Hugh’s News & Views (A Bruised Reed . . .)

A BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX

Matthew, an apostle of Christ, said of Jesus, “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory” (Matthew 12:20). This statement is part of a larger quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4, and Matthew’s use of it is the only time this particular prophecy is quoted in the New Testament. (Note: Flax was a plant from which linen and other products were made.)

In context, both Isaiah and Matthew are talking about Christ as God’s Servant, “My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased,” the One upon whom God would put His Spirit, the One who would “declare justice to the Gentiles,” and the One “in [whose] name Gentiles will trust” (Matthew 12:18-21). In short, it is a text relating to the redemptive work of Christ, not only for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. Continue reading

#compassion, #gentleness, #hughfulford, #kindness

God’s kindness is one of a kind

God’s kindness in one of a kind in that: Continue reading

#bare-bones-outline, #character-of-god, #kindness

THE LOVING KIND!

Some have encouraged random acts of kindness to be done in life. From those actions, we may not always know the full impact such kindness can have on the recipients because we are not always fully aware of what might be going on their life. Perhaps being on the brink of giving up on life, our actions may be the offering of encouragement and hope an individual desperately needs. With so much selfish ambition and self-centeredness in this world, there remains a great need for kindness to be extended; especially the loving kind.

There was a teacher who asked the students of her class for the meaning of loving-kindness. One boy eagerly offered, “If I was hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread, that would be kindness. But if they spread a little jam on it, that would be loving kindness.”

No matter how small the kindness we extend, let us not minimize its possible significance as it meets real needs whether they be emotional, physical, or spiritual. Jesus stated. . .

(40) Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (41) The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. (42) And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:40-42 ESV)

Receiving Jesus and His servants? Definitely significant! Accepting God’s prophets? Yes, significant! Meeting the need for even a cup of cold water? According to Jesus, even that is significant. Let us remember it was by the “goodness and loving kindness of God” (Titus 3:4-5 ESV) that the provision of our salvation was made. If we love as God has loved us, we will be mindful of spreading kindness to those around us; especially the loving kind! According to Paul, nothing is gained when love is absent. (1 Corinthians 13:3) Therefore, may godly love be the motivation behind the kindness we spread.

Have a great day ALLOWING GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH US!

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#kindness, #lovingkindness

(#142) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:22-Be A Man, Son

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:22: “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.”

“Kindness” is evenness of temperament, constant return of goodness, consideration of others. It is a universally-recognized, timeless, and desirable, trait in humanity. “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and uninspired people see its wisdom: “It’s nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice” (Anon); “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” (Aesop); “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses” (Confucius); “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain); “A kind word is like a Spring day” (Russian proverb); “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns” (Anon).

It is a man-trait, especially, because it takes a real man to be strong enough to return good for evil. “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Kindness is a show of strength, but often mistaken for weakness. Regardless of who persecuted Jesus Christ, or how, He was more of a man than they, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).

“A poor man is better than a liar” shows that poverty should not be used as an excuse for immorality. “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).

The God of the Israelites was: “Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17). Jesus Christ based one of His best-known commandments upon this characteristic of God: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). Christians should develop the same characteristic: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

God’s kindness extended through Jesus Christ should touch a sinner’s heart (Titus 3:3-4), and the sinner should kindly return toward God (Acts 16:22-34). “Be a man, Son,” obey the Gospel today (Mark 16:16), and make this a kinder world!

Cruel words can make us cry, but so can deeds of kindness.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #evil, #kindness, #man, #nice, #proverbs, #strength, #unthankful

Nudge: What “Small” Thing do You do for Your Spouse?

There are “small” things that I do for the sake of my spouse. I may not do them often enough, but when they’re done it’s pretty much for her benefit.

So here’s the nudge:

What are some “small” things that you do that only your spouse can really appreciate? Or if you would rather brag on your spouse, what are some “small” things they do for you that only you can appreciate?

These things don’t have to be expensive, complicated or even too serious. For example, one “small” thing that I do from time to time that makes my spouse happy is I shave…that’s right, no one appreciates me shaving like my spouse does, and if it wasn’t for her I would do it a lot less.

So speak up, let’s hear what you’re doing or let’s hear your ideas for what can be done.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33 – NKJV)

#family, #kindness, #marriage

TFT: Never put a kindness off

NEVER put a kindness off,
Never wait to say
The word of praise or sympathy
Which someone needs today.
Lest suddenly it prove too late
For anything but ruing
The helpful, thoughtful things
You never got around to DOING.

—Elizabeth Ellen Long

Colossians 4:5-6 – Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#kindness, #poetry

Eating Our Own Words

In reference to the words we use, James asks his readers a rhetorical question – “Does the fountain send from the same outlet sweet and bitter water?” (James 3:11 BBE)

When James used the word “bitter” he was describing words that are harsh and used with ill intent. Bitter words destroy unity, morale and trust. One of the quickest ways to destroy unity, morale and trust in the church is with the bitter words of gossip.

How can we keep from using the bitter words of gossip?

1)      When you hear about gossip address it.  When you hear someone spreading gossip about someone else ask them if they ever talked to the person that they’re talking about. If not, there’s a very good chance that what they’re saying is wrong! If you hear about someone gossiping about you, especially if it’s a brother or sister in Christ, go ask them about it (Matthew 18:15-17).

2)      Think about the way it would make you feel if someone were spreading whatever you’re saying about you or your loved ones. Some people have no problem with gossip unless it’s about them…and if that’s the problem we’ve got, then we need to keep the shoe on the other foot.

3)      If someone tells you something personal, keep it personal! Don’t go around acting like the church “TMZ.”

4)      Live in a way so when someone says something negative about you, nobody will believe it (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Some Christians love to give “impressions” and then get mad when the “impression” makes its mark.

5)      Get busy rowing the boat and you won’t have time to rock it! I will always be convinced that if a person is truly interested in making the church a better place to grow, to learn and to help others, then they won’t make messes that they’ll have to clean up.

When James used the word “sweet” he was talking about using words that bless (vs. 9) and benefit the hearers. The word sweet is translated from the Greek word Glukus pronounced gloo-koos (can you hear glucose in there?). The basic idea is that sweet words are words that refresh and give energy.

How can we remember to use words that are sweet?

1)      By being merciful with the way we talk. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV) Paul isn’t talking about the kind of salt that goes on wounds and burns. He’s talking about the kind of salt that’s let people know you care.

2)      By strengthening others with the way we talk. “The lips of the righteous feed many,…” (Proverbs 10:21 NKJV) What would our words do to us if we had to listen to them all of the time? Would they pull the life right out of us, or put the life right in us?

3)      By complimenting others with the way we talk. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11 NKJV) Do you know what it feels like to be genuinely complemented? Why wouldn’t we want to share a feeling like that?

We have all made mistakes with the words we use (James 3:8), but the question is are we learning from those mistakes and striving to do better? If we had to eat our words – or rather, when we have to eat them, how are they going to taste? (Matthew 12:36,37) James says we’re going to have to decide what kind of spring we’re going to have, so which will it be?

If you would like to check out more thoughts on James 3:7-12 (particularly verse 11) then continue reading here at http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/how-do-our-words-taste

#gossip, #james, #kindness