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THE THEME THIS MONTH IS OTHERS

National others week (29 October – 4 November) was a COC initiative that was celebrated Australia wide. We are extending that theme for the whole month of November.

The goal is to show kindness to others, thereby demonstrating the kindness and the love of God.

Treat One Another with Kindness

Here’s some examples of kindness shown through our church and shared on our own facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/30066992358/

  1. As National Others Month continues, looking for what I can do, my part this week was to mow my neighbours lawn. What can you do?
  2. My effort to be kind today was to drive 2 hours to see a pastor that needed some encouragement. He and his family have been through some difficult times.
  3. We gave a bunch of flowers to the staff at Degani’s Cafe as they are experiencing a sad time because one of their staff is very ill. (We will be following up on the staff member too)
  4. I got a text from my cousin just then. Dante has improved miraculously overnight. No more spasms, MRI clear and just started walking again. So happy! Thank you to all who prayed!

Here are some stories on the National Others Week facebook page from around Australia: https://www.facebook.com/NationalOthersWeek?fref=ts

  1. The fellas from the Year 7&8 Youth Life Group chipped in & bought supplies for the homeless / needy in the Toowoomba area
  2. Loving ‘National Others Week’ One lady from Church has put together a beautiful basket of NutriMetics for prize draw tonight at venue 101 Cafe. Money dropped off at Venue 101 Cafe by 2 people to bless customers by paying for their coffee and cakes. Jesse and I have been having a wonderful time surprising random customers by saying ‘Someone has anonymously paid for your order.’ Another lady rode her bike 5km to bless someone by weeding their garden in 30c. Awesome 🙂 From Julie Kelly – Casey COC
  3. Ladies in Bundaberg, giving out pot plants to their neighbours as part of National Others Week.
  4. Charleville Christian Outreach Centre held a morning tea for the staff at the local hospital as an act of appreciation:- National Others Week.

If you need some ideas about what you can do to randomly bless people and show acts of kindness, then checkout this list of 50 suggestions you received at the door this morning. Also available here:  http://alturl.com/ijgia

 The Story of Paul

The story of Saul who became Paul is a remarkable story of Gods Kindness.

Act 9:1  MEANWHILE SAUL, still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

Act 9:2  And requested of him letters to the synagogues at Damascus [authorizing him], so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way [of life as determined by faith in Jesus Christ], he might bring them bound [with chains] to Jerusalem.

Act 9:3  Now as he traveled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him,

Act 9:4  And he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me [harassing, troubling, and molesting Me]?

Act 9:5  And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].

Act 9:6  Trembling and astonished he asked, Lord, what do You desire me to do? The Lord said to him, But arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.

Act 9:7  The men who were accompanying him were unable to speak [for terror], hearing the voice but seeing no one.

Act 9:8  Then Saul got up from the ground, but though his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

Act 9:9  And he was unable to see for three days, and he neither ate nor drank [anything].

Act 9:10  Now there was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he answered, Here am I, Lord.

Act 9:11  And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there].

Act 9:12  And he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.

Act 9:13  But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on Your saints at Jerusalem;

Act 9:14  Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your name.

Act 9:15  But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel;

Act 9:16  For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.

Act 9:17  So Ananias left and went into the house. And he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Act 9:18  And instantly something like scales fell from [Saul’s] eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized,

Act 9:19  And after he took some food, he was strengthened. For several days [afterward] he remained with the disciples at Damascus.

Act 9:20  And immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, saying, He is the Son of God!

Act 9:21  And all who heard him were amazed and said, Is not this the very man who harassed and overthrew and destroyed in Jerusalem those who called upon this Name? And he has come here for the express purpose of arresting them and bringing them in chains before the chief priests.

Let’s look at the believer called Ananias who heard from God about showing kindness to someone who he believed was not deserving of the kindness and blessing of God.

How reluctant must Ananias have felt when God asked him to go and pray for the murderer Saul? He must have been fearful for his own life and also for the lives of so many others who could one day be the victims of this religious persecutor who destroyed the lives and families of Christians.

Saul/Paul was a persecutor of the church.

Act_22:4  [Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,

Gal_1:13  You have heard of my earlier career and former manner of life in the Jewish religion (Judaism), how I persecuted and abused the church of God furiously and extensively, and [with fanatical zeal did my best] to make havoc of it and destroy it.

When is justice done? God’s mercy and loving kindness means that Jesus was the one to bear the penalty for all Paul’s sins. Paul would feel he deserved to be punished, but he accepted God’s mercy. 1Ti_1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

When we see perpetrators; people who act badly, immorally, illegally, we want to see them punished; but for ourselves we want mercy. Could you show kindness to a totally undeserving person?

1Th_5:15  See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and to everybody.

When we feel aggrieved so we want justice, but when we are the perpetrator we call for mercy. Could you show mercy and give kindness to a person who you believed was totally undeserving of it?

What if in so doing you opened their understanding to God and they became a Christian and turned around their life?

Heb_13:16  Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

2Co_9:9  As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever! [Ps. 112:9.]

Maybe your boss seems undeserving?

Maybe your grumpy neighbour seems really undeserving?

Perhaps your atheist uncle who always ridicules you at family functions seems totally undeserving?

Are you ready to shock them with an act of no strings attached kindness?

Saul/Paul was shocked by Jesus approach to him and Ananias was shocked by God’s request of him…. But look at the fruit of that kindness.

Let’s be kind to others; and let us know what happened.

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