Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Love is not rude, 1 Corinthians 13:5a (NCV)

      It had been another long day for Randy and he couldn't wait till he was home and in bed sleeping. There was a slight problem with that though for he knew he would be up late talking with the missionary family that was visiting and not only were they visiting, they were staying at his house. After saying a short prayer, Randy locked up and headed home.

     When Randy got home, he walked into a vary quiet house. “Where is everybody?” he wondered and then he caught a glimpse of a clock. He knew he had had a long day but until he saw the clock, he hadn't know how long. It was 2:00 in the morning. With out a sound, he quietly headed to his bedroom where he found his wife laying in bed quietly humming.

     “You won’t believe what one little boy did today?” Daisy said as he crawled in beside her. “Oh Boy!” Randy thought for lately he had been hearing that statement a lot and it was always about one particular boy. “What did Harold do this time?” he asked. “Harold?” Daisy responded, “Who said anything about Harold? It was Louie.”

     “Oh Boy!” Randy said out loud, “What kind of trouble has he gotten himself into.” “Trouble?” Daisy replied, “Who said anything about trouble?” “You mean, Louie isn't in trouble?” Randy asked. “No.” Daisy said, “And right no, I couldn’t be more proud of him.” “He didn't bring another elephant home, did he?” Randy asked hoping he had done something else.

     “Well,” Daisy said, “I’m sure you know we have some missionaries visiting us from Africa.” “Yeah, the Bezaks.” Randy said, “And I'm sorry I was so late getting home.” “That's okay Dear.” Daisy said as she snuggled up to her hubby, “Louie helped make the evening perfect.” “Wow.” Randy said to himself, “I wish I would have been here.”

     “Being in a strange place,” Daisy said, “There baby girl wanted to cry and cry but thanks to Louie, she didn't. Louie willingly went and helped calm her down so the mom could have a rest.” “Wow.” Randy said but this time out loud and with a big yawn. “He got the baby quiet. I could use someone like that during my sermons on Sunday.”

     “Not only did he quiet the baby,” Daisy continued, “He willingly gave up his room for them to sleep in and he went and slept in he basement. I wish every kid could be like Louie. And to think you thought I was talking about Harold, why, if Harold behaved like that we would think the world had come to an end and besides, even if Harold gave up his room it would take weeks to find his bed. Come to think of it, I wish every adult could be like Louie too, don't you agree Dear?”

     “Zzzzzzz” came Randy's reply followed by some quiet snoring. “Oh, well.” Daisy said and started quietly humming.

     In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. - Judges 21:25 (NKJV)

     Israel did not have a king, or a president, or a governor, or.... From the time of Joshua's death to the end of Joshua, it was God who was suppose to lead Israel through the Levitical Priesthood and He sort of was. I say sort of because there was a problem.

     At the beginning of 1 Samuel we find Eli as the high priest and he had two sons Hophni and Phinehas. - Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD. The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw." And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force." Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
1 Samuel 2:12-17 (ESV)

     Two sons who “served God” but didn't know God. People would bring sacrifices to God, part of which would be for the priests. These men were taking what was not theirs and sometimes they would take it by force. I would have to say that unlike Louie, Hophni and Phinehas were rude, they didn't behave in a loving manner.

     According to Paul love is not rude, the sixth definition in Paul's list in 1 Corinthians 13:5. One of the ways we show love is though our behavior which is important to God.

     We often think of the book of Proverbs as being a book of wise sayings but we don't always think about why it was written. From the first few verses of Proverbs we learn that in part it was written to guide our behavior. Proverbs 1:1-3 - The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; (NASB)

     Here are a few more verses that talk about our behavior
  • 1 Peter 1:15 - But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; (NASB)
  • 1 Peter 2:12 - Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (NASB)
  • James 3:13 - Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. (NASB)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • Are you more apt to act like Louie or Hophni and Phinehas?
  • Which way would God see you as behaving?

