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.

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