Day 157


Wisdom Psalm 70:1-5
New Testament Acts 3:1-26
Old Testament 2 Samuel 9:1-10:19


Steve Sjogren wrote a book called Conspiracy of Kindness. He started a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, that grew to an average attendance of over 7,000. Their motto is, ‘Small things done with great love are changing the world.’ They carry out random acts of kindness like paying for a stranger’s coffee or writing a ‘thank you’ note to a shop assistant.

Kindness is love in work clothes. Showing God’s love in practical ways, they have discovered the power of kindness to effect positive change, both in their lives and in the lives of people around them. Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change. When kindness is expressed, healthy relationships are created, community connections are nourished and people are inspired to pass on kindness.


Psalm 70:1-5

For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

1 Hasten, O God, to save me;
   come quickly, Lord, to help me.

2 May those who want to take my life
   be put to shame and confusion;
  may all who desire my ruin
   be turned back in disgrace.
3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
   turn back because of their shame.
4 But may all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you;
  may those who long for your saving help always say,
   “The Lord is great!”

5 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
   come quickly to me, O God.
  You are my help and my deliverer;
   Lord, do not delay.


Trust in the kindness of God

God is kind. He loves you. Whatever your needs are today, you can cry out to him and he will be your help and deliverer.

David prays, ‘God! Please hurry to my rescue! God, come quickly to my side!’ (v.1, MSG). He goes on, ‘Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay’ (v.5). As he cries out, he remembers God’s kindness to him in the past.

As I look back at this passage in my Bible and see cries for help that I have written down beside it over several years, I pray:


Thank you so much, Lord, for your kindness and love. Today, I cry out for…

New Testament

Acts 3:1-26

Peter Heals a Lame Beggar

3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’

24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”


Act kindly to those in need

One act of kindness can transform a person’s day, or even their life. As the saying goes, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ Kindness is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Just after they had been filled with the Holy Spirit, we see in this passage what is later described as an ‘act of kindness’ (Acts 4:9) performed by Peter and John (3:1–10).

This ‘act of kindness’ led to a remarkable chain of events, which can perhaps best be described as ‘power evangelism’. It led to astonishing church growth. It was part of the beginning of an explosion that eventually was to change the whole world.

If we were asked to start a new church, I doubt we would have done it the way they did. They had no building, no money and no resources. It began with a bunch of fisherman and tax collectors and, among other things, a whole load of people speaking in tongues! Yet the church exploded into life with astonishing growth.

People from outside were attracted because of what they saw happening on the inside. They were attracted by the sheer undiluted power of God released through this ‘act of kindness’.

These two guys were on their way to an evening service. When they got there they saw a person in desperate need, begging for help. This is the sort of person that we might expect to find in one of the few places they could hope to receive any kindness.

The man ‘was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts’ (v.2). The gate was called Beautiful; yet, what they saw was not what the world sees as beautiful – a man disabled from birth, begging.

Their hearts did not sink when they saw the contrast. Rather, their faith rose. They did something. They healed him. They saw someone in need. They recognised the inner beauty of every human being. They didn’t have any money but Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’ (v.6).

There is great power in the name of Jesus. To the Hebrew mind a person’s name revealed their character. This was not a magic formula or a tag-on at the end of a prayer. This was the difference between the ministry of Jesus and that of his disciples. Jesus healed on his own authority, while the disciples did it in his name. In the same way, we are dependent on him. In our weakness, you and I can continue to exercise his ministry, in his power and in his name.

Not only was this man healed (he jumped to his feet and began to walk and praise God, v.8), but many people were also converted. This one act of kindness had an astonishing effect. The people ‘were filled with wonder and amazement at what happened to him… all the people were astonished and came running to them’ (vv.10–11). The demonstration of the power of God was accompanied by the proclamation of the gospel. They had the opportunity to speak about Jesus: his death and resurrection, and the need for faith (vv.14–16).

Our preaching should always be Jesus-centred. Peter’s second sermon, like his first, is totally focused on Jesus. He starts by saying, ‘People of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (v.12). Peter does not want the people to be focused on himself, but rather on Jesus.

