KINDNESS. It’s a gift that seems to be getting rarer in the course of daily life. In fact, if we’re honest, it’s difficult to be tender in a society that’s full of division, disappointment, and strife. When people continually let us down, it’s easy to grow weary and calloused.
Fragile souls become hardened without divine help.
Thankfully, as Christians, we have a built-in antidote to the often cold and uncaring ways of the world. When we received Jesus as our Lord, we were given a brand new nature — one that’s grounded in unconditional love! This means we don’t have to work hard to be kind — we can yield to His power and let His care and compassion flow from us naturally.
Kindness is the fruit of love’s root, and it becomes us when we live and move in HIM.
As believers, we’re conduits of God’s goodness, and our call is to channel it according to His heart. Though there are thousands of “random acts” by which to express divine affection, as disciples of Jesus, we’re wise to examine His life and learn from His example. While kindness oozed from our Lord’s being to everyone who crossed His path, there are four specific ways by which He continually let people know that they mattered:
- Healing. Everywhere our Savior went, He healed. He touched the untouchable, restored the sick, and made broken people whole. Likewise, as His disciples, we’re commissioned to be agents of compassion on the earth. Filled with His Spirit, He invites us to stretch out our hands in His Name, offer mercy to the broken, and pray for His healing power to flood the bodies, minds, and spirits of those dealing with infirmity and oppression. Seeing beneath the surface of pain, He bids us affirm His image in others and offer them a divine kindness that can set their souls free.
- Eating. Who doesn’t love food? Enjoying the many varieties of earthly cuisine brings pleasure to our senses, and breaking bread in the company of others is a powerful way to express kindness. Sharing a meal is a means of opening our hearts and showing people that we care. Nothing says “I want to get to know you” like an invitation to lunch, quality time spent over coffee, cookies delivered to a neighbor, or a backyard barbeque with friends. Perhaps this is why Jesus repeatedly reclined at the table with folks from all walks of life, whether tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, or His own disciples.
- Teaching. Did you ever have a teacher who changed you? I sure did. In fact, some of the most loving people in my life were educational instructors. Perhaps this is because a heart that’s passionate about guiding and shaping people is often rooted in kindness. In fact, of all the things that Jesus was, He was a teacher. He was constantly using the experiences and challenges of life to instruct, but never in a condescending way. Likewise, as we follow in His footsteps, He invites us to impart wisdom and guidance to those looking for help. By sharing what we’ve learned and modeling truth in a loving way, we deposit His goodness in the lives of others.
- Forgiving. Perhaps the most powerful — and difficult — way to show kindness is to forgive. The world is full of injustice and pain, and simply being alive is a guarantee that we will be hurt and hurt others. However, the good news of the Gospel is that everything we’ve done to offend God and man is fully pardoned. By the blood of Jesus, our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west, and this means we no longer need to live in light of our past. As we receive Christ’s overflowing mercy, we can walk in freedom and extend grace and compassion to others. Letting go of offenses empowers us to extend kindness to those who feel the most unforgivable, and this has the potential to change hearts for eternity!
Friend, I thank the Lord for YOUR kindness and for the way it consistently blesses and uplifts me. I’m praying that as you live each day anchored in the love of Jesus, He’ll use you to heal, feed, teach, forgive and set others free in His Name!
Remembering That KINDNESS MATTERS!
If ever there’s a time when the world needs kindness, it’s now. We’ve all been through a lot in the past year, and the turmoil we’ve witnessed has caused society to appear increasingly cold. People are longing for a reminder that they matter, and we have the awesome privilege of letting them know that they do. By extending helpful hands and a loving heart, we can bless both friends and strangers in the Name of Jesus and confidently believe that He’ll bless us in return.
Compassion changes our lives and the lives of others!
Knowing this, we’re thrilled to offer our “Kindness Matters” set with your donation of just $60 or more this month. A special reminder to choose kindness in your daily life, this coordinating two-piece gift features a glass infuser water bottle that’s as beautiful as it is practical. Boasting a stunning floral motif and the phrase “Kindness Matters” on the outside and a stainless steel infuser on the inside, it can be filled with coffee grounds, loose leaf tea, a teabag, or fruit to create your favorite flavorful drink. The double-walled feature keeps warm and cold beverages insulated longer, and the bamboo lid is perfectly fitted to guard against leakage. It even comes with a bright orange loop for carrying!
With the water bottle, we’ll also include the matching “Kindness Matters” rectangular glass plaque. Featuring a stunning floral design that stands out against a bright navy blue background, the stylized flowers pop in warm shades of coral, green, and yellow. The weight and shape of the plaque allow it to stand without a base, so it can be placed in a window, on a desk, or on a shelf in your home as a reminder to choose kindness every day.
Both items come packaged in sturdy, coordinating gift boxes for safekeeping.
Request your gift by calling us today at (866) GET-HOPE (438-4673), or visit here.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word confession? Most of us think of confession of sins, and while this is POWERFUL, it’s only one side of confession. There’s also confession of God’s promises…this is also POWERFUL.
The Bible calls Satan the father of lies. In fact, if you have made Jesus your Lord, Satan is just a puff of smoke. The only power he has over the believer is to get him or her to believe lies.
The Bible says, “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is evil…he wants evil done to you…he wants to destroy your life. He will try to convince you that God’s promises are not for you, or that God is not the same today as He was during Biblical times. He’ll even try to get you to believe your feelings or what you see over God’s promised Word.
