don’t like to talk to, if we have some situation – because of him or because of her so you don’t like to mingle with – you are not kind. Being kind is reaching out hands.
What is reaching out hands? How you reach your hands out is that one humble idea that they are truly important. In the eyes of Jesus Christ, sinners are very important. In the eyes of Jesus Christ, the one lost sheep is so important. In the eyes of Jesus Christ, the lost son is so important. So, kindness is to be based on idea and our character is that somebody – which means not you, not him or her – among the people other than you or you may say third party; they are very important. Maybe he or she is not important to you but we have to change our heart. Everybody is important whether they are sick, whether they are small, whether they have nothing, whether they have disease. In our eyes, we can see the disease, in our eyes, we can see the limitation but the weight or value of the soul in the life is exactly the same to the Lord.
How we can reach our hands out? First, we have to know that everybody in the Lord – believers or non-believers – everyone in this universe is very important. So, you can reach just as they are. Imagine one man who was suffering because of the leprosy. Imagine how he could able to wear how he looked like. Maybe he looks like a beggar or more than the people who are sleeping in the streets. If we are talking about love, if we are talking about kind, we have to start from that point. Don’t ask who you are; don’t ask how much we have; don’t ask how big, deep or far you had education – just as they are.
There is one family of farmer who is very much poor. They have nothing in their house. They just spend day by day eating something. They have nothing but two sons in their family. After harvest, they paid back some debts and they had very little money left. They had a meeting, “My son and my wife, even we worked very hard over the summer, we have only this much of money. What do you want me to do for you? What would you like me to buy something for you?” Then the mother said, “You see, in our house we have nothing. We even have no nail to hang my cloth. We are absolutely very poor. Today, why don’t we buy a mirror? It’s been a long time ever since I got married; I have no any chance to see my face.” So they bought a mirror and they put in one corner of their house. The father looked at the mirror, smiling and did everything. The mother did also, “I was very beautiful before but now because of very hard working, I have many stars on my face.” And then the little one, their child, saw his face. He was shocked. He doesn’t know how to smile or laugh or angry. He saw himself in the mirror and looked at his parents. Then he asked his parents, “Mommy and Daddy, why my face is like this?” Actually, that little one was kicked by a donkey when he was very young and his face was like destroyed. The young one had scars and everything just like he had remodeling. And then he asked his mother, “How do you still like me, Mommy? How do you still love me, Mommy?” Mother says, “Of course, I love you not because of your face. I love you not because you are kicked by a donkey when you were very young.”
The kindness is you reach out your hand just as they are. That is how. Even this Christmas day, if you have any broken relationship between you and some of your neighbors and some other people that you decided to yourself that you’ll never reach out your hands again, I challenge you to see the word, what it says in 1 Corinthians 13 about kindness. Reaching out a hand means just as they are. When you see Luke 6:35, even Jesus said, “Love your enemies...” “He is my enemy...She is my enemy...so I have good excuse that I will hate. But Bible says to love your enemies. Enemy means you made him as your enemy. Reading further, “...do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back...” That’s how Bible says because you said that you are all kind; this is how to evaluate yourselves: Do I love my enemies? I pray that the love and kindness comes from the Lord. Without the working of the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible. How can you love your enemies? But that is possible that is why Jesus said here, “Love your enemies.” There is one promise and I want that this reward will be yours, “Then your reward will be great...” Everybody steps, “Love your enemies!” “How can I?” No, love your enemies and do good things! Lend something to them and do not expect anything will be back to you so that the reward will be great... Furthermore, remember brothers and sisters that you will be sons of the Most High. There’s something I can verify and I can evaluate you, if you are saved and you are the son and daughter of God, do I really can see that kindness what the Bible says today is in you or not? That is automatic. “Lord, I did this. This is for you...” But then the Lord will say, “I don’t know you...” “I did it for you...” “You did it for your own business...You did it for your own sake...” It says, “You will be the sons of the Most High because God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked...” Ungrateful means, I am the ungrateful; I am the wicked. How I know? – Because I know myself. God gave me this because He is so kind in His love. I became His enemy but He loved me! Once I was lost, that was amazing grace of course so we can reach our hands through the love of God in Jesus Christ. His kindness, His mercy, in His love through Jesus Christ; you see what and how is the way we will be such a kind person.
Matthew 8:1-3 says, “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.” Many people reach out their hands but they never actually touch. Looks like that their behavior is very kind but then when we see their heart, they never ever touch. But Jesus touched. Jesus never say, “Okay, make yourself clean!” Jesus touched Him while nobody touch him. Kindness is touching. And the kindness Bible says today is touching with your hand. Touching means action. John 13:1 says, “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” Where? He touched just like he touched the man with leprosy, he touched us; he touched you and me – the ungrateful and the wicked – he touched us on the cross. That is the time of the full extent of His love. Not only to index, “Okay, you do this...do that...” Touch means take this situation; take this relation on my control, my responsibility.
Today, it’s Christmas. In Christmas, we can see the kindness, the starting point of the kindness of God because Jesus came as a star so a star is born but a star to die on the cross. A Christmas without cross is nothing. Everybody is thinking about Christmas. Do you really have a joyful heart, joy to the world? Yes. Why joy? Because I have the Christmas. Through Christmas, I have Jesus Christ who died for me. Christmas is the cross. He showed, he reached out, he shook His hands to the world and he touched us on the cross. That’s the real meaning of Christmas and kindness what the Bible says today. You said that you are very kind. Yes, I know. Let’s learn and let’s have a good model of what Bible teaches us today.
Know others. They are really great, important, so that I can reach my hands. They are very important in the sight of God that because of him, Jesus died, God Himself died for them. I – we have to say that this is the “I” sentence. “You have to be kind...” but this one should be sentenced as an ‘I’ sentence, “I am kind, because I know Jesus. God loved me through Jesus Christ so I am now the person I am – kind. You have to know I am kind...anytime and any circumstances. I will reach my hands out. I will touch because I am kind.” Never or Do not expect. “I do this...maybe God give me something. I touch this, maybe I have reward...” How God says? Love your enemy and lend something to them and do not expect for the return. That’s what Jesus teaches us today. This is how to spell KIND. D is deny yourself. “Because I’m somebody...I’m a pastor...I’m blah, blah...” You’ll never be a kind enough person what Bible teaches us today. Brothers and sister, Merry Christmas! Let’s see how God made Himself so kind to us so that He is kind; we should be the person to be the real kind what Bible says.
Rev. David Bang