He [has shown] the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:7

Sometimes we use the words kind and nice interchangeably. For many of us, the word nice simply means that something is pleasant. But in the Bible the Greek word chrestotes, translated as “kindness,” goes deeper. It refers to making ourselves useful or beneficial to ­others, and sometimes that is not pleasant.

In Ephesians 2 we read some amazing things about the grace of God. By God’s grace we receive the free gift of salvation from our sins. The gift is free, and yet we sometimes forget that it changes us. Grace gets results. Grace is useful, beneficial, kind.

Grace is useful because it changes us. It lifts us up. It seats us on a heavenly throne with Christ Jesus—we become minor rulers serving the King of kings! But don’t forget that kings have responsibilities. Our royal responsibilities include showing the grace of God to everyone, everywhere. We do that by living out the good works that the King of kings has prepared for us to do. And when we do those good works, we become useful (kind) to the world, which in turn can better understand the grace of God expressed through the kindness of Christ Jesus to us.

Lord Jesus, what you did on the cross was so kind. It wasn’t pleasant, but nothing has ever been more useful to us. Help us to do the good works we are called to do, and to be kind (useful) to the world as well. Amen.

Bible References

Ephesians 2

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

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