For He Is Kind
Luke 6:35-36 (ESV) — 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 is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
The way of the kingdom is counter-cultural. Jesus’ teachings push us outside the comforts of traditional expectations of human interaction and raise the bar. It is easy to hate your enemies. That’s a common thing to do. But Christians are supposed to operate differently. It is easy to give to folks in which you expect a return. People from any walk of life or philosophy can do that. Christians are called to give and lend without expectation of return, especially to people who can’t return the favor.
Our passage today highlights why we are to do this. Jesus says, “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 is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Notice that the emphasis on why Christians love our enemies and lend without expectation of return is that this is how God is. He is kind to the ungrateful and undeserving. Even those who are evil receive good things from His hands. He is merciful. This means He does not always hand out what is deserved. No, He very often provides and gives what we least deserve.
This merciful benevolence to all from God is known as common grace. God gives good things to His children, including salvation and all its benefits. That is known as particular grace. But common grace is the good things that He gives to all people, regardless of whether they are grateful or deserving. This gives us a glimpse of the nature and character of God. We are not naturally like this in our lives. But if we are in Christ, we are to grow in our reflection and imitation of God’s character by living this way. Imitate the goodness of your Lord today.
Reflection & Journal:
- What is the difference between common grace and particular grace?
- What are examples of God’s common grace to the world?
- How should believers imitate the common grace of God in our lives? What are some ways we can do that?
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