Faith Mods (modifications) are things that we can add to our faith to step into all that God has for us!
Mods, short for modifications, are things you do to improve, better, increase and add to!
If you want to hear the whole intro on why this matters then just pop back to our September 20th service on our website and it will give full context to this message and the understanding of adding to our faith.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But whoever does not have them is near-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Make every effort to mod up your faith!
Faith is good:
- It gets us to heaven
- It saves us
- Without it, it is impossible to please God
- Faith is God’s currency
- Faith is key
but it can be kitted out, improved and added to.
In fact, this very passage and the verses following say that if we add to our faith we will be:
- Effective and productive in our knowledge of Christ
- It will stop us from stumbling in our faith
- It will lead to a rich welcome into heaven when the time comes
But likewise, it says of those who refuse to add to their faith that they are:
- Near sighted and blind
- Forgotten they have been cleansed from their sins
- Add to that the conclusion is they will be ineffective, unproductive and easily stumble
Good enough for me, so let’s read and grow together.
Bruce preached last week on Self Control and Perseverance and so I will keep going and the next one is:
Brotherly Affection (NLT), Mutual Affection (NIV), Brotherly Kindness (NKJV)
There is a clear message in all of it is. Kindness – what a wonderful thing to be said about us, that we are kind.
Pastor Tim Douglas from Hillsong Victoria is one of the kindest persons I have met. He went out of his way to help Tegan and I when we moved to Bendigo.
Likewise, Brett and Shirley Gregory are also such kind and caring people here in Connect Church.
Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love (same word). Honour one another above yourselves.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another.
The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Wouldn’t it be nice if every Christian was simply kind wherever they were!
- How we speak to others
- Kind in our consideration of others
- Honour one another above ourselves
- Giving preference to one another
- Kindness is thinking of others and acting from it
- In our actions to others
- In situations are we the kind person
Using the statement, “that’s just who I am” does not exclude us from the Bible’s requirement of being kind. The idea that ‘I am just saying what I think’ is not an excuse to disobey scripture and be unkind with our words. It is not an excuse of not developing kindness in our lives.
Now this isn’t a scripture or message for ‘the gentler ones among us’ or the ‘feelers’ in the group. Don’t be tempted to think of kindness as weakness and passive!
When we look a little further on at what the Bible says about kindness, it will demonstrate that the Bible’s definition is far from weak or passive, in fact it takes far more strength, security, discipline and courage to be kind than to be unkind. Being unkind is weak and lacks self-control and discipline.
The Bible has some key things to say on this topic of kindness.
Firstly, the passage in Romans we read says Christians are called to be kind to one-another in the Church!
- This is key because it does not say be kind to the people you get along with, or like, in the Church, but all the Church family.
- Why would the Bible even need to say this? It does so because one of the things that makes the Church so incredible and special is that is it made up of such diverse people
- It gathers rich and poor, slave and free, men, women, kids, all sorts of political persuasions, hugely different backgrounds, diverse races, ethnicities, cultural differences and socio-economic groups
- Nowhere else do we find such a huge mix of so many different people and if we could all show kindness to one another it would be the ultimate example to the world!
In a world divided, separatist and squabbling, imagine if we could just demonstrate a kindness that shows the way to Jesus for those who are looking for Him!
Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
A warmth of light on a hill. The example is a light on a hill.
- Somehow in some ideas of Christianity this has become thought of as a lighthouse warning of rocks and peril. But that is not what the Bible says!
- No-one is drawn to a lighthouse beaming out their failings on the rocky outcrop of judgmental religion. That kind of light pushes people away,
It says a city on a hill! A place of shelter, warmth, food, people and life! Jesus’ intent is not that we are the lighthouse, defenders of all things religious but instead that those who are in the valley would look and see a place where:
- They get a reprieve from the elements of life
- There is food and people to welcome them
- Warmth and life
- A place you want to head to
- Imagine a weary traveller maybe even lost in a dark valley looking to the glow of a city and longing to reach it
That is what a Church that is filled with kind people will be kind to those searching for God.
The scriptures teach further on kindness and bring it into a whole new light!
Proverbs 25:22 (NLT)
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.22 You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.
Matt 5:38-42 (NLT)
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
Romans 12:14-21 (NLT) – one of the original verses that uses this word for kindness goes on to describe it.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”. 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
All of these passages come from the same angle.
Kindness is not simply being kind to those who are kind to us!
- God’s kindness is being kind to those who are unkind to us
- To the stranger
- To the person who cannot repay us
- Never having an ulterior motive.
- Kindness because Jesus would ask that
- Not to just the people that think like us
- Not just to our friendship group
Paul says: “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
What this does is put the responsibility of kindness onto our own shoulders.
- Not the person’s response or lack
- Not their deserving or not
- Not their repaying or consideration
Just at every opportunity show kindness to people, especially to those who don’t deserve it! We are called to a whole new level of kindness.
That’s why real courage, real strength and real toughness comes not from repaying, but choosing kindness as a deliberate response. Even when we think they don’t deserve it. Choose kindness as a deliberate response.
I close with this, God can ask us for this, because He has modelled it for us.
Jesus came to die for a world that rejected Him and crucified Him. His offer of kindness was already decided in Heaven.
God is not an unjust, angry dictator. He is a loving and kind God and He wants to show that kindness to each of us!
Suggestions for discussion
- Do you find it easy to be kind to everyone? Not everyone can. Discuss why this is so.
- When someone has been unkind to you, how have you reacted?
- Discuss ways that you can react in a positive way and encourage others to do the same.