It’s so funny to see little children imitate their parents and grandparents. When my grandson Max was small, he would watch the Covenant Rider video and see Ken playing the role of the cowboy, Wichita Slim. Max would then imitate whatever he saw Ken do—he carried his toy gun and wore his cowboy boots. He was a little cowboy.
That’s what we’re to do where God is concerned. Ephesians 5:1 in The Amplified Bible says we are to “be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].”
We’ve been born again in His image. He put His Spirit in us to empower us to do what He has called us to do. The fruit of the spirit are all inside us. I like the translation of Galatians 5:22-23 in The Amplified Bible:
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Think about the fact that the very nature of God is inside you as a born-again believer. In this article I want us to focus on God’s kindness and goodness.
The Bible says God is good to all. He is love, which is patient and kind (Psalm 145:9; 1 John 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4). But God is not just kind to the righteous—He’s also kind to unthankful and evil people (Luke 6:35). You see, true kindness and goodness do not depend on the behavior of others. They are inherent in the nature of God…and the nature of a believer.
Titus 3:4-6 says “The kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
The new birth is the height of God’s kindness toward man—He brought us out of sin and death that we might be born again of the life of God, in His image and His nature.
In Jesus we see an exact picture of God’s nature. In fact Jesus said, “he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). While Jesus was on the earth do you know what He did? He “went about doing good…for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
Why do you think He did good?
Because He is good.
Webster’s Dictionary defines goodness as “the state or quality of being good; specifically virtue, excellence, kindness, generosity, benevolence.”
It’s easy to see that kindness and goodness are closely related. In fact, kindness comes from goodness. Vine’s says kindness is “goodness in action expressing itself in deeds.” Young’s Concordance describes kindness as “usefulness.” Sometimes the Greek word for kindness is translated as “goodness.”
When you are good and kind to people, you are a blessing to them. You do them good.
I especially like the way Kenneth Wuest described kindness. He said it is “a quality or grace that pervades and penetrates the whole nature, mellowing in it all that is harsh and austere.” The Spirit of God will mellow or soften us. He will get rid of all our hard edges if we will allow Him to. Then the kindness we have received from God can flow out of us to other people.
Here are some examples of how important kindness is and what it will yield in our lives:
- Showing kindness brings peace to situations. Proverbs 15:1 says a soft answer turns away wrath.
- According to Proverbs 11:16, “a kindhearted woman gains respect” (New International Version).
- A virtuous woman has the law of kindness on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26).
- Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
- The goodness of God leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4).
We Are Letters for All to See
Jesus went about doing good.
What was the result?
Multitudes followed Him. Word of His kindness (goodness in action) preceded His teaching, which caused people to come to Him and receive from Him.
Can you see how absolutely necessary it is for the Church to cultivate and allow these characteristics to be manifested? The Bible says we are living epistles—letters written for all to see—and we should look just like Jesus.
Ephesians 4:24 says to put on the “new man.” That means we’re not what we used to be. Now we look just like God on the inside. But we have to allow that new man to manifest on the outside. We do that by renewing our minds to what the Word says about us (Romans 12:2), and by getting in agreement with it and acting on it.
As you fellowship with God and His Word, His nature will rise up within you and come forth out of you. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” I like to say the fruit of the spirit are the born-again believer’s natural-supernatural disposition. But you have to yield to them—you have to make a decision to walk in the fruit of the spirit rather than what the flesh wants to do.
As the elect of God, His representatives, we are to “put on” kindness just like a child puts on his daddy’s clothes to imitate him (Colossians 3:12). The Father’s kindness and goodness become part of us when we are born again. As we imitate Him—as we are kind, walk in love, give, bless others—we do good to people.
We are witnesses of God’s goodness to the world. They know Jesus by what they see in the Church. If we don’t allow Jesus to live big in us by walking in the fruit of the spirit, we are not fulfilling our calling.
Our kindness and goodness draw people who are in darkness to Jesus. We must not push them away by being like the world—full of strife, bitterness and selfishness.
In these last days, God will have a Church that looks like Him. First John 4:17 is true: “As he is, so are we in this world.” He will have a Church that is “conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
God has given us the way to have heaven on earth. We’re to walk in His fullness, in the fruit of His Spirit, bearing His likeness. It’s our responsibility to be a blessing to people while we’re here. Let’s clothe ourselves with kindness, goodness and all the fruit of the spirit, so the world can see what God is really like.
Let’s imitate the Father!
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