GPS (grow|pray|serve) from Sunday, September 16, 2018

In response to Sunday, September 16th’s message, “More Like Jesus: Kindness,” read Luke 10:25-37. 

Questions for GROWTH …

1. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is like a beautifully cut diamond with many sides sparkling with God’s truth. One of those is the kindness of the Samaritan. What did this man risk in order to help the half-dead stranger on the side of the road? What did he sacrifice? What did he gain?

2. The priest and Levite (both religious leaders) passed by on the other side? Why did they fail “this test of kindness?”

3.  Read 2 Samuel 9 for a remarkable story of kindness that involved King David and the family of his enemy, King Saul.

David embodies the words of Jesus who would teach hundreds of years later, “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:35-37).

4. What do you think of the idea that kindness is contagious? Have you ever felt motivated to do something kind for someone because you were blessed someone’s kindness?

The following actually happened on Father’s Day in 2017 at a McDonald’s in southern Indiana. A customer in the drive-through lane saw a dad in the van behind her with four kids. She decided to pay for his food telling the server, “I want you to tell him Happy Father’s Day.” Touched by her kindness, the dad in turn decided to pay for a couple of cars behind him. Then it was ten cars, then twenty, and then over one hundred. From around 8:30pm to midnight on Father’s Day, the “pay-it-forwards” kept coming, ending at 167 at the restaurant’s closing.” I thought it was pretty amazing,” said Abby Smith, who was a customer at the McDonald’s that night.

Now imagine how kindness is multiplied upon kindness in ways that only God can see.

Focus for PRAYER …

1. After this morning’s sermon, someone sent Pastor Greg this message.

“Thank you for today’s sermon. It was totally for me. I have been unkind and angry for some time. I need my Christian friends to hold me accountable. Pray that I can be a good Samaritan. Or at least a better one.”

How does Sunday’s worship stir you up to pray?  Do you need to face a lack of kindness in your life?  If so, are you willing to confess it as sin and seek God’s forgiveness?

2. In Galatians 5 Paul talks about the inner conflict we all experience between the flesh and the Spirit. Anyone who has sought to do the “right thing” knows this struggle is real. Ask God to fill your life with more of the Holy Spirit so that you’ll be more like Jesus (i.e. have more of the fruit of the Spirit).

Actions for SERVICE …

1. Have you picked out your clothes for tomorrow? A certain pastor’s wife always has her outfit, shoes and jewelry selected before she goes to bed Saturday night.

In light of Sunday’s sermon, what kind of attitude will you wear this week? Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Will you clothe yourself with kindness?

Colossians 3:12 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Remember, God has given you a will empowered by the Holy Spirit to make choices for good and for change. You have no excuse.

2. Will you answer Pastor Greg’s call to perform at least one act of kindness every day this week and perhaps all the way to Thanksgiving? Keep a list of the things you do so that you’ll be inspired to be kind day after day. Some suggestions to consider include:

  • Send a card or email to a person needing encouragement or appreciation.
  • Buy a bag of groceries for the Amen House to feed someone in need.
  • Offer to watch someone’s child so that a mom can have a break from the pressures of child rearing.
  • Cover someone’s shift at work or offer to stay late to help someone with a project.
  • Wash someone’s car; clean someone’s bathrooms.
  • Call someone grieving the loss of a loved one and just listen.
  • Bake a cake or pie and drop it off at neighbor’s house.
  • Take a friend to a ballgame or a movie at your expense.
  • Buy someone’s lunch or dinner.
  • And, of course, keep your eyes open for opportunities to be kind every, single day.

“If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction.”
—Martin Kornfeld