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Radical Kinship Part 2

We are born self-focused.  We become mom-focused, but mostly inasmuch as she can care for our needs.  Self-protection is hardwired; but agape is still the most powerful and counterintuitive answer for strong relationships.  


we're talking we started a series last week called radical kinship how the way of Jesus impacts our relationships and those that are close to us and I want us to think more deeply through this series about how does the way of Jesus really impact those closest to us you know I think as Christians and if you're not a Christ follower are so glad that you're here you're very welcome it's just so good to have you joining us but Neal Pilate you probably know this you hear Christians a lot saying I love everybody you know which means we don't love anybody in practical ways because we can we can we can say I love the stranger but if I don't have to interact with them they'll never know because love is action love is this is is displayed by how we live in relationship with one another and so love really it impacts those closest to us more than anybody else and so this series on love is really talking about how does the way of Jesus impact those that that we work with every day that we that we live with every day that we go to school with every day those people that we interact with on a regular basis how does the love of God seen in Christ Jesus impact us in our relationships last week we talked about how love never gives up it goes further then then then it then then then most would it's patient it's kind this we're going to talk about today and I and I think as we launch into this I asked I asked you to like follow up with that person in your life that drives you crazy anybody do it I know of a couple people that dead because they told me and I actually I actually in challenged you to like text that person even in the service so my wife did and she told me about it she said yeah I texted a family member who we've always had a little bit of attention and in our relationship so I texted him right in the middle at the very end of the service like when I challenged you guys to do it and she texted him I love you just saying I love you just saying that's all she texted and it was just like she's just want to open up the door and just make sure that that this family member that they've had some tension in the past would know that that he is loved by Suzanne my wife and she immediately got gets a text back saying and this is what the text said I don't care yeah that's what I said so Suzanne as you can imagine I mean imagine you you like put yourself out there right this is a comes back and she was like this is what she this way this is how amazing my wife is because I'd be thinking what a jerk my wife was thinking well you know I totally I mean I really haven't like shown him but I love him you know so of course he's gonna respond this way that's her that was her response well 20 minutes later she gets another text from him that says who is this didn't even know he didn't have her number in his phone he had no idea he said he thought she was some creeper it was like I love you he's like I don't care dude I just don't care and it's so Suzanne says well this is Suzanne in these really you're texted back he says oh I'm so sorry I love you too and it was all good sometimes sometimes don't let that initial reaction to your efforts dissuade you from just keep on believin you know keep on believing another person came out to talk to me and there's a little bit more serious you said she says you know I really want to extend love but I also don't want the person I don't want them to think that I'm endorsing their views political or otherwise isn't that the challenge sometimes that we feel that okay yeah the pastor told me I'm supposed to love my family members my neighbors and but they just man they're just they're so wrong right do you ever feel that way and like if I show love they'll probably think I think they're right and they're not and I'm not gonna show them love then and and I think we have to somehow and Jesus shows us how I believe to separate what somebody believes with how we treat them so somehow we have to figure this out together that that I and I think I'm practicing this today I'm practicing this I'm saying this over and over and a service I think you're wrong but I love you now there's two ways of saying that statement I think you're wrong but I gotta love you you know there's like okay and then like this I really do love you I mean I'm committed to this relationship but man I don't agree with everything you think see there Scotty Jesus had a way of loving everyone especially those that were closest to him but not necessarily always affirming what they thought or what they did but he still had a way of embracing them and I think we've got to learn this because we'll do one or the other won't we will either like full-on affirm someone and that's what our culture is driving us to love means accepting everything in everybody no matter what and Jesus the way of Jesus isn't that kind of way he says I want yes I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you that doesn't always mean I'm gonna agree with you doesn't always mean I'm going to to like yeah yeah that's great but that's kind of so we got to talk about this and so today I want to talk about kindness and I think this will help answer this question just a little bit because I'll be honest I can't watch the news anymore I watch enough to know what's going on around the world but it everybody hates each other they're talking over each other they're mad at each other on both sides of the aisle it doesn't