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Love is not jealous or boastful or proud - 1 Corinthians 13:4b (NLT)

      It was Sunday afternoon and several of the kids from the youth group had gathered in the auditorium to practice there Easter play. As Randy Smith stood at the back to quietly observe how the practice was going he noticed a rather sad looking Bernadette Peterson slouched over in the back pew and it almost sounded like she was crying.

     Thinking he might try and cheer her up, Randy walked over and asked her if she was getting excited for Easter. “Not really.” came the reply. “Don't you enjoy all that good food?” Randy asked. “Too much food.” came Bernadette's reply. “What about the egg hunt?” Randy asked next. “They're too hard to find.” Bernadette replied. “The candy?” Randy asked, “Too sweet.” came the reply. “The conversation?” Randy asked next. “Boring.” Bernadette answered.

     “Wow” Randy thought, “She must really be down. But I know what will cheer her up.” “Are you excited about the Easter celebration of our Risen Lord?” But instead of cheering up Bernadette burst into tears. “Did I say something wrong?” Randy asked to which Bernadette answered through her sobs “Stella got the lead in the Easter Puppet Play at church.”

     “So your Jealous.” Randy said while thinking of a recent sermon he gave on the subject. “I didn’t even try out.” Bernadette replied, “I was too shy.” “Oh.” Randy said in surprise, “If your not jealous then what's the problem with Stella having the lead in the puppet play?” “Stella has become Little Miss Stuck Up.” Bernadette replied sounding a bit angry now.

     “Little Miss Stuck Up?” Randy questioned, “That's not a nice way to talk about your friend.” “I know,” Bernadette replied, “But it’s the truth. She’s let being a star go to her head. “What do you mean?” Randy asked. “She thinks she’s super special and only has to be around those who are stars. And I’m no longer good enough for her.”

     “What do you mean?” Randy wanted know. “She said I wasn’t good enough for her anymore.” Bernadette told him, “And furthermore, she said she would be embarrassed to be seen with me. She even told me to drop dead, because the world doesn’t need poor people like you, and, and, and.” Unable to finish her sentence, Bernadette burst in to tears again.

     “Your still my friend.” Randy said as he sat down beside Bernadette and put his arm around her. “I know.” Bernadette replied with half a smile, “I just wish Stella was still mine. Her new friends are just as bad as she is.” “I think Stella is setting her self up for a big fall.” Randy said. “Yeah,” Bernadette agreed, “And I hope she falls soon. I want her friendship back.”

      For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. - 1 John 2:16 (NASB) There are some things that do not come from God nor do they belong to God. They are the things that belong to the world and its prince – Satan. Pride or arrogance is one of those things.

     Not only is Pride not from God but it is not a part of love, the fifth in Paul's list on love. When we look through the Bible we can find plenty of examples of pride, of little stuck ups and the not so wonderful results.

      Naaman at least to begin with lost a chance to be healed because of his pride. - Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper. Now the Arameans had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy." So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean." But Naaman was furious and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, 'He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.' "Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. - 2 Kings 5:1-12 (NASB)

     Like Naaman, Haaman let pride get the better of him. Unlike Naaman, Haaman never relented and well, - After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. All the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, "Have a gallows fifty cubits high made and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go joyfully with the king to the banquet." And the advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made. And in due time Haaman found himself hanging from his own gallows. - Esther (NASB)

     Even in the New Testament we can find pride with disastrous results. - On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. - Acts 12:21-23 (NASB)

     When it comes to pride and thinking more of one's self than one should think about these verses
  • Proverbs 11:2 - Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble. (NCV)
  • Romans 12:16 - Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (HCSB)
  • James 4:10 - Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (HCSB)
  • Romans 12:3 - Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. You must decide what you really are by the amount of faith God has given you. (NCV)
     Here's Something More To Ponder
  • How often do you become a “little stuck up”
  • What happens to those around you when you become a “little stuck up”

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Love does not brag and is not arrogant, - 1 Corinthians 13:4b (NASB)

      It had been a busy day for Randy and he was looking forward to calling it a day and walking home. Along with seven meetings, Randy had been working hard on his sermon on love for the coming Sunday and somewhere in the back of his mind, he had this nagging feeling someone wanted to give him something for his message.

