Whenever I set off on a long car journey, my dad’s parting words (through the window as the car pulled away) were usually, ‘be kind to people.’ It caught me off guard every time. ‘Why does he say that? Doesn’t he think I am kind to people?’ I wondered what it meant. ‘And what exactly is kindness anyway?’
I think it’s a mixture of gentleness, sensitivity, friendliness and compassion. It’s shown in specific incidents, in moments. It touches us most deeply at times when we’re in distress. Like that person who stopped and went out of his way to help you when you were stranded, or those friends who remembered to give you extra time and care after that painful loss.
The kind word or deed has an element of generosity about it. Kindness gives when it doesn’t have to give, because it comes out of a heart of love. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit because it’s part of God’s very nature. Someone once said that God is kinder than any person we could ever meet.
Today’s verse shows us something quite incredible about our future in heaven. It says that our Heavenly Father’s big plan, His great ambition and intention, is to spend the whole of eternity being kind to us! Yes, it says that the reason He has done all this is ‘in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace’. His grace, or His love, is ‘expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus’. Christ Jesus is the only way we can enter into heaven and experience God’s love and kindness. The Bible says that Christ Jesus is our spouse-to-be.
It will be ‘incomparable riches’ and ‘abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). I have to admit that my imagination can’t begin to picture all God will do when He starts to show His kindness to us with no holds barred and no time limits, in eternity! The only requirement you and I have to fulfil is to be in Jesus. Will you allow Jesus to receive you? That’s what it means to be in Him - to allow Him to receive you. His arms are open and His face shows how kind He is.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be ‘in You’, to allow You to receive me. I don’t feel like the sort of person You should spend eternity being kind to, but thank You so much for Your kindness to me. I love You. Amen.
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