Monday, April 20, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit -- Goodness

Chuckle: "To those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on "Southernness" as a second language!"
Quote: “The monument of a great man (person) is not of granite or marble or bronze. It consists of his goodness, his deeds, his love, and his compassion.” --Alfred Armand Montapert
    "Let us not become weary in doing good. . ." (Galatians 6:9 NIV). "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:16,22-23 NIV).
The Greek word translated "goodness" in our passage is rarely used in the New Testament. It appears only four times, all in Paul's writings (see Romans 15:14; Galatians 5:23; Ephesians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:11). The term communicates the idea of showing generosity and benevolence toward others. Each of us has an understanding of what "good" means. So, I suppose this fruit of the Spirit is simply being good to people. In His Meditations, Marcus Aurelius says, “waste no more time arguing what a good man should be; (just) be one.”  (Parentheses mine).
Scripture affirms that God alone is truly good (Psalm 14:1,3; Mark 10:18). God expects us as His children, however, to demonstrate goodness as a characteristic produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit. Displaying such goodness or doing what is right results from a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ and touches the lives of non-Christians.
Doing what is right is another way of saying "practicing goodness." Goodness and righteousness are closely related and both have a moral quality about them. The Bible teaches us that goodness -- the quality that moves us to do what is right comes from a personal relationship with God through faith in Christ. In that relationship, believers desire to please God and become as much like Christ in character as possible.
How can I do what is right? What steps do I need to take to develop the quality of goodness? If you have pondered these questions, you might benefit by reflecting on this truth: Goodness, and other fruit of the Spirit, results from a close love relationship with God. Jesus said, "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5b NIV). It is in the power of the Holy Spirit that we bear fruit of the Spirit, including goodness.
“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” --Henry David Thoreau
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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