The Essentials 9-week series will focus on what it means to reflect the character of Jesus. Each week, we will wrestle with one of the essential characteristics of Jesus with the hope of it bearing fruit in our lives as we become more dependent on the Spirit to lead us. This week our focus is on the fourth fruit of the Spirit - Kindness.
1. How would you rate our society as a whole, in being kind to each other? Today’s guest speaker Katy Langley, defined kindness as a severe commitment to another’s good. What does kindness mean to you? Should we be paid or rewarded for our acts of kindness?
2. In his book, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Chistopher J.H. Wright reminds us that in the Old Testament, the Israelites repeatedly celebrated God’s kindness. See Isaiah 63:7. How has God shown kindness to you, and why is it important to both remember and celebrate God’s kindness as the Israelites did, especially in today’s environment?
3. Jesus is the perfect example of kindness in action. To whom did Jesus typically show kindness and what did that look like? See Mark 10: 46 - 52 and Luke 19: 1-10 for two examples. What can we learn from these two examples and how can we apply it to our own lives?
4. If, as Jesus illustrates, we are to show kindness to others, why is it that we sometimes don’t? What specifically hinders you from showing kindness? As Pastor Gary Gaddini reminded us in past sermons, “What God creates can be counterfeited.” What would counterfeit kindness look like?
5. How then do we implement this fruit of the spirit? Is it about merely being a better and nicer person? How does our brand of kindness differentiate us from the world? Fill in the blank: The end result of kindness is that it draws people to ________? See Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, page 96 for help.
Series Daily Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control.”
---John Stott (1921-2011), evangelist and scholar
Actions & Resources
--Make space for God this week. Declare the prayer daily.
--Memorize The Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23
--Read Chapter 6 (Goodness) in Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit by Christopher J.H.Wright
--Join a 9-week Group: Cultivating The Essentials (Men, Women, Coed) - see below
--Join a House Church -- see below