YOU ARE CALLED TO LOVE AND RELY ON CHRIST FOR STRENGTH.
TEXTS:-Eph 4:32; Phil 4:13.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32 KJV
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:10-13 KJV
3 Reasons Ephesians 4:32 Encourages Us to ‘Be Kind to One Another’
We could explore loads of reasons for why Paul encouraged the Ephesians to exercise kindness to one another, especially to believers. In this section, we’ll lightly touch on three reasons.
First, we want to exemplify Christ.
Christian means “little Christ.” In everything we do, we want to emulate Christ’s example. And as we move further on our walk, we want to look more like our Savior every day. In doing so, we need to show kindness and compassion. Remember, Judas ate too. Jesus washed his feet during the Last Supper, even though he knew how Judas had already betrayed him and how he would betray him later on.
If Christ can wash Judas’ feet, we can show kindness to everyone, even our enemies.
Second, we have a choice to show God’s love.
Revenge is the easy choice to make. We get a thrill from having the last word or showing people not to mess with us.
But in doing so, we forget our mission here on earth.
God calls us to spread the good news of salvation to all peoples. If we choose malice or revenge, we risk failing to show someone the love of Christ. Perhaps it will turn them off to Christianity altogether if they see a believer who engages in hate and revenge.
Third, we remind ourselves of our mission.
Remember, without love, our good deeds mean nothing. When we choose kindness and forgiveness, we remind ourselves as to why God has placed us here on earth.
The Christian walk can often get exhausting. And if we lose sight of the why, we’ll fizzle or grow winded during the race.
Choosing kindness and forgiveness reminds us of Christ’s example. We can remember the parable of the unforgiving servant. No matter how much a friend or family member (or a complete stranger) has hurt us, we can remember the abounding grace of God in our own lives. He has forgiven us and shown us so much kindness. Therefore, we strive to do the same.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
Colossians 1:9-13 KJV
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Who hasn’t thought of Philippians 4:13 before a big test, meeting, or game? May be you were the athlete who quoted it after completing a nearly impossible feat. Or maybe it was quoted to you by an old acquaintance after they explained an, “amazing business opportunity.” “Sure it sounds risky,” they said, “but just like the Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.’”
Too often, Philippians 4:13 is quoted for self-motivation alone. A more secular version might sound like, “If we set our mind to it, whatever it is, we’ll accomplish it.” Sure, “through Christ” is in our Bible version, but hopefully He’s not there to just give us strength to accomplish our goals. Does Christ give us strength to do wonderful things including athletic feats? Yes. However, the original author of this coffee-mug verse wasn’t trying to win the Iron Man or triple his income in as little as three months (neither of which are necessarily bad things). Paul was writing—from jail—to the church he helped start in Philippi.
If Paul had the power to do all things, wouldn’t “get out of jail” be at the top of his to-do list? After all, if he could really do all things, he’d be all-powerful. The next three verses give additional meaning to verse 13. Paul described experiencing poverty, hunger, want, and despite it all, contentment. Then, he added verse 13 to basically say he could do all this only because of Christ. Paul’s words were less about motivating the Philippians to accomplish great things and more about inspiring them to trust God despite horrible things. In fact, the original language reads more like, “I have strength for all things. Why? Because Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Are you in a bad break up? Rebound to Him; He makes you whole. Bad medical news? Cling to Him; He is life. Lost your job? Submit to Him; He’s your provider. Are you “in want” like Paul? Come to Him; you can be content. Through Christ, you have strength for all these things.
Scripture calls us to make two difficult choices: kindness and forgiveness. They sound easy on paper. Living out these concepts, however, is not easy..but it’s what Christ desires for us all.
Through Christ’s example of humility, and the lovingkindness he has shown us, he has given us a mission and a mindset that often runs counter-culture. Nevertheless, when we choose kindness and forgiveness, we allow others to experience the grace of God—and we spur other believers to do the same.
Consider: What trial are you facing? How can you rely on Christ for strength?
Compassionate Lord, please shape my heart. Make me into a person that is kind and compassionate. Just as You have forgiven me, I also want to forgive others.
Scripture calls us to make two difficult choices: kindness and forgiveness. Living out these concepts, however, is not easy but help us to fulfil your desires for us all in Jesus Name