Goodness: A Fruit of the Holy Spirit

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Goodness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Goodness is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being good or the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.”

The only perfect example of goodness we have as believers is the goodness of God. In Psalms 145:8-9 it tells us that, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

God has compassion on all He has made and “all” He has made includes you and I. We are not healed by chance or even because we ask.  We are healed, delivered from strongholds and saved because God is good and His mercy endures forever. God’s plan and thoughts concerning us are good according to Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”

Today I want to examine how we can display God’s goodness in our daily life.

Jesus, gave us two commandments to observe, which can be found in Luke 10:27:

So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

These two commandments serve as our guide in our daily life. Even if someone treats us badly, we are called to love them. The Bible says in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

This a sure way to defeat your enemies.  Jesus says in John 13:15, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul, tells the Church in Corinth to, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Essentially he tells them to follow his example, as he follows the example of Christ.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

Let us imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because we are His dear children.

In Our Weakness, God Is Strong

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splinter2Have you ever stepped on a sharp object, pin, splinter or a twig in the grass sharpened by ants?

We can all imagine how painful these experiences could be.  Initially the injury is very painful, but after a while you get used to the pain, if the piercing object has not been fully removed. Did you know that we can get use to living with foreign object piercing in our bodies?  The object only becomes bothersome when it’s touched, so we avoid touching or trying to remove it.

This is the same way it feels when we have sin in our lives. The first time we commit sin it feels bad, it hurts. IF WE DON’T REPENT and get that sin out of our lives, it grows. The next time we don’t feel so remorseful. If a thorn is not removed it starts to infect the entire living cell around it and the whole body could become infected, eventually leading to physical death.

Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV), about the thorn in his flesh

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul talks about pleading with the Lord to take it away the “thorn”, but the Lord did not take it away from him. Verse 9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

The very thing that we think is our weakness, is the very thing the Lord wants to use to bless us. It is what God uses to set us a part and truly strengthen us through His power.  However, we must surrender our “thorns” to God first.

A “thorn in your flesh”, in your life, attitude, relationship, or in some other form, is meant to make you weak eventually, and ultimately destroy you.

A “thorn in the flesh” is said to be a messenger of Satan which is sent for evil, but God can and will by His power turn it to good, if we surrendered to Him.  When we surrender things to God, it shows our dependence on Him.  We are then saying that we need help and that we don’t have all the answers.  In our own strength we are unable to overcome issues such as pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, jealousy, anger and the like.

The Lord is our victor! When we are weak, He is strong for us! Our weakness draws us near to God and our strength tends to drive us away from Him. This distance from God gives the enemy an opportunity to operate in our lives and use our weaknesses to harm us and others.

God will provide protection to His children according to John 17:15, My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one”.

Lay everything down today which prevents the fullness of God to be reflected in your life.

God bless