January 19, 2012


Titus 3:1-8

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us …
Titus 3:4-5


The Greek word that is translated as “kindness” in Galatians 5:22 sounds similar to the Greek word for “Christ.” In the days of the early church, that sometimes led to confusion among unbelievers. They weren’t always sure if Christians actually believed in a person called Christ, or if they practiced a religion that focused on kindness.

When you think about it, that confusion was actually quite a compliment to the first Christians! How wonderful it would be if kindness stood out in the impression that we Christians gave to unbelievers today. Unfortunately, kindness may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Christians and the church.

This is why we must be diligent in our prayers that the Holy Spirit produce the fruit of kindness in us. As Paul writes in today’s Scripture reading, the kindness of God was the only thing strong enough to conquer our foolishness, disobedience, and bondage to sin.

We must pray that the power of God’s kindness that saved us will also be the power that continually transforms our character.

This is what the ministry of the Holy Spirit is all about. He wants to make kindness flourish in our lives so that when others notice it they will naturally think of Christ.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for treating us kindly in Christ. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that others will see Jesus living in us. We pray in his name. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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