     As Randy opened the door to leave, there was someone standing there with a huge bag bag of something. “Can you help me?” came a voice from behind the huge load. Quickly Randy grabbed on to the bag and help set in on the ground and to his surprise, it was Bernadette Henderson standing there. “Here they are.” she said, “I hope these work for your sermon.”

     “Uhm.” Randy said, “Thanks but what's in the bag?” “Bags.” Bernadette replied cheerfully, “I thought you could use them for your sermon this Sunday.” “My sermon?” Randy questioned. “Yeah.” Bernadette, said, “You said you were going to teach about love and that love does not bag.” When Randy heard that he placed his hand on his forehead and shaking it slowly murmured “Love does not bag.” and than he gave a short chuckle.

     “If these aren't enough, “ Bernadette said, “I know of another great example you might be able to use.” “Another bag?” Randy replied hoping the answer was no and it was. “No.” Bernadette replied, “I thought you could use Old Joe down at the grocer. He must love an awful lot.” “Why is that? Randy asked wondering where this was going.

     “Because,” Bernadette replied, “When ever we go there he never bags. We always end up bagging our own stuff.” “I thought it was Old Joe’s job to bag.” Randy asked. “I thought so to,” Bernadette answered, “But all he does is stand there and B R A G brag. If you ask me I think you should talk about bragging instead of bagging.” “Well, now that you mention it.” Randy started to say but was cut off.

     “Why Old Joe is a perfect example of a bragger.” Bernadette continued, “All he does is stand at the end of the check out and tell you how good he is. “Good at what” Randy injected, “According to Old Joe himself,” Bernadette continued, “he’s the best bagger in the state. Say’s he won some kind of bagging competition.”

     “Have you ever seen him bag?” Randy asked to which Bernadette replied, “Once. And boy was Mom ever mad. He was bragging so much that he wasn’t paying attention and he kept putting all the heavy things on the bread and he broke the eggs. So, what are you going to do with all these bags?” “I don't need any bags, Bernadette.” Randy said with a smile, “I'm planning on talking about how love does not brag.”

     “Rags!” Bernadette exclaimed, “Why didn't you says so. My dad has lot’s of those in the garage. Would you like me to get you some?” “Never mind.” Randy said shaking his head, “I think your bagg'n bragg'n story will help me plenty.”

     Have you ever wanted something, thought you were going to get it but didn't. Proverbs 25:14 says People who brag about gifts they never give are like clouds and wind that give no rain. (NCV) When rain is needed clouds give hope but if they don't give rain they are worthless. So is a man who brags/boasts. I know of one man in the Bible that bragged plenty but to his fellow soldiers he was like a cloud that gave no rain.

     The Philistines had a champion fighter from Gath named Goliath. He was about nine feet, four inches tall. He came out of the Philistine camp with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of bronze armor that weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He wore bronze protectors on his legs, and he had a bronze spear on his back. The wooden part of his larger spear was like a weaver’s rod, and its blade weighed about fifteen pounds. The officer who carried his shield walked in front of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the Israelite soldiers, “Why have you taken positions for battle? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants! Choose a man and send him to fight me. If he can fight and kill me, we will be your servants. But if I can kill him, you will be our servants.“ Then he said, “Today I stand and dare the army of Israel! Send one of your men to fight me!“ … David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged. I, your servant, will go and fight this Philistine!“ …. When Goliath looked at David and saw that he was only a boy, tanned and handsome, he looked down on David with disgust. He said, “Do you think I am a dog, that you come at me with a stick?“ He used his gods’ names to curse David. He said to David, “Come here. I’ll feed your body to the birds of the air and the wild animals!“ … As Goliath came near to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him. He took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine and went deep into his forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground. So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand. Then David ran and stood beside him. He took Goliath’s sword out of its holder and killed him by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran.
1 Samuel 17:1-58 (NCV)

     The fourth thing Paul says about love is that it doesn't brag or boast. -1 Corinthians 13:4 When one brags or boasts it usually means they are lifting self up over others which is just the opposite of love.

