Athanasius of Alexandria: Receive God’s kindness

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He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:11-13

“This is God’s kindness to man, that of whom He is Maker, of them according to grace He afterwards becomes Father also; becomes, that is, when men, His creatures, receive into their hearts, as the Apostle says, ‘the Spirit of His Son, crying, Abba, Father.’ And these are they who, having received the Word, gained power from Him to become sons of God; for they could not become sons, being by nature creatures, otherwise then by receiving the Spirit of the natural and true Son.”

Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296-373) in Discourse II, Chapter XXI, 59, in Athanasius: Selected Works and Letters (Grand Rapids: CCEL) 691.

Athanasius is the last of the four doctors of the Eastern Church we will explore on the intersection of kindness and generosity.

Athanasius started his ministry career under fire from Roman Emperors and lived during days when the deity of Christ was under attack by Arius.

He was known for getting the title, Athanasius Contra Mundum, which translated from the Latin means “Athanasius against the world.”

What does this have to do with generosity and kindness? Think about it. When we are embattled, we can tend to forget what true kindness is. Not so for Athanasius!

God’s kindness has been revealed in Jesus. God made us and invites us to become children of God. To do so, people must receive God’s kindness.

Generosity starts with receiving God’s kindness. The greatest gift we can receive and share is Jesus. Have you received Jesus? Do you share Him with others?

Today, Jenni and I flew from Sydney to Adelaide. We speak at Rostrevor Baptist Church tomorrow giving a message in their “Everyone Has Influence” series.

I will preach on “The Secret to Having Greater Influence” from Luke 19:11-27. Anyone who wants to have greater influence must steward faithfully all God supplies.

What are you doing with the gifts, goods, and gospel entrusted to you? It starts with receiving God’s kindness but must not stop there!

As part of the message, Jenni will share our family story of learning to obey, let go, and trust God. Stay tuned for the link to the message after it is online.