matter that's just like it's angry then you get on social media and you just see that even more it's just everybody's being mean and I think we think that being kind is soft I think that most people think that being kind means that you're gonna get walked on and nobody's gonna listen to you and and so we got to be the loudest voice in the room we got to be the strongest we got to be the most assertive and we think that that kindness is just well if I'm kind then nobody's gonna listen to me and it's quite the opposite well we've forgotten I think we've bought into the lie that that that you got that you can't be kind to one another and get anywhere in this world so we're talking about radical kinship love is kind turn to first Corinthians chapter 13 and let's dive into what Paul writes in this book now Paul he used to be named Saul he actually changed his name after his conversion with Jesus and he he never followed Jesus when Jesus was still on the earth he came to Jesus after Jesus went back to heaven and he's on his way to persecute followers of the way Jesus and he has a vision of Jesus and Jesus is like why are you persecuting me and Saul is like I'm not persecuting you by the way who are you and I'm going to do this to Christians he's like I'm Jesus the one they're following and he has this dramatic conversion experience and then he goes and plants churches all over the known world and then the most of the books that he writes are letters back to those churches this one in particular in Corinthians was written in between 53 and 57 AD and he's writing to this church because he has heard that there's divisions among them there's like there's they're there they're arguing about political issues they're arguing about doctrinal issues is this sound familiar to anybody this is our world they're there they're there debating whether they can actually associate with people outside of the church because they're all amoral and there's some people like yeah we're gonna totally embrace them there's some like no not a chance and so Paul writes this letter to show them a better way and that's what he writes in chapter 12 the last sentence before he gets to the the love chapter chapter 13 I want to lay out a far better way for you say a better way I believe that the way of Jesus is a simply a better way the way of love if I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy like I do but I don't love I have nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate if I speak God's Word with power revealing all his mysteries and make everything plain as day and if I have faith that says to a mountain jump and it jumps but I don't love I'm nothing if I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr but I don't love I've gotten nowhere so no matter what I say what I believe or what I do I'm bankrupt without love love never gives up love cares more for others than for self love doesn't want what it doesn't have love doesn't strut it doesn't have a swelled head it doesn't force itself on others love isn't always me first it doesn't fly off the handle doesn't keep score of the sins of others doesn't rebel when others grovel it takes pleasure in the flowering of truth it puts up with anything it trusts God always and it always looks for the best never looks back but it keeps going to the end love never dies it never fails this kind of love can impact every one of our relationships he uses this word to describe love in first Corinthians 13 say it got bay so Greek word there's four different Greek words for the four are one word in English love and this word is the most important one of them all because it's the kind of love that's described in the Bible as his love toward us and the kind of love that he asks us to have towards others it's a Gabbay it's when Jesus said love each other as I have loved you it's a Gabbay each other as I have a got paid you it's this idea that that unconditional love God has love without limits love without conditions and he and he pours that out to us and then that love that we've experienced we pour out to others it's agape love it transcends humanity there's a sense of that that the gap a love is is something unhuman it's like this divine connection yet every single one of us even those of you that are not followers of Jesus have agape in you why do I say that because you are created in the image of God we are image bearers of him that love resides in all of us I just believe that Jesus by his power of the Holy Spirit like activates it it like sparks it it like turns it on and it's just like all of a sudden we have the ability not in our own strength but in his to agape other people to love others without condition because I don't know about you but left on my own I've got all kinds of conditions whether I love them accept them approve of them etc etc I've got all kinds of conditions but God comes to us and he says my love is unconditional I'm going to love you regardless and I love in first Corinthians 12 he uses this phrase let's put that phrase up love cares as much for others as it does for self I changed it just a little bit you're like you change the scripture yeah I mean this is the message translation anyway it's like already messed up so the but I like this how it phrases it's better because the other way that Eugene Peterson translated what does it say it loves it cares more for others and for self I actually don't believe that's true I don't think that God's love says to you don't care don't love other people more than you love yourself Jesus actually said love your neighbor as yourself so I believe both both are important so love cares as much for others as it does for self who really cares what this press phrase says because