May 8, 2024


Leviticus 25:35-38 - If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.


Leviticus 25:35-38 teaches us about God's heart for kindness and generosity, especially towards those who are struggling financially. The passage begins by saying that if a fellow Israelite becomes poor and cannot support himself, we are to help him as if he was a foreigner or temporary resident. This shows that kindness should extend beyond just our immediate family and friends to anyone in need. God then gives specific instructions not to take advantage of a poor person's situation. We are not to charge interest or make a profit off of them when lending money or providing food. The reason given is that we should 'fear God' - in other words, our reverence and respect for God should compel us to treat others with compassion, not exploitation. Interestingly, God reminds the Israelites that HE is the one who delivered them out of slavery in Egypt in order to give them the Promised Land. It's as if He is saying, "Remember how I showed undeserved kindness to you when you were poor and helpless? Now go and do likewise to your struggling brother." This passage challenges our human tendency to view kindness as optional or something reserved only for those we deem "deserving." But God calls us to a higher standard - to open our hearts and hands freely to anyone in need, following the example of His own radical generosity towards us. True kindness often requires sacrifice, looking more to the interests of others than our own self-interest. As Christians, we have experienced the ultimate kindness in God sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins, even when we were His enemies. How can we not extend unmerited favor and compassion to others, when we have been shown such immense mercy ourselves? Kindness is to be a defining mark of Jesus' disciples. This passage also has implications for how we handle our finances. God cares about our attitudes towards money and possessions. We are to hold them loosely, ready to share with those in need, rather than hoarding wealth or seeking to profit from another's hardship. We can trust God to provide for us as we generously give to others. In the end, kindness is not just a nice character trait, but a matter of obedience and worship. As we extend God's heart of compassion to those around us, we reflect His character and bring glory to His name. May we be a people marked by lavish, selfless, Christlike kindness.


This passage in Leviticus is a powerful call to embody the heart of God through tangible acts of kindness, especially to the poor and vulnerable. It's easy to read these words and think they don't apply to us today - after all, most of us aren't farmers living in ancient Israel. But the underlying principles are timeless and relevant to every follower of Christ. At its core, this command is about allowing God's kindness towards us to overflow into kindness towards others. We love because He first loved us. When we truly grasp the weight of the mercy and grace we've been shown through Jesus, it reshapes how we view and treat those around us. Kindness becomes not just a nice idea, but an urgent necessity - a natural outpouring of a heart that has been transformed by God's undeserved favor. But if we're honest, kindness doesn't always come naturally to us. It's often much easier to ignore the needs around us, to prioritize our own comfort and interests above the struggles of others. We justify our lack of generosity by scrutinizing whether someone is truly deserving of help, or by convincing ourselves that we don't have enough to share. Yet God's instructions here leave no room for such excuses. He doesn't tell the Israelites to help their poor brother only if he got into financial trouble through no fault of his own. He doesn't say to lend without interest only if they have abundance. No, the command is clear and unconditional - when you see a need and have the means to help, do it. Open your hands freely, without thought of profit or self-gain. This challenges me to examine my own heart and habits when it comes to kindness. Do I truly see the people around me through God's eyes of compassion? Am I willing to sacrificially give of my time, resources and energy to ease their burdens, without grumbling or expecting anything in return? Or am I more focused on protecting my own lifestyle and financial security? Kindness, when practiced the way God intends, is rarely convenient or comfortable. It demands dying to self, taking risks, and trusting God to take care of us as we pour ourselves out for others. It may mean befriending the lonely widow next door, even when we're busy. Opening our home to a struggling family. Giving sacrificially to those facing hardships. Treating the grocery clerk with patience and warmth, though we're exhausted and stressed. But as costly as kindness can be, the rewards are immeasurably greater. There is profound joy in knowing that we are partnering with God in His work of caring for the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, and drawing people to Himself. Kindness has the power to tear down walls, mend relationships, ease suffering, and open doors for the gospel. It gives the world a tangible glimpse of Jesus. And perhaps most importantly, as we extend kindness to others, we experience more of God's kindness ourselves. We see His faithfulness to provide for every need. We feel His pleasure and experience His presence in deeper ways. Our own hearts are softened and transformed to be more like His. May we be a people who take God's call to kindness seriously, not just in theory but in everyday, rubber-meets-the-road practice. Let us ask Him for the faith to obey with joyful, generous hearts, and watch in awe at the ripple effects in our homes, churches and communities. As we freely give the kindness we've freely received, may many taste and see that the Lord is good.


Gracious God, thank You for the incredible kindness You have shown us through Christ. When we were poor and helpless, enslaved to sin, You reached out to rescue and redeem us at immense cost to Yourself. Your mercy and compassion towards us are unfathomable. Forgive us for the times we have failed to extend that same kindness to others. For the times we have ignored needs, made excuses, or prioritized our own comfort over showing Your love. Renew our hearts and minds, that we might see people as You see them. Give us the faith to obey Your call to generosity, even when it's difficult or costly. Remind us that all we have belongs to You, and that we can trust You to care for us as we open our hands to care for others. Grant us wisdom to know how to help in ways that truly empower and uplift. Make us a people marked by extravagant, selfless, Christlike kindness. May our acts of compassion be a compelling witness to the watching world of Your goodness and love. Use us as Your instruments to ease burdens, mend brokenness, and draw many to Yourself. Thank You that as we pour ourselves out in kindness, we experience more of Your kindness ourselves. We trust Your promise that whoever refreshes others will themselves be refreshed. Fill us to overflowing with Your Spirit, that we may have abundant grace to give. We pray this in the name of Jesus, the ultimate embodiment of Your kindness and love. Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Radiant kindness lifts the weary soul, As hearts unite to make the broken whole.

Radiant kindness lifts the weary soul,
As hearts unite to make the broken whole.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.