Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #7

PASTORS PIECE

Tuesday March 24, 2020

 

2 Peter 1:5-8

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)

 

2nd Peter 1:5–7 is one of the few places in Scripture that uses the term brotherly kindness, although many more passages discuss the idea: These character qualities can be considered steps of spiritual growth. Peter continues by telling us why these character traits, including brotherly kindness, are so important: “The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What the New Living Translates as “brotherly kindness” other translations call “mutual affection” or simply “concern for others”. Now understand, Everyone adopted into the family of God through faith in Jesus is called a “brother” or “sister” in Christ, and we are to relate to each other as spiritual siblings. We don’t use that language as much in the church anymore but it wouldn’t hurt to use it from time to time to remind us of this truth. Then in Romans 12:10 it tells us what brotherly kindness should look like: “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” In other words, we should outdo ourselves in honoring and loving one another”

As I study this theme, I have noticed that brotherly kindness is a major theme of the New Testament. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). In a healthy family, brothers and sisters love one another and look out for each other. If one family member is in trouble, the whole family rallies around to help.

The Bible gives examples of people practicing brotherly kindness. After David ascended to the throne of Israel, he asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1). He had no relationship with Saul’s extended family, yet, because of his close friendship with Saul’s son Jonathan, he wanted to show brotherly kindness to Jonathan’s family. Mephibosheth became the recipient of David’s kindness.

When the church at Antioch heard that the church in Jerusalem would soon be suffering from a famine, they gave sacrificially to help relieve their brothers’ and sisters’ financial burden (Acts 11:27–30). Churches in Macedonia and Achaia also contributed to the poor in Jerusalem. These were acts of brotherly kindness.

How might you and I show brotherly kindness to one another in these unprecedented times? Ask God to show you how to show practical loving kindness to another person this week.