the Greek word which I I'm sorry I'm using a little bit of Greek in this series but the Greek word for this phrase is anybody want to know how to pronounce that cuz I have no idea there's somebody in this room that does and I don't care so I don't need to know you're gonna come up and tell me after the service I'm gonna forget it because I don't care I don't think God cares if you're Greek that speak ancient Greek you care I get that that's important to you awesome I don't but I think you pronounce it Crest's - uma II I think that's how you pronounce that who cares about that but what is important is what does it mean what did Paul mean when he wrote love is kind that's the translation that most of our BIOS have love is kinda this this this word actually means it's good for you it's like useful for you it's helpful to you love is useful love is kind love is good the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness that's the same word it's this idea of love active is activated it you see it is active it's actionable and then Jesus uses this word and let's put that up here in Matthew 11 he writes is super interesting for my yoke and he what is he's talking about there is that if you choose to follow Jesus there is a burden that goes along with it that you do have to carry some things he said later pick up your cross and follow me so there's a sense of a burden to it but I love what he uses this word that we're talking about this word that weeds translated in one place kind another place goodness but for my yoke is kind for my yoke is easy for my yoke is good it's not something you see religion likes to put burdens on people that are heavy that are too heavy to carry they just like man I got to do this and I got to do that I feel guilty when I don't and ashamed and that's religion and Jesus was trying to break that off of us fight by redefining agape and he's saying my yoke is kind it's good it's useful it's helpful to you and that's what it is love is kind his love is kind of goes further then just being nice I'm gonna get to that in just a moment there's a difference between being nice and being kind I love what Paul writes in Titus chapter 3 but when the goodness and loving kindness there's that word again of God our Savior appeared so what is he saying here he's saying that the kindness of God was appeared showed up through Jesus that when Jesus arrived he was actually an expression of the kindness of God toward us and and and so when when that goodness that loving kindness showed up Jesus he saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness what he's what does that mean what he's saying is like I'm gonna be kind I was kind to you regardless I wasn't kind to you because you earned it I wasn't kind to you because you deserved it I wasn't kind to you because man look at look at so-and-so that's down there on earth and they're like amazing oh my goodness they're such good people I'm gonna be kind to you because you agree with me on everything because you're just like me I'm gonna be kind to you he was like I'm gonna be kind to you but regardless in spite of you don't really deserve it but I'm still going to be kind kindness goes deeper and it's this amazing thing that has nothing to do with us in terms of why God is kind toward us it's according to what his own mercy and then I start to think about this I start to think like well why am i kind to people I mean if I was honest I'm kind of I try to be nice to people so I can get something out of it and that's why I talk about for just a minute the difference between being nice and being kind if those of you those of you that know me really well because of you and all of you can tell that I'm a very nice person no I am I'm still working on humility but I am one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and I'm not saying that as a compliment let me explain let's put up the definition of nice and kind to compare this is just just a basic definition from the dictionary nicest Pleasant or pleasing or agreeable in nature or parents listen that's me to a tea ask anybody that I work with this and Steve is one of the nicest Emelia come on I know you work for me but you gotta be honest right now no there's no ramifications what am i nice or not nice totally nice see right there that's a bad example she works for me but the reality is is that that that I I've tried really hard in my life to be really nice to people kindness on the other hand is having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature used especially of persons and their behavior characterized by mercy and compassion their way you say well that sounds kind of like the same well let's go to the next slide here's this I did a little research did some cycle I found some psychological journals some social sociologists studies and this is how they defined it after this study in this this these two words this is what they came to the nice person is focused on himself he does nice things in order to be perceived by others and by himself as a nice person I want you to like me I really do it's like fundamental to how I'm broken I'm wired how am I just I want to be liked and so I found myself being nice in order to be liked there's a problem with that we'll talk about that a second and the kind person though is focused on who others all he wants is to relieve the suffering of the living conscious creature in front of him there's this something else something deeper more internal more base that says I want to be kind to you here's something I read in a magazine a nice person in a journal a nice person is one who conforms his behavior to what he believes society sees as nice a kind person rather doesn't necessarily care about what