     The Bible reminds that we are not to boast in things like tomorrow or wisdom or might or even riches. Yet, if we feel we need to boast we are to boast in the Lord.
  • Proverbs 27:1 - Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (ESV)
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24 - Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." (ESV)
     As we read in 1 Samuel, Goliath boasted of his might and with his own sword, he lost his head.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways have you bragged which put others down?
  • Would you ever consider bragging about God and what He has done?

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, 1 Corinthians 13:4a (NCV)

     Some days Randy Smith is a preacher, some days he's a janitor, some days he's a taxi service, some days he's a kitchen aide and unfortunately, some days he's a referee. Not a referee of a sporting event but a fight like the one that took place Wednesday night before youth group between Harold Peterson and his sister Stella.

     Everything seemed to be going just fine when all of a sudden Harold started screaming “It's Not Fair!” at the top of his lungs. And trying to pull something away from Stella. “Whoa.” Randy called out as he step in between the two, “Harold, I'm not going to tolerate this behavior here. You are suppose to be loving your sister, and that is no way to show love. Haven't you been listening in church on Sunday?”

     “Love?” Harold called out, “Valentines day is over. Besides, I can think of a lot better things to do to my sister other then loving her.” “What could be better then loving her.” Randy asked. “Torture,” Harold quickly answered, “And then after that beating her up.” “I don't thinks so.” Randy interrupted, “There is no goo reason for treating Stella like that.”

     “Yes there is!” Harold shouted back and tried to take a lunge at Stella. “She got a brand new Hop Bopper and I didn't and that's not fair and she deserves to be tortured until she gives it to me.” “Hop Bopper? What's a Hop bopper?” Randy asked. “I don't know!” Harold snapped back, “All I know is Stella got one and she doesn’t deserve it and I’ll do what ever it takes to get her to give it to me.”

     “Sounds to me as if you’re a bit jealous.” Randy said thinking this might make a great illustration for his next sermon. “Jealous?” Harold snorted, “All I know is she’s got it, I don’t and that’s not fair.” “What if it’s a girls thing?” Randy asked. When she heard Randy ask that, Stella gave a sort of a chuckle.

     “A girl thing?” Harold shouted “She's trying to make me jealous over some kind of girl thing!? She can't do that! I'll booby trap her bedroom door, hide her school work, cut off her doll’s head....” “Woe, woe, woe.” Randy interrupted, but Harold kept on “And after that I'll take her Hop Bopper and hide it where she'll never find it.”

     “I think it's time for you to leave, Harold.” Randy said and then escorted Harold to the door. When Randy got back he went to talk to Stella about her Hop Bopper to which Stella replied, “There's no such thing as a Hop Bopper. I just made it up to make Harold jealous. Oh, how I love to torture that miserable little creature people call my brother.” And then Randy escorted Stella to the door as well.

     Love is not jealous. When you remove love for one another, you make room for jealousy, you make room for jealous no goods like these:
  • Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. - Genesis 4:1-8 (ESV)
  • Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, "Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf." His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. … And the man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.' " So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. - Genesis 37:3-11,17-18 (ESV)
  • As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, "Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands." And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?" And Saul eyed David from that day on. The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David evaded him twice. - 1 Samuel 18:6-11 (ESV)
  • "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' " - Luke 15:25-32 (ESV)
     Did you spot the jealous no good in each of these stories? Did you see the problems that the jealousy caused? Can you see how love and jealousy are incompatible?

