Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Goodness

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: 
Galatians 5:22/Matthew 5:13/Matthew 3:10/Romans 3:12/James 2:10 (NASB)

We’ve talked about the first five fruit of the Spirit and how important it is for Christ’s love to fuel our joy, peace, patience, and kindness. Goodness is the next on the list.

We like to think that we are good at heart. We like to believe that good is in everyone. The Bible doesn’t hold that to be true. In ourselves, there is nothing good. 

Many people want to believe that there is good in every person, but we’re told in James 2:10 (NASB) that if you have broken even one of the Ten Commandments it is as if you have broken them all. Which of us can say we are without even one sin we have committed in our lives? Romans 3:23 (NASB) says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” If we do say we’ve never committed a sin, we just lied!

Where does any good come from, then? As with all good things, it can only be through the Spirit doing the work.

There are several different definitions for the word “good” in the Scriptures, based on the word used in the original language. In Matthew 5:13 (NASB), we see good is directly translated to mean, “to be strong, have power”. In Matthew 3:10 (NASB), good means, “beautiful, good”. And, in Romans 3:12 (NASB), we see it as, “goodness, excellence, uprightness” when Paul quotes, “…there is none who does good, there is not even one”. We read the word in the Bible and believe we know what it entails. But, having seen so many different ways to translate the word, do we really?

In Galatians 5:22 (NASB), it means “good”. The rich young ruler calls Christ, “Good Teacher,” to which Christ replies that only ONE is good. The same original word is used in Galatians. God is the definition of good. How does that get impacted by Paul’s statement that none are good, and yet we are filled with goodness when the fruit of the Spirit are being manifested in us? Only through the work of the Spirit in us and through us.

We rely too much on our own “goodness” rather than the empowered, and true, good, which is from the Holy Spirit. Our good will burns up as chaff, because it came from the flesh. Anything from the Spirit will be eternal, powerful, and have a ripple effect we may never even see.

The Spirit may, or may not, ask you to give to someone in need. It may be a work He is doing in that person through the trial that you will hinder if you step in. I’ve had that happen! He may, or may not, ask you to speak up when a friend is doing what you know to be against God in their lives as believers. He may tell you to stop associating with someone for a time while they are turning from Him. All of these are GOOD, if we are willing to allow God to be GOOD.

We don’t see the whole picture in our own lives, let alone in those of others around us. We think we know what God is up to, but we can’t even fathom all the levels He’s working on in any one situation. We must rely on Him as good if we are to trust Him with each of our steps. That is a work of the Spirit, alone, testifying in us about Who He is and who He is making us to be. Good, as God is good, is not the lowest form of “good, better, best” as we tend to look at things. It is best because it is the very definition of God. He is working to make us that way, too. Will you let Him?

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Daddy, we have such warped ideas of what is good. Show us the depths of good in You, from the trials to the blessings, and the trials, which You remind us, are blessings. We need to see Your goodness working through us on this dark world, but in ourselves just as much. We love You. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth. 

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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