The whole talk is about Jesus. Jesus is God’s ‘servant’ (v.13), ‘the Holy and Righteous One’ (v.14), ‘the author of life’ (v.15) and the ‘prophet’ foretold by Moses (v.22). He says, ‘By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him’ (v.16).

Peter gives the good news about Jesus. He speaks about sin, the cross, the resurrection and the need to repent and turn to God. He assures them of God’s promise to forgive their sins and restore their relationship with God. He says, ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’ (v.19).

‘Times of refreshing’ come when you spend time in God’s presence. When you are weary or worn out, you can be refreshed by spending time with God. Sometimes, you need to learn to separate yourself from the busyness of life and spend time with God in the way that Jesus did. The Holy Spirit, in his kindness, wants to bring ‘times of refreshing’ to you.


Lord, thank you that there is such power in the name of Jesus. I pray for an opportunity today to show kindness to someone and help them, in Jesus’ name.

Old Testament

2 Samuel 9:1-10:19

David and Mephibosheth

9 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“At your service,” he replied.

3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”

Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

4 “Where is he?” the king asked.

Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honour.

David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“At your service,” he replied.

7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table. ”

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

David Defeats the Ammonites

10 In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. 2 David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.

When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honouring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?” 4 So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.

5 When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.”

6 When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maakah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.

7 On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men. 8 The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maakah were by themselves in the open country.

9 Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. 10 He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites. 11 Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. 12 Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”

13 Then Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and they fled before him. 14 When the Ammonites realized that the Arameans were fleeing, they fled before Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab returned from fighting the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

15 After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they regrouped. 16 Hadadezer had Arameans brought from beyond the Euphrates River; they went to Helam, with Shobak the commander of Hadadezer’s army leading them.

17 When David was told of this, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan and went to Helam. The Arameans formed their battle lines to meet David and fought against him. 18 But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also struck down Shobak the commander of their army, and he died there. 19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them.

So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.


Give and receive kindness

God has an endless supply of kindness. David speaks of ‘God’s kindness’ (9:3). When you show kindness, it is a way of expressing God’s kindness to you.

David asks, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ (v.1). He then asks Ziba, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the unfailing, unsought, unlimited mercy and kindness of God?’ (v.3, AMP).

Mephibosheth was only five years old at the time of his father’s death (4:4) and now had a young son (9:12). David had been reigning in Jerusalem for at least seven years and Mephibosheth was probably about twenty years of age. The kindness that David shows Mephibosheth is like the kindness of God to us – unfailing, unsought and unlimited.

Once again, it is someone who is disabled (v.3) to whom special kindness is shown. David says to Mephibosheth, ‘Don’t be afraid… for I will surely show you kindness… I will restore to you all the land… and you will always eat at my table’ (v.7).

Then, David looks for further opportunities to show kindness. ‘I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me’ (10:2). Sadly, as sometimes happens, this kindness was misunderstood (v.3f.). However, this should not put us off. It is natural and right to want to show kindness to the children whose parents have been particularly kind to us.

Mephibosheth said, ‘Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?’ (v.8, MSG). He had a poor self-image. Like many of us, he was focussed on his imperfections. But God blesses us in spite of our imperfections. He wants us to know and experience his unlimited kindness. Don’t focus on what is wrong – your sins, faults, weaknesses and failures. In Christ, God has given you his righteousness and wants to pour out on you the riches of his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).


Lord, thank you for the riches of your kindness to me. Help me to always be on the lookout for opportunities to show kindness to those in need.

Pippa adds

In 2 Samuel chapter 10, we see that the Ammonites were suspicious and offensive to David’s men who brought messages of sympathy. They had lived together happily up to this moment. However, as a result of their actions a war was fought and lives were lost.

It is important to be wise and discerning. However, we must never become cynical and must try to believe the best about other people’s motives.

Verse of the Day

Psalm 70:5b,c

   ‘come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
   Lord, do not delay.’



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