If “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” then hearing yourself confess God’s promises is a mighty way to take your eyes off of your symptoms or needs and allow His Word to sink into your heart. Faith protects your mind from Satan’s lies. It helps you release your hope in the incredible promises God offers.
What promises does God offer us? There are 7 redemptive names God reveals himself as in the Bible:
- Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord our Provider (Gen. 22:13)
- Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord our Healer (Ex. 15:26)
- Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is with Us (Ezek. 48:35)
- Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord our Peace (Jud. 6:24)
- Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord our Victory (Ex. 17:8, 15)
- Jehovah-Raah: The Lord our Shepherd (Psalm 23)
- Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
Wow! This thrills me! David said, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). David knew the value of confessing and meditating on God’s promises before they were manifest, and as a result, he experienced all of His goodness becoming reality in his life.
F.F. Bosworth, who was known for countless salvations and physical healings at his crusades, believed in confession of God’s Word so much he said, “Your success and usefulness in the world is going to be measured by your confession and by your tenacity with which you hold fast to that confession under all circumstances.”
God’s promises are for ALL who turn to Him and believe in Him! And ALL includes YOU!
The Lord’s promises are just as much for YOU as they were for David or the disciples.
In the face of every need, you can confess, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” When you need healing, you can confess, “He took up my infirmities, he bore my diseases…and by His stripes, I am healed. He is the Lord who heals me.” (Matt. 8:17, Isaiah 53:5). You can also confess His redemptive name (from the list above) that matches your need. And remember, you are not trying to talk Him into these promises, He has already offered them to you. You are aligning your heart and mind with the gifts He longs for you to take hold of! His promises are for YOU, child of God.
God loves you and so do I!
As a faithful contributor to Hour of Power, having your trust is our highest honor and greatest responsibility. That’s why we’re devoted to doing everything we can to steward your gifts according to God’s heart. To this end, we’ve partnered with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to help us maintain the highest financial standards through a process of rigorous accreditation and ongoing accountability.
Founded 40 years ago by Billy Graham and other evangelical leaders, ECFA has grown from a visionary group of 150 charter members to over 2,500 leading churches and ministries across the United States. As it was then, the goal of the organization is to maintain guideposts of transparency for ministries through the “Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship.” To learn more about the standards and the process of accreditation, we invite you to go to hourofpower.org/ecfa.
As always, we’re grateful for your consistent love, prayers, and financial support. You’ve seen us through many seasons, and we’re excited to embrace the future with you
Take the Hour of Power Kindness Challenge!
There’s no underestimating the power of a simple gesture to make someone’s day or even change the course of their future. Knowing this, we invite you to join the Hour of Power Kindness Challenge!
Here’s how it works:
For the next week, commit to doing one random act of kindness per day for someone in your sphere of influence. Examples include:
- Buying a gift or a drink for the person behind you in line at the store, Starbucks, etc.
- Sending a handwritten thank you card or note of appreciation.
- Buying groceries for someone in need.
- Leaving a bag of candy or cookies on a doorstep.
- Placing an encouraging note on a car.
Then, go to hourofpower.org/kindnesschallenge and tell us how your kindness impacted someone else or how you were impacted by theirs. We’ve also provided a more comprehensive list of “random acts” to choose from on that page.
We’ll be featuring the best stories on our social media platforms in the coming months.
We can’t wait to spread the Lord’s loving-kindness with YOU!
Spreading Kindness Around the Globe…
“Thank you for your ministry. You’re a breath of fresh air!” Bryan, email
“Bobby’s ‘Creed of the Beloved’ has changed my life. It has helped me deal with ‘people-pleasing.’ I am more focused on pleasing God now.” Letitia, Georgia
“I just am so thankful for Pastor Bobby & that God led me to this program. The worship is beautiful & I love Hannah and the role she plays and also their sweet daughter. I pray for them, the ministry, and the congregation. Thank you for doing what you do every day. It has meant so very much to me. You all will never know.” Taiga, email
“I’ve been watching (Hour of Power) since the days of your grandpa, dad, and aunt. But recently, my husband, daughter, and grandchildren have become interested too. Bobby and Hannah bring youth to the mix! Several times I’ve shared your themes and daily Hour of Power readings on Facebook. They’ve always gotten a favorable response!” Margaret, New Mexico
What’s Happening on Hour of Power?
- Upcoming Sermon Series: This month, Pastor Bobby concludes his series “The Power of the Spoken Word,” in which he looks at how what we say determines the course of our lives.
- Special Guests: Last month, we welcomed interview guest Jason Brown and musical guests Sean Oliu and the Coastline Cowboys, Maiya Sykes and the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir (virtually) to the broadcast. If you missed any of them, be sure to catch up at hourofpower.org/episode.
- Upcoming Guests: This month, we will welcome guest preachers Nona Jones and Daniel Fusco to the broadcast, in addition to Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith.
* Programming information is subject to change.
What’s Happening at Shepherd’s Grove?
- We have new lighting in the sanctuary, which has enhanced our worship experience and enabled us to more effectively highlight our guests.
- Our children’s ministry hosted “Wonder World” Vacation Bible School last month. This immersive experience featured circus acts, a talent show, a carnival, and lots of Bible-based teaching.
- We hosted a performance of the Broadway classic “Hello Dolly” last month in conjunction with a musical theater company and a local high school.