Family Bible Study Lesson for June 30- God Wants Me to Be Kind
June 14 2002 by James Baldwin , 2 Kings 4:1-17

Family Bible Study Lesson for June 30: God Wants Me to Be Kind | Friday, June 14, 2002

Friday, June 14, 2002

Family Bible Study Lesson for June 30: God Wants Me to Be Kind

By James Baldwin 2 Kings 4:1-17

I love the story of the business executive who was waiting in a crowded airport. Before boarding his plane he noticed a young boy alone in the corner, crying. The executive went to the boy and asked if he were lost.

The boy answered, "Yes."

The man took the boy to the nearest ticket counter and had the agent page the child's mother. While waiting for the mother to arrive the man bought the child ice cream and sat beside him on the floor.

The boy looked up at the man and asked, "Mister, are you God?"

"No," the man replied. "I'm just one of His children."

After thinking a minute, the boy said, "I figured you must be kin to Him."

Kindness is one of the characteristics that sets us apart as a child of God.

Meeting needs (2 Kings 4:1-7) The focus of this section is supposed to be on the kindness of Elisha who asked the woman, "How can I help you?"

I admire the woman of the story as well. She was willing to ask for help.

Oftentimes pride gets in the way of our being willing to admit our need.

Perhaps because her situation was so desperate, she swallowed her pride and sought out help. She was willing to offer what she had. Admittedly she did not have much in the way of resources; yet she identified and offered the little oil she had in her house. She was willing to think big. The blessing God had for her was limited only by the faith she had to receive it. The oil stopped flowing as soon as the jars she procured had been filled.

Because she had faith to think big, God was able to fill enough jars for the woman and her sons to live.

It is a consistent principle throughout Scripture that the measure of our faith determines the measure of God's work. When Jesus came to His hometown, "He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith" (Matt. 13:58).

Extending hospitality (2 Kings 4:8-10) In addition to being a trademark of Southern culture, hospitality is a spiritual gift. Romans 12 list several of the spiritual gifts God has provided for His children to build up the body of Christ and to glorify His name. Although some commentators include only verses 6-8, I believe the list continues through verse 13.

Hospitality and other acts of kindness are to be offered to the least likely recipients (Matt. 25:40), and the least likely to be able to reciprocate (Luke 6:34). The woman of Shunem apparently had no expectations that she would get anything in return for her kindness.

That is what makes kindness such an astonishing thing to nonbelievers. "Why would you offer to do something kind for me? What is the catch?" they ask.

We, then, have the privilege of telling them of the love and kindness of God who loved us and gave His Son for us.

Asking nothing in return (2 Kings 4:11-17) Moved by the woman's kindness, Elisha asked what favor he could do in return for her hospitality.

The woman showed her integrity in not asking anything from this man she recognized was a holy man of God.

Unwilling to take her "Nothing" for an answer, Elisha promised her the improbable blessing of a child.

Kindness loses some of its impact when payback is expected. Doing good becomes little more than tit-for-tat.

A popular movie several years ago offered a different response to those who desire to reciprocate an act of kindness. "Pay it Forward" was the idea of a young boy who was challenged by his teacher to devise a plan to make a difference in his world. Rather than "paying back" an act of kindness, the recipient was to "pay it forward," to find someone else in need to whom they could demonstrate kindness.

What if Christians started such a plan and gave God the credit? I believe our world would be a little bit brighter.

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6/14/2002 12:00:00 AM by James Baldwin , 2 Kings 4:1-17 | with 0 comments
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