I’m in the middle of Week 7 in the Living Beyond Yourself study on the fruit of the Spirit. This week, I’m looking at the kindness and goodness of God, and it has been a sweet time. For three days, I’ve focused on the word "kindness" which is from the Greek chrestotes. Chrestotes "is the grace which pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would be harsh and austere." The term possesses the "harmlessness of the dove." In precise terms, chrestotes is a tender heart and a nurturing spirit.
Here are just a few of the Scriptures I’ve read thus far:
For the LORD your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song. (Zeph. 3:17)
For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. (Psalm 81:10)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:1-4)
Oh, the tenderheartedness of God toward me and toward you. How unbelievably sweet it is. That He loves us so much, so much that He would go to the cross for us. Too often I fail to consider how great His love is for me. Too often I miss the tender heart of the Father. I don’t want to miss it. I want to treasure it.
At the close of my study time, I opened Grace for the Moment, Vol II, and read the following entry:
The reward of Christianity is Christ.
Do you journey to the Grand Canyon for the souvenir T-shirt or the snow globe with the snowflakes that fall when you shake it? No. The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. The wide-eyed realization that you are part of something ancient, splendid, powerful, and greater than you.
The cache of Christianity is Christ. Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a healthy body or a better self-image. Secondary and tertiary fruits perhaps. But the Fort Knox of faith is Christ. Fellowship with him. Walking with him. Pondering him. Exploring him. The heart-stopping realization that in him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable. And that he, who can dig the Grand Canyon with his pinkie, thinks you’re worth his death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity. (Next Door Savior)
Amen. Christ is my reward.
In the grip of His grace,