society thinks of him he acts out of a deep-rooted love for his fellow living beans so I'm not talking about us being nicer to people see it goes on this right there's one to say time people can be assertive and set good limits you know what nice people do they bend over backwards to be obliging that's so me but here's the problem I've gotten walked on most of my life I've gotten people who don't listen to me but I just I just bend over backward all the time just trying to acquiesce trying to be the peacemaker trying to like get along with everybody trying to be liked and all of this and it's got and it and and and it's not making a dent whereas kindness true kindness it says I have a good self-esteem I love myself as much as I love others that I I expect to be treated with respect I'm gonna set boundaries around my life whereas nice people are dest so desperate for approval they're often mistreated by others so kindness I love the how Jesus was kind and Mark Twain said this that kindness is the language which the Deaf can hear and the blind can see true kindness goes just just by acting in kindness it says something that that connects I believe to the heart of God Jesus showed this kindness in Matthew chapter 8 there's this this leper and celebrity was a common disease in his day and and so there was a slipper and he came to Jesus and knelt down in front of him now leprosy those that had leprosy were cast out of the community nobody wanted to be near them they thought they could be infected with the disease so they'd stay away from them and so this guy runs into the meeting kneels down in front of Jesus and cries out to Jesus heal me heal me and and Jesus could have just spoken a word he healed people that way in the before just say be healed and he would have been healed he could have even taken a step back and still said the words and still that man would have been healed but instead the kindness of Jesus extends a hand and touches him unheard of until to be healed what was he doing he's showing this man some kindness some dignity so I'm like I I'm with you but he's also telling the entire community around him that this man has Worth and stop shunning him stop shutting the door to relationship with him just extend your hand of kindness toward him that that's the kind of kindness I think about Zacchaeus this guy named Zacchaeus in the Bible he was a Jewish guy who all the Jews hated there all of his neighbors hated him everybody that in the communicated and why because Zacchaeus was a Roman tax collector so he was Jewish collecting money from his fellow Jews for the Romans not only that he was taking a little bit on the side he was charging them a little bit more to kind of put into his his state and so everybody hated him Jesus sees Zacchaeus from a distance goes right up to him because of his kindness is Zacchaeus guy in plans for dinner why don't you invite me over I'm going to your house for dinner Zacchaeus was a stunned can you imagine all the people around him like does he know who this guy is did anybody tell Jesus before he showed up we don't like him he's not one of us he's not supposed to go to dinner at Zacchaeus this house it will be I mean it'll be scandalous I mean people might not follow him anymore if he does stuff like this and the kindness of Jesus says I I see someone who desperately needs the love of God and so I'm gonna break down whatever barriers and whatever boundaries see that's what kindness does it opens up people's hearts it breaks down walls it goes where where our words cannot go that's where kindness finds itself and then I love when the story of when Jesus was on the on the cross and he looks down and he sees Mary and his good friend John who was followed Jesus and on the cross he's still thinking about others as he says to Mary Mary here's your son and John here's your mother he was making sure that his mom was gonna be taken care of after he was gone see the kindness of Jesus it's like I care as much for others as I do for myself I'm gonna see the others as much as I see myself I'm gonna take care of others as much as I take care of myself and nobody will blame you if you care for others a little bit more than you care for yourself nobody gonna blame you the kindness of Jesus radical kinship means love never gives up and it cares as much for others as it does for self you know not hating someone isn't the same as loving them love has to be Church I just I stopped saying I love everybody it means nothing they're simple they're just words love has to be followed by kindness or I would say it's not love love has to be worked out as we help each other and love each other and serve each other and lay down our lives for one another I love these three spheres we talked about this last week the family church and community and just as I challenged you last week would you start to think and get a name of a person in your mind that God is dropping into your heart right now that you just need to show a little more kindness toward maybe it's the same person as last week right and maybe it's somebody different but think about it in terms of your family those by the way it's not just blood relatives these are people that you are close to you do life with it's like these this is my tribe these are my people these are these are my peeps the people I hang with this is that's your family it's not it doesn't always have to be blood relatives but who are they that in your family and your sphere that you say I've got a man I gotta be more kind to this I'm so mean I saw Isis they just say something and it's just so stupid and I just like I let I just let it out and I just beat him up and I you know or maybe they make life choices that are really