Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Creatures Of Our God And King"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
Easter Sunday, March 30, 1997, is a day that I have never forgotten. I was looking for a new church home. A friend recommended a church to me, and I was not disappointed after attending my first service. The interim pastor on that Easter Sunday was the Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris, and he delivered an excellent sermon. After the service, my plan was to make a fast exit. On leaving the sanctuary, I felt a light touch on my left elbow. Looking down toward the touch, my eyes looked straight into the welcoming, bright eyes of a short, elderly lady, later introduced as Caroline, who smiled up at me and said, "Welcome!" Then, she gently ushered me into the Christian Education Hall, and presented me to almost everyone who had attended the service on that Sunday morning. Remembering the warm and genuine welcome from so many people was lovely. Caroline was one of the women elders in the church. On that joyful Easter Sunday morning, Caroline showed me, a stranger and a first-time visitor, much kindness. Easter Sunday also represented the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ three days after His death on the cross. In Hebrews 13:2, we are reminded, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." (NIV)
Caroline went home to be with the Lord almost a decade ago, and I have never forgotten her. Because of her kindness to me on that Easter Sunday morning almost three decades ago, I still attend the same church. My roots are now firmly established in that church — now my home church — and I have no intention of going elsewhere — well, not until the day that I go to be with our Saviour for eternity.
Showing a little kindness can make a big difference in another person's life. There are numerous Bible verses written about kindness. Jesus is the expert at showing kindness, compassion, and love. His golden rule is "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12 NIV)
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)
Jeremiah 9:24 – "But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord. (NIV)
Charity begins at home. Being kind to our family members and our friends is what the Lord empowers us to do. Being kind to strangers is a positive action that the Lord values deeply.
How will you respond to the next stranger who happens to be in your midst? Maybe it starts with a kind, welcoming smile. This could be the start of something wonderful!
Prayer: Our gracious and generous God, help us to reach out to others in a positive way and to be supportive and kind to each other as we continue to grow in love and compassion. Amen.