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Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2019 3:00 am


Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Philadelphia advertising industry has radically changed in the past 20 or 30 years. In fact, is becoming more and more based upon the philosophy of appealing to human selfishness rather than advertising a product. There's hardly a product today that is not advertised without the appeal to human selfishness. Not necessarily need, whether it is a cream law shampoo or a soap or whatever it may be the idea as well.

It may be expensive, but I am worth it. You just have to have it and you have to have it your way now. This product might cost more, but you deserve the best. You have worked hard for this.

You have worked hard for that.

Therefore go and get it know whether you need it or not that's beside the issue. We have looked at certain types of noxious weeds that specialize in choking off one of the fruit of the spirit and today I think if there is a specific weed that specializes in choking off the fruit of the spirit known as kindness. It is selfishness.

In fact, selfishness is the daughter of pride and please listen carefully to what I'm going to tell you the people who are selfish are the very people who feel that they have the right to be selfish.

I want you to distinguish in your mind the difference between the occasional feeling when you get preoccupied or tired or emotionally drained or spiritually drained and you don't feel like showing kindness that is different from being selfish. So when somebody try to characterize your life.

Don't allow somebody else to define who you are, you have to define who you are by reading understanding and comprehending the word of God. Selfish people know and believe that they have the right to be selfish so don't go on a guilt trip. If you don't have to but if you do there's a remedy for that to selfish people feel that they have every reason in the world to seek their own pleasure. They feel that they have every right to look out for themselves. They feel justified in vigorously pursuing their desire that I consider no cost too high for the pursuit of one exhilarating experience after another all of this of course is creating a big problem in our society is creating a humongous gigantic problem and we are beginning to see it now you have to be blind spiritually not to be able to see this, but we are clearly seeing it right now and the problem is this. It is that shopping of biblical kindness is the choking off of kindness and society listen to me. Please.

I'm going to tell you something that is of utmost importance, and based on the authority of the word of God either kindness will conquer selfishness or selfishness will choke off kindness. The two cannot exist together, they cannot coexist something else happening to us as a society. When society craves selfishness. We pervert kindness we pervert the very concept of God is we invert biblical kindness and that is why you find that so many of those who are fighting hard for the right to kill babies and mothers wounds are the very people who are fighting hard for all our animal rights activists. They will be happy to prosecute a man as it did in New England for killing a rat but when it comes to killing a baby in the womb of all.

That's the act of kindness over choice.

You see what I mean by inverting see what I mean by perverting that's exactly what's happening here with me.

Just lighten things up a little bit until about a true story.

Those of you dog lovers going like the story. It's a great story is a true story man was traveling at night in his car. He got caught in the middle of a dreadful storm.

I mean, he just could not see the rain was pelting down coming in sheets and and was dark and there the wind was blowing so hard and literally was zero visibility. He cannot see a thing. So the driver looked at the passenger seat, where his dog was sitting and he said this is a very bad one for four. This is really about 1 foot for the dog traveled everywhere with his owner and no sooner the man said that to his dog. Then he looked up in the distance and saw a motel on the side of the road right in the middle of nowhere and he was absolutely flabbergasted. He said what lock foo foo what Mark he thought as he drove in front of the hotel and he walked there with his beloved dog in his hand and he said to the proprietor sitting behind a desk and said that I like a room for the night and the man said sorry we are filled up. He said well I can sleep on this couch and failure for the room. Now this is where I sleep him him and said looking it's really bad out there and sit storm is dreadful and it just let me go out there he met the man behind this just shrugged. So the man walks out and just before he reached the door. The man said to him behind the desk.

He said Mr. you have to leave the pop here. I wouldn't turn out a dog and I'm not like this. Well we are trying to to animals and we are to people. The me tell you something, biblical kindness is not looked upon kindly by two large segment of our society today. They feel that kindness carries a cost that they are not prepared to pay. They say it is time consuming. It is too demanding. Kindness has a habit of interfering with our plans.

Kindness has a habit of interfering with our privacy kindness has a habit of interfering with our indulgences. This certainly was Lady Macbeth's complaint concerning her husband when she said, I'm afraid he is filled with the milk of human kindness. Lady Macbeth to her. There was no room for anything as inconvenient as taking time to be kind to those whom she felt that would be more wonderful out-of-the-way. Lady Macbeth people existed to be used and then they were expendable on a tell you something. It is sad to say that and it honestly breaks my heart to say, but I think today this day we probably have more followers of Lady Macbeth attitude that you have follows Jesus Christ and the wonder we are in the model mass three in the society but the spirit filled life says the Scripture the spirit filled believer, the spirit filled, which is daily act on the part of every one who claims to be a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. Far from seeing kindness as inconvenience, but rather it's part of the real fruit that is produced in the spirit filled life, far from seeing kindness as distraction. It is one of the visible evidence of the spirit filled life, far from seeing kindness as the quaint characteristic that does not belong to the 21st century. It is the basic necessity for the Christian life you have to ask yourself the question as we go through the series of messages. The fruit of the spirit because everyone of these nine represents the character of God and the question you and I need to ask ourselves is this as we live in a time that is becoming more and more hostile to Christians more and more hostile to the Christian faith. We ready to imitate our heavenly father and his characteristics or are we ready to imitate the enemy of God and his works of the flesh, that's the question you see, God is out of his kindness that he made a covenant with the people a visual is out of his kindness that he kept the covenant when they were rebellious. He kept the covenant when they were were disobedient. He kept the covenant when they cost God. He kept the covenant when they hated God. He kept the covenant when they turned their backs on God.

