Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Fruit of The Spirit - Goodness

From the very beginning of the Bible, God introduces us to what Goodness is.

In Genesis we see when God had finished creation – And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. -Genesis 1:31

With all of the Fruits of the Spirit, they are glimpses of the Character of God. And they are characteristics that we through the Help of The Holy Spirit will also prayerfully reflect. 

Goodness is no exception to this as Goodness is also one of the many direct reflections of the character of God. 

When we consider all of The Fruit, you can also think of Fruit as the beneficial results of the work of The Spirit in your life for God’s Glory as well as for the benefit of yourself and others.

Kindness and Goodness go hand-in-hand and are very similar in the Fruit that they produce in and through us.

The Definition of Goodness:

The Greek word Agathosune defines goodness as uprightness of your heart and life. It's for the benefit of others or acting selflessly on behalf of others.

In a very practical sense you can think of it as a desire to be a blessing.

Examples of Goodness:

God’s Goodness:

Read Psalm 136:1, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, James 1:17, John 3:16-17, Galatians 5:22-23 and Romans 5:7-8

He is showed His goodness through making a way of salvation for you through His Son Jesus Christ. He sent Jesus to do for you and I even when we were still sinners and His enemies! 

God is so good to you and I and He shows this time and time again through His unconditional and relentless love, His Character and His Word that never change. 

His love toward you never changes because He IS Good. 

He shows His goodness even through the giving of the gifts He equips you with for His Kingdom, Glory and the good of ourselves and others!

He shows His goodness as He's given you instruction from His Word for you to live life successfully for and with Him! 

He's also showed His goodness through creation itself. Just think about it: have you ever considered even where God placed the planets in the solar system as a display of God’s goodness and provision for us? 

No other planet has the atmosphere that the earth has in order to sustain life. And, He positioned the earth in relation to the sun and other planets so we would not burn up or freeze!

Our calling to do good:

What if I told you that you were actually created to do Good things?: 

Read Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 5:16, Proverbs 3:27 

You and I were created to do good work for God and we're literally supposed to shine for Him in what you do! We're also to do whatever we're can to show goodness to others.

Romans 3:9-14 says this: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;  no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

In the full context of the passage He’s talking about those who are in sin. So for you and I it’s a description of your life before Christ. Now you are a new creation and thanks to Christ you have the capacity to do good!

Roadblocks to Goodness: 

The evil one is our biggest roadblock to goodness as he wants to try to throw roadblocks in our way. He wants to try to steer you off course and tell you many things to distract you from doing What God's Word tells you to do! 

Let me speak clearly to you: Satan is a liar.

If you’re like many, when you do the opposite of good things, you think it somehow defines you but I’m here to tell you that it does not and the evil one tries to remind you of your flaws, failures, and sin. The thing he forgets is that God's grace, forgiveness and love are greater than any of these things! 

Yes, you need to own the wrong actions, attitudes and the sin you commit, but ultimately it does not define you but God does! Yes, there may be a time of discipline because even God disciplines those He loves, however, it doesn’t negate the good you’ve done and are capable of doing!

Don’t allow the bad things you may do paralyze you from seeking to do good!

Other potential roadblocks come in the form other's actions and opinions, as well as our own sin, thoughts, and inaction. 

Altars of Remembrance:

Sometimes you need to remember God’s Goodness as well as the goodness of others.

I think back to the Old Testament and often when God did something significant, the people were instructed to build an altar like a monument to serve as a reminder of what God had done so the generations following would be reminded of His goodness. In some cases it could have been kind of like a pile of rocks.

So, what if you did this as well? Whether it’s a rock, that turns into a pile of rocks, or a notebook where you can record the acts of God’s goodness in your life or maybe even the acts of kindness and goodness of others?

Let me encourage you to somehow catalog the good, kind and merciful acts you 

This can be something that brings glory to God and it will definitely lift you up on the hard and down days or the days you’re waiting to be delivered from the circumstances because you will remember the things He’s already done and maybe the things other people have done and by doing so be reminded that God will again in Goodness provide for your every need including delivering you according to His will from what you are going through. This will truly bless and encourage you.

How to Grow in Goodness:

We all know that acting in kindness and goodness isn't always easy, but, in the most practical sense, we must focus on doing Good regardless of how we feel at any given moment!  

Simply put: DO GOOD!

We need to also ask The Holy Spirit for help us grow in the Fruit of The Spirit of goodness!

You will grow in goodness as you seek to live it out! 

Furthermore, it's vital that you make sure your heart and mind match your actions so if there’s anything that you’re doing, whether a wrong attitude, habit or action, that’s hindering you from doing good, you need to try to remove it from your life.

You also need to make sure to share and celebrate God's goodness in your life as He is good and we you should celebrate victories and goodness in your life! 

In fact, again, I suggest you make it a regular practice to write down the good things God has done and the good things others have done.

Think about examples of goodness? What does goodness look like? 

Goodness might look like things such as: Lovingly confronting someone about their sin. Providing for the poor. Praying for, visiting and caring for the sick. Going on mission trips here and abroad. Not participating in "road rage". Not tearing someone down. Not stirring up meaningless debates online. How about praying for someone you don’t like too much or may even consider an enemy? How about not holding grudges? All these things and more are good things! 

You can also make "goodness goals" by writing down a list of the good things you can accomplish or have accomplished.

We need God's help to reflect His goodness. It's our responsibility our to actively take God's Word and live it out and we seek and serve Him with everything that is within us! 

May we live out our lives in and from His goodness and the other Fruit of The Spirit as He continues to shape, mold, and equip us as we strive to do His Kingdom work each day! 

May we also help others grow in Goodness too as we show goodness as we model and show goodness toward them and others! 

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

No comments:

Post a Comment