by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us (Titus 3:4–5).
In the language of the Bible, kindness is much more than a social virtue. It is an essential part of the knowledge of Christ. If you know him, you know kindness. Kindness is evidence of our conversion.
God's salvation-bringing act, the coming of Christ, is here called the appearance of God's kindness and love for people (philanthropy).
By nature people are selfish and hateful, slaves to passion and pleasure. But God did a new thing among us. He revealed kindness and love. God did not show kindness to one or two who were different from the rest. But he saved us "because of his mercy" (v. 5), because he is kind.
Now we are forgiven by grace, baptized into Christ, and renewed by the Spirit. We have a claim on the future world. This whole chain of blessed happenings was set off by the kindness of God.
God's deeds have made many differences in our lives: we belong to the church, we support and promote the spread of the gospel, we read the Bible, and we distribute literature. Yet all of these things also can be done by someone who is not yet converted to the kindness of God.
God has saved us to show kindness, his own kindness. We must begin at home and extend it to all.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version