A word kept repeating in my spirit last night and today; LOVINGKINDNESS. That’s certainly what is needed in each of our lives, more and more as the days continue to grow more evil day by day.  In today’s dog-eat-dog world, there isn’t a lot of lovingkindness.  That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but it’s in pretty short supply, and I’m talking about even in GOD’S PEOPLE!

You can’t expect the lost and unsaved to major in lovingkindness, for it just isn’t in them. They’re still in the world intellectually and spiritually.  Oh, there are “nice” people among the lost and unsaved, and actually some show more lovingkindness than many church people do.  But that characteristic should be so abounding in God’s people, to the point of there being such a difference between the world, and God’s people, that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever of which side you belong to.  And yet the line is somewhat blurred, and that should not be so.

The Hebrew word CHESED (pronounced Kheh’sed) that means “LOVINGKINDNESS” is H2617 in the concordance is described as: From H2616kindness ; by implication (towards God) piety ; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof, or (subjectively) beauty: – favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

Now when I point that out, I want to make it abundantly clear that there is room for improvement in MY life as well.  We seem to easily get caught up in the lack of love in the world, and it tries to rub off on us every day.  You know, if you walk in a room full of fleas, it’s pretty likely you’re going to take some out with you when you leave, only you may not know it until you start getting bit by those fleas.  But by that time you’ve already been affected.  Now you can go shower to get them off, but how many will jump off in your car and home before you even know you have them?  You may get rid of the majority of them, but go sit down in a chair, and soon, some of them will find you again.  And of course, in the meantime they are reproducing, and making MORE fleas for you to enjoy.

So it is in our walk with Christ Jesus.  The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34,

33  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

 34  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

            When we spend more time in fellowship with the world than we do with Jesus, it’s just like going in a room full of fleas, which we take with us when we leave.  Whether or not we realize it, the world rubs off on us, and we pick up its “stuff”, for lack of a better word.  We pick up their habits, words, mannerisms, and if we hang out with the world long enough, we end up losing our witness for Christ Jesus, and become just like the world again.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this very thing to the Corinthian church.  As children of God, we should be changing the world to follow Jesus, instead of the world changing us!  But we become who we spend the most time with.  If we spend our time with Jesus, we become like Him.  If the “world” is our habitat, that’s what we become like.

So, what’s that got to do with LOVINGKINDNESS?  A lot!  That word CHESED is used 120 times in the Old Testament. So there we see a very major characteristic of God.  Now it stands to reason that His children would have His traits, right?  Well, we should have!  But again, the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13-26,

13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

 14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 15  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

 16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

 17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

 18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

 19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

 20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

 21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 

 25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

            “Chesed”, that is, LOVINGKINDNESS is not a characteristic of the world, so don’t expect to find it there.  It’s a characteristic of GOD, which we as God’s children are supposed to carry with us everywhere we go, spreading it like a bad cold, getting it on everyone we meet, until the whole world is “infected with lovingkindness”.  You’ve heard the old saying, “Like father, like son”, well, that applies to daughters, too.  Instead of spouting anger at our political leaders, let’s pray for them.

Let’s spread LOVINGKINDNESS instead of bitterness, anger, and envy.  When we show lovingkindness to those who are abusive to us, we confound the enemy and heap coals of fire upon their heads.  Will the world be nice to us as a result?  Not likely, because they weren’t nice to Jesus, either, even though He showed so much lovingkindness everywhere He went.  All He did was show goodness and mercy to all, the just AND the unjust.  Having Christ Jesus as our example, shouldn’t we be doing the same?  Yes, and WE includes ME.  I can stand to improve as well, and I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit reminding me so.

The word for today is LOVINGKINDNESS!  Go “ABOVE AND BEYOND” in love what is expected of you, show acts of kindness and mercy, and grace,  even if it isn’t deserved.  ESPECIALLY WHEN IT ISN’T DESERVED!!  Be like your Heavenly Father!  Don’t just think about it, DO IT!  You’ll make God smile and say, LOOK, that’s one of MY kids!