The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT
Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – KINDNESS #1
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against these things.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]
Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem
Luke 19:41-42 (NLT) says, “41 But as they came closer to Jerusalem and Jesus saw the city ahead, He began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.“
Only Luke recorded this lament by our Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast to the great joy of the crowd, the man on the donkey began to cry at the sight of the city. The name of the city has “peace” as part of its meaning (Hebrews 7:2), but the people of the city did not know what would bring them peace. The “city of peace” was blind to the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). If the people had known what was truly happening and had recognized it for what it was, they could have found peace. But the Jewish leaders had rejected their Messiah (Luke 19:39, 47); they had refused God’s offer of salvation in Jesus Christ when they were visited by God Himself. Now the truth would be hidden, and soon their nation would suffer.
The truth is that God daily grieves or laments the fate of all who are lost. He cries or mourns over all who are self-serving, who never suspect that there are any larger reasons for which they were given life. When we become aware of the needs of those around us, we become like Christ in our desire to help others. We who are possessed of such kindness become followers of grace. We move into the world serving a wonderful – and sometimes desperate – agenda: “What can I do to serve Christ? What can I do to make the world a better place? What can I do for all of those I see in need? We don’t actually do for the sake of others; we do as unto Christ.
On Matthew 5:23-24 NLT says, “23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.“
“So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” At certain times of the year, Jews brought sacrifices to be offered at the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jews brought their gifts as a matter of course, as part of keeping God’s law. But our Lord Jesus Christ explained that those who come into God’s presence to worship must come with pure hearts, not hindered by broken relationships that they had the power to mend. Lord Jesus explained that if the worshiper remembered someone’s anger against him or her, that person should leave the gift and go immediately to be reconciled to the offended brother or sister. Then he should come back to worship and offer his or her gift.
Our Lord Jesus counseled all quarrelsome worshippers to be reconciled before they came to worship: “Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother.” Sometimes people come to church and hope to present God a heart of loving admiration while they try to inflate their own personal reputations at the same time.
The church historically has been guilty of what James calls “fights and quarrels” (James 4:1). In our church, when strangers come to worship, do they find members who extend kindness to each other and to the visitor in their midst? Or would visitors be far more likely to find the church embroiled in a cutting, hateful quarrel that would for the most part prevent members from even seeing the stranger?
Grudges and harsh viewpoints not only keep us from seeing the stranger in our midst; they keep us from seeing God. John put it this way, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20). From what John says, many angry worshippers may come and go to church and never see God at all. Kind people, on the other hand, enter worship with no human biases against others. Loving all others is the first step of giving uncontaminated love to God.