It is of the kindness of God that he left the splendor of heaven and the glory of the majesty of heaven in order to become a man is of this kindness, though he is perfect in every way, sinless in every way.

And yet he hung on the criminals cross. That's the kindness of God is of his kindness that he does not judge us as we deserve. It is of this kindness that he accepts repentant sinners, people who shook the fist of God. People who hated God when the repent of their sins when they turned to Jesus Christ the Savior he receives and he doesn't call them anything but son, daughter Selena is the kindness of God. I want to be like your daddy is of his kindness that he provides for us every day. It is overwhelming when you think of the kindness of God is overwhelming and is only those who have been blinded by the enemy that they are spiritually become myopic that refused to see the kindness of God and the goodness of God working in their life every single day. Like many of the fruit of the spirit, kindness has to grow has to grow, you cannot say well today I am going to the side to be kind with tell me if it works please call me.

I want to know if you make the decision works for you.

I want to know what it is the outflow of the Holy Spirit. Now I know that some people who are nice so nice of McKusick. You know the type, I'm talking about on the disorganized and then when they become Christians to become even nicer non-talking to my fellow believers, who without inner feeling of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, there would have been dangerous.

I'm one of them.

I have to work on being filled with the spirit, every single day because I get filled of the spirit and empty myself of my soul be filled of the spirit of God I am able to bear the fruit of the spirit. Without that you wouldn't want to talk to me and I would want to talk to you.

The fruit will grow as you see to it daily. Be filled of the spirit of God, the fruit will grow as you tightly cultivate the trio of your life, you pull out those noxious weeds of selfishness.

Every single day, not just on Sundays.

I am absolutely amazed as most of you know, I know a little bit of history and and I'm absolutely amazed at how long. Even the fruit of the spirit linger on after the Holy Spirit has left. I'm serious.

There are many evidence in history that will tell you this. I'm going to share with you.

Just one example of the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit after the spirit is already gone.

I read about how in 1940, a group of sociologists got together and they conducted a survey and 43 American cities. 43 American citizen 1940 and they want to know which is the kindest city in the United States. Guess which one Rochester, New York was the kindest city.

A group of sociologists saw this and started on this. I do know this must be a fluke back then.

So between 1990 and 1992 they conducted another survey. This was an elaborate Sylvain. There were God and test people literally testing to see if they kind of made all of this are very involved study. Sure enough, Rochester, New York number one again and the writer decided to find. He said I want to know why in the world. This particular city was a kindest city. He discovered that the city's history of kindness and generosity went back to earlier days when Charles Finney the great evangelist when Charles Finney conducted six months of nightly meetings and prayer meetings and during the six months which we call the second great awakening in America.

During those six months, thousands and thousands of people came to Christ all God give us another revival and one of the mark of this particular revival in Rochester was that the new believers renounce their selfishness publicly, and they began to give themselves freely. This writer traced a century and 1/2 of track records of generosity and kindness back to its roots, which is a Holy Spirit of God before I get carried away which I can easily do I want to get myself back in gear and I want to tell you several things about kindest the fruit of the spirit of Congress write them down. They come out of my experience, several things about the fruit of kindness as you continue to live the spirit filled life, remember the following number one. One of the most helpful ways to cultivate kindness is by putting yourself in another person's place is not easy is not is because you don't try just to forget, we often forget. I have to confess to publicly in dealing with our children. It was very easy for me to forget what it was like for me to be a teenager and is so easy to forget rigidity and lack of sympathy is always the result of forgetting forgetting our own shortcomings, forgetting our own past needs forgetting our own failures forgetting our own weaknesses.

Forgetting the fact that it is because of the kindness of others. We are where we are unlike the upper 50s of the third epistle of John. John was talking about how kind the congregation is what this one was so slow about himself.

He is so selfish he was so self-centered that he would have nothing to do with the others and he refused to be in fellowship with the others. The second thing I want to tell you about kindness is this. Though some Christians who show kindness to others.

