Monday, March 18, 2019

“Christos and Chrestos”

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Christos and Chrestos"

   "Charity (love)… is kind" (I Corinthians 13:4).

   The New Testament Greek root word for "kind" is "chrestos," meaning "fit or able to be used."  This might seem surprising upon first consideration as it may not seem to correlate to our definition of the characteristic.  Further contemplation, however, reveals that "chrestos" is the perfect term for God's kindness and our own experience of His calling to "be ye kind (chrestos) to one another" (Ephesians 4:32).

   It has been said that "the greatest ability is availability."  This is chrestos, or kindness.  Indeed, a kind person is someone with the willingness and ability to be what others need.  The matter first involves attitude toward God, namely, we present ourselves as available to our Lord for His glory and will.  This leads to the corollary consecration of devotion to people.  The Lord Jesus Christ serves as the primary and perfect example of such devotion.

   "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me" (John 5:30).
   "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

    We might say, "Christos (the Greek for "Christ") was and is chrestos."  He was willingly available for the Father to send Him to be our Savior.  He is willingly available to be that Savior to all who believe.  And He is willingly available to lead and guide believers by the Holy Spirit who reveals "Christos" and "chrestos" in us as we devote ourselves to God and others.  The kindness of availability that so glorifies God and blesses people through us begins by our knowledge of the Lord Jesus as the very essence of such kindly goodness.  We then submit ourselves to Him for His character of devotion to be manifested in us.  "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (Ephesians 5:2).

   The prophet Isaiah responded to the Lord's search for someone to serve as the herald of His Word to wayward Israel.  "Here am I.  Send me" said Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8).  This is kindness.  This is chrestos.  This is Christ, the holy One willing to be sent not only as a messenger, but as "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).  The Lamb now lives in trusting hearts as the very Life of our lives (Colossians 3:4).  As we trust and devote ourselves to Him, we will walk with the prophet's attitude - "Here am I.  Send me" - or rather, with the kindness, the chrestos of the Christ who seeks His Father's will and the blessing of others.

Here am I, send me, Lord,
for the glory of Your name
and the needs of others.

Here am I, send me, Lord,
in the kindness of the Christ
for my sisters and my brothers.

Here am I, send me, Lord, 
to a lost and dying world
without life, peace, or hope.

For I hear Your call, "Who shall go?"
and go I must, this I know.
Here am I, send me, Lord. 

"For Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes.  I have walked in Thy truth."
(Psalm 26:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
   How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, o Lord!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings."
(Psalm 36:7)


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