dumb and and so I'm just like you see what I'm saying you know and so we let that stuff out and it's like god help me to be kind to those people I'm closest with here's a word you're not gonna like it forgive hardest people hardest people to forgive are the people in this circle I mean I can forgive people in my community they're like I don't really know him that well yeah who where my wife offends me well when my kid rejects my way right forgiveness it is all rights to another church Church in Ephesus he says be kind to one another tender-hearted forgiving one another just as God forgave you in Christ Jesus what about your church is there anybody in your church you need to be more kind to here's a way that you can be kind to somebody in your church invite them to this circle whoa whoa whoa whoa Steve circles big enough thank you that don't need to challenge me their invitation is big deal maybe you don't need to invite them here but maybe you need to invite them out to lunch today and I like going hey I'm making a lifelong commitment to you it doesn't mean that it's just lunch but you're inviting someone for coffee or into relationship or you're saying I want to I want to be with you when I kind of have a little bit of time with you I want I want your I want to include you the church every time that we exclude someone not include someone in the life of our church kindness gets ripped off the kindness of God gets stolen every time that we make someone feel like they're not welcome misunderstandings I didn't even know they existed and he would invite them over for dinner like I mean he's not making dinner you all understand this right maybe people show up and just like hey I'm chase this friend and it was his kindness that included I think of Johnny T Johnny know if he's here today but Johnny's been in this circle and kind of sitting in the back and he feels awkward about just relationships or whatever my son reached out to him included him and now he's part of our family t para another guy that's not his real name Brandon Brad and Kate there's just people in our life that that we're here but now are here why because my son included them invited them extended opened his arms to them and who are we to say oh sorry you need to go somebody else's house to eat can we be a church that's inclusive not only that but in the community I think about I think about the spanish-speaking community in our town who you drive around on a Sunday morning just drive it we drive home and you'll see Anglo churches and Spanish churches and you'll see them two different churches and I understand that this language and all of that stuff but I wouldn't it be amazing if the kindness of God would draw us into fellowship and not just welcoming Spanish speakers into our church but saying you are part of us we are one in fellowship and community and family together in this place that's why we do translation right now but not only that one day there will be somebody standing up here that speaks Spanish there will be so that every once in a while you guys might have to like learn a Spanish worship song you know and just like let's let's let's be inclusive let's change let's adapt let's let's reach people with the kindness of God because every single person deserves it is there a person that you're thinking of in one of these three spheres that needs a little bit of kindness shown to them by you this week so I'm gonna challenge you again write their name down right now text them right now reach out to them this week and here's a couple things that you can do I already mentioned one here's here's two things that you can do here up on the TV again invite them or serve them I already mentioned inviting them take that step I mean just I mean invite them to church with you that's a great step vitamins or coffee whatever just invite and make them feel like you know if that person that you work with that nobody likes to go to lunch with because it's awkward hey you want to go lunch see if you're being you're like well I just that's just being nice but kindness would be like I actually care about this person and I want to be kind to them serve them you know if you're a student and you're really good at math helping someone you're a fellow student with math that's not very good at math is a great way to be kind kindness is is I love what Andy Stanley says kindness is loaning someone our strength instead of reminding them of their weakness I have something I have something that someone else needs and so I'm going to extend kindness to them by giving that to them if somebody just sent me another little like a meme what did it say it said if you are doing something for someone else to get something from them that's business not kindness let's be kind so who's the person got their name would you just whisper this prayer right now Jesus help me to show them kindness this week Jesus help me to show them kindness this week open up a door that I can walk through give me an opportunity help me to show kindness to them by inviting them or serving them well as we finished up today I want to watch a short film words can't words can only go far enough when we think about kindness but seeing someone being kind is a whole nother deal and this film was made in Thailand so there are subtitles unless you speak Thai you will need the subtitles so I want to encourage you to make just pay attention because those are really important and I believe it's one of the best portrayal it just came across my desk because I was preparing for this message it's one of the best book trails of living out the con the kindness of agape watch this [Music] Oh today I shall come back into one [Music] Kaja media Riley but every weapon Murdoch