     Solomon, in his great wisdom, warns us of jealousy's dangers
  • Proverbs 6:34 - For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. (ESV)
  • Proverbs 27:4 - Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? (ESV)
  • Ecclesiastes 4:4 - I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. (HCSB)
  • Song of Songs 8:6 - Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. (ESV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • How often do you let jealousy take control of self?
  • Do others suffer from your jealousy?

Saturday, March 2, 2013


What is desirable in a man is his kindness, Proverbs 19:22a (NASB)

      It was Thursday afternoon as Randy sat in his office working on his sermon for the coming Sunday. The topic of his message was love and this time it was suppose to focus on kindness, the second part of Paul's description of love form 1 Corinthians 13. As he poured over illustrations on kindness he started to dose off only to be scared half to death by a loud blast from an elephant.

      When he jumped form hearing the blast, he tipped over his desk sending papers everywhere. “that sounded like an elephant.” Randy said out loud, “I must have been dreaming. There isn't an elephant within in a hundred miles of here.” After picking up his desk, Randy got on the floor to pick up a mess of papers and as he crawled under his desk, he heard another loud blast from an elephant, jumped up and banged his head on his desk tipping it over again.

     “I couldn't have been dreaming that time.” Randy said out loud and ten he heard someone outside his office window saying “Sit George! Sit!.....That a boy George, Nice elephant.” Going over to the window, Randy opened it all the way and stuck his head out and there in the middle of the parking lot was Louie sitting on top of an elephant.

     “Louie!” Randy shouted out the window, “Can't you keep that thing quiet? I'm trying to nap, I mean work on my sermon.” Pulling his head back in the window, Randy started to head back to his desk when he suddenly realized that there really wan an elephant in the parking lot. Turning back to the parking lot, he hollered to Louie to come to the window.

     “What are you doing with an elephant?” Randy blurted out as soon as Louie made it to the window. “Just taking him home for the weekend.” Louie replied rather nonchalant and the elephant let out another blast causing Randy to jump again and this time he banged his head on the window. “I said I would take care of him over the weekend.” Louie explained, “He needs to be walked everyday.”

     “And just where did you find an elephant?” Randy asked as the elephant got down on one knee and looked him in the eye. “At the animal shelter.” Louie replied, “You should know by now that I always go down there on Thursdays to help take care of the animals.” “Yeah,” Randy nodded, “I should remember but I forget because I'm often here working.”

     “Do you remember when my parents were killed on the mission field?” Louie asked. “Yeah.” Randy nodded again, “That was a tough time for all of us.” It was my dog that helped me through that tough time.” Louie said, “Ever since then, I've tried to help animals whenever I can.” “You do love animals.” Randy said “But an elephant? Where are we going to keep him?”

     “I could keep him in my bedroom? But right now I need to give George some more exercise.”Louie said with a smile but Randy never heard him for he had just come up with a great illustration on kindness for his sermon – that is, if he could find it.

     Louie was kind to animals. We read in scripture that kindness is a desirable trait. We also read that it is part of the definition of Love. Kindness is what a young woman does in our story when her father was doing just the opposite.

     Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land." Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel .... Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live." Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the girl went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, "Because," she said, "I drew him out of the water."
Exodus 1:8-2:10 (ESV)

     Second in Paul's list of what love is is kindness for it says in 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, (NASB) Kindness is a part of love and the Bible reminds to be kind to others from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
  • Zechariah 7:9 Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, (ESV)
  • Galatians 6:10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters. (NLT)
     John tells us in his first epistle that when we love we are to show that love by our actions. 1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. (NLT) Being kind is a way of acting out our love. Here are some ideas on how we can show kindness.
  • Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. (NASB)
  • Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (NASB)
  • Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)
  • Galatians 6:2 Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (NLT)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • How are you showing your love through kindness?
  • Are you showing kindness to EVERYONE?