And yet there are incapable of showing kindness to themselves. They manifest kindness to others and yet they are unmercifully hard on themselves.

They let their past failure. They let their past sins control the life and control the future. I wanted to imagine just for a moment of the apostle Paul allowed the thought of them standing there holding the close of Stephen as he was stoned to death if he allowed himself to constantly be filled in his mind with the times when he was persecuting the church of Jesus Christ.

I wanted to think about this if he filled his mind with these thoughts. He could never accomplish for God will hear the call and that is why he said I make it a practice in my life to forget what's behind the forget was back there and straightforward toward the goal the glory of Christ Jesus. Some Christians know and believe that they have been forgiven by God, but they have a hard time forgiving themselves and the devil uses this to constantly pull them back and build a stronghold in their lives. Although I must admit. Somehow in the past 20 years. I'm I'm finding these folks are becoming extinct. As society is constantly squeezing us the other way of selfishness and self-centeredness. The third thing I want to tell you about the fruit of kindness is this is about the ability to receive kindness, although the Lord has shown me some years earlier that this is nothing but pride, pure and simple. I have a hard time receiving and accepting kindness. I have a hard time with it.

Just believe me, I struggle with it and I remember a dear friend of mine in the mentor years ago said to me, he said, do you realize that you are depriving people of the joy of showing kindness to you when you constantly refuse it.

It took a long time for that.

The singular is still sinking in. The fourth thing I want to tell you about the fruit of kindness is this, it will not grow in your life if you keep on having an imaginary war in your head what I mean by that you keep an imaginary war going on in your head when you muse over at this agreement with your spouse at this agreement with a friend at this agreement with a fellow worker and what you do you build this so big in your head that it becomes only real in your head that outside of your head during the summer.

I'm saying even if you don't agree the imaginary war is by giving harbor in your mind to measure his thoughts in your mind alone and becomes worse in your head than in reality. And it keeps you from exercising and growing the fruit of kindness in the study something else about it. It will keep on getting worse, until eventually the possibility of contacts toward anybody. Your motto will become do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you. This is a true story of a man who was going on the farm road and had a flat tire looked in his truck didn't have a Jack is a boy, I need a Jack, so he looked over there and in the distance he saw a farmhouse and he said I'll go over there as the farmer to limit his Jack but on his way over there as he was walking he began to build one of those wars, the imaginary war in his head. What about if he gets mad at me for inconveniencing and what about if he attacks me that if he comes up with a shotgun and he wants to shoot me.

I cannot defend myself and in what is and what if and what if, and he kept going and he build this incredible war scenario in his head until he got to the door and he knocked on the door and the man opened the door he said I don't want your stupid Jack. The last thing that I want to tell you about human kindness is that it grows as you exercise as you begin to show kindness you will find yourself empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to exercise more kindness and more often until it becomes part of you. A distinguished judge said the following words he said I have seen hundreds of juveniles offenders with their parents come into my courtroom hundreds. She had never once once of all these years. Never once have I seen one parent touched the youngster put his arm around his shoulders or show physical sign of affection, not one that I could not help when I heard this the contrast this with the father and the piratical story in Luke chapter 15 the Bible says the father of the piratical fell on his sons neck and kissed beloved friends in the world of selfishness in the world when selfishness is looked upon as a virtue in a world where selfishness noxious weed is trying to choke off kindness. The Bible tells us that those who belong to Jesus Christ the elect of God, the church of Jesus Christ. Those who live the spirit filled life are two daily daily grow the fruit of kindness are you sure we pray spirit of God has spoken to you somebody that you need to show kindness to somebody who's done great things for you and you took it for granted and maybe even God himself. You took him for granted his goodness, his mercy and his grace and his love is provision between you and God.

I need to show kindness I need to make that phone call and until somebody. I am grateful for you.

I thank God for you. Your giant of my life and begin today and every coming day.

Learn what it is to empty yourself and fill your life with the spirit of God. God is longing to use his believers, his children in this fallen world that is becoming more and more hostile toward Christ, but he can't use us if we are imitators of this world from living the way they do and constantly selfishly wanting more similar. I want to be used only be filled with the spirit move upon me today and he will of God is such a gracious God, your incredibly kind God, your kindness is beyond description. You made the sunshine this morning. Let the grass grow old God have done things are so with XO for granted that we don't even comprehend. Oh God. You permitted us to hear your word and hear your voice. All God your kind God, your kindness is beyond description.

And we rejoice in your kindness this morning. Lord, we praise you for your kindness. I go in the Lord, we pray that you will fill us with the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of kindness that we will be able to be used in a mighty way and a true way, husbands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, all God would provide that the kindness kindness between believers kindness between brothers and sisters in Christ, kindness, even to those who are leading themselves to be the enemy of pray this in Jesus. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.

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