vewy made me care to attack [Music] my name is Uzi DeMarco [Music] [Music] perfectly code I could a care Cuomo's [Music] they want soup they could I daiquan up die nursing teen and sumit I dai lo t suing our bottom [Music] make you eat good all right you think equal Duncan martiza now great I should have warned you that you guys need tissues to watch that I should have my bad sorry about that but kindness opens up people's hearts like nothing else no words that you could speak no there's nothing that you can say that would cause someone's heart to be more open to what you might say eventually than being kind to doing good things serving our community and doesn't our world need it doesn't our world need a fresh infusion of kindness and might not the church be the Avenue by which he restores kindness to our nation the church puts down their their rightness their their morality I'm not saying like put it away I'm not like saying like like hey do whatever you want by like like I said last week what are we known for well what do you what do you want your life to be known for do you want it to be known for what you're against and the stuff that you disagree with or do you want your life to be known by how kind and compassionate you were to those closest to you bow your heads with me and Bible says that God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance it simply means that that when we see Jesus as God's kindness incarnate God's kindness to us when we recognize that he is the expression of God's kindness it leads us to him it opens up our heart to hear his way and his teaching and to look at his life and model ourself by it and that's that's what God's kindness is a kind of a byproduct and if you want to receive the kindness of God today and because of the kindness of God today you want to say I want to follow Jesus and his way you don't have to have all the other answers you're not to know everything about the Bible or at all you just you just recognize today that Jesus his way is a better way and you want to follow his way of love his way of kindness today if that's you for the first time right now would you just lift up your hand and you don't need to do anything else right now just say yeah I want to receive the kindness of god I'm gonna receive his love today awesome anyone else thank you god yeah Jesus would you open up on all of our hearts to not only be recipients of your kindness but conduits of it help us Jesus to see the world differently with new eyes today to see the people that we work with the people that we interact with on a daily basis the people that we go to school with the people that we live with the Peet let's help us to see them through a different lens to see them as loved by God as people deserving your kindness and our kindness because they are loved by God help us to see that that that kindness can make an impact in every one of our relationships help us to believe into it and to live into it so that the world may know one day that we are followers of the way of Jesus because of our love for one another jesus name we pray amen prayer teams are available around here and there might be some up here over here I could even see you until you pulled out the blue one that's why they have them right so just to know who you can trust to receive prayer um there are people in your life right now that you're like oh man this one's really hard I don't know if the if God can do anything in this relationship it's so broken and the and the first conversation you need to have is not with that person the first conversation you need to have is with God about your relationships and so if you have those relationships I just encourage you to just get some prayer let's let prayer kind of cover in and out of prayer you might find wisdom for action and how to you know steps to take so prayer team is available they're ready they love this this is their thing isn't it it's awesome thank you guys for serving in this way also those of you that did respond to receive and live into the kindness of God we have begin packets for you they're white packets that say begin on them there are all of the exits we'll help you get going on this journey the spiritual journey that you've embarked on I hope that you can grab one of those on your way out it also has some contact information we would love to get in touch with you so you needed to get in touch with us so we can get in touch with you so make that happen let's let me just see who are the men in the house if you know you're a man would you just raise your hand right now awesome anyway I'm that I would invite you guys back Saturday this coming Saturday at 8 a.m. to our men's breakfast I'll be speaking at it I would just total it self-promotion but I would love to interact with you and have conversation with you have coffee have breakfast and just enjoy some time really laid-back you can invite men in our community as well it's not going to be super religious at all and it's just an opportunity for men to connect with men and I want to talk a little bit about where we're headed as men in the context of our church and community and so I hope you can join us for that again it's at 8 a.m. this coming Saturday over in the Student Center would you let us know if you're coming and who's coming with you so we have enough food for everybody I don't think there's a cost I'm looking over at nobody knows there's no cost that's what you call an executive decision people and I don't care if you like me or not I'm just being kind all right so so then come join us this Saturday at 8 a.m. be kind to one another today and this week you guys you can go god bless you [Applause]

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