Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FOR GOODNESS SAKE

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)
BEING GOOD ALL THE TIME IS TIRING! Truthfully, it’s not always that productive either. You try to be good, do the right thing, say the right thing and no matter how hard you try to be good, some people just will not accept it. For goodness sake, what do these people want?

Over the past few weeks we have been plucking the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and this week we grasp at the fruit of, yes, that’s correct, goodness.

I think the reason that being good is so difficult for us is that it goes against our very nature. Now, I know some will disagree with me, but I think man (and that includes woman, too) has a basic tendency toward badness.  Let’s call it the old sin nature. Sure, we have our moments where goodness wins out, but as the Good Book says, “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness upon the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined as consistently and totally evil.” (Genesis 6:5)  And we have had lots of years to perfect evil to an art form.

But, here is the good news concerning goodness, we can choose to act good. We do not have to settle for being bad, we can take the steps to respond by the very strength that the Holy Spirit supplies.  It’s not by mistake that these fruit are called the fruit of the Spirit, they belong to God, and when we choose to submit our will to His then His fruit can be developed within us.

Therefore, let us submit our will to His today. Let us respond to the admonition of Scripture that declares, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belongs to the family of believers.”  (Galatians 5:9-10)


I guess goodness begins at home.
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Sunday, February 09, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDESS

I SAY DOWN WITH RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS! I say up with purposefully planned gracious acts of loving kindness! 

Over the past few weeks we have been walking through Galatians 5:22-23. Our journey through the Fruit of the Spirit has included such things as love, joy, peace and patience. Today we focus upon kindness. Kindness is a fruit that demands action. Whereas I can say I love someone on the other side of the planet without be involved in their lives, when it comes to being kind it must be proven forth by action.

The action may come in the form of words of encouragement, or in giving up a seat on a crowded bus. It may be exhibited by washing the dishes or sitting silently next to a grieving friend. It can be expressed through the giving of an unexpected gift or a much needed hug and kiss. Kindness very rarely happens through the silence of doing nothing. Kindness is love in action.

Kindness is what is given even when it has not been earned. When it comes to God’s kindness, it is not without design that the word loving is often attached to it.  I want to encourage you to show loving kindness to everyone you meet this week. A big task? Sure, but consider the kindness that was shown to us when we deserved it the least.

At one time we were foolish and disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kids of passions and pleasures. . . . But when the kindness and love of God, our Savior appeared He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. (Titus 3:3-5)

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Monday, February 03, 2014

A PATIENT PATIENT

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...
A patient having his blood pressure taken by a physician. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I GUESS YOU COULD CONSIDER THIS A RANT, so please forgive any pain or discomfort I may cause, in other words, please be patient with me. Being patient, that’s the issue! (And our next Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22) Why is it that when I show up on time (if not even early) for a scheduled doctor’s appointment I have to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour after my scheduled appointment time? But, if I am but five minutes late to check-in I am glared at and questioned regarding my inability to be on time? Go figure!

I suppose the lesson for me is to become a patient patient. I need to learn to be on time, wait my turn, and know that hopefully soon I will hear my name called, followed by those long-awaited words, “The doctor will see you now.” I know that the doctor is busy, and he has other patients that he is seeking to care for, I just need to be patient.

This lesson from the doctor’s office plays well in my mind when I think about my relationship with the Great Physician of our souls.  I come running in with some new ailment I need the Lord to fix and it seems from my vantage point that I need to sign-in, sit down and be patient. Honestly, I don’t like those days.


What I have come to discover though is that the very act of being patient before the Lord develops within me the patience that the Lord desires for me to possess. Patience, like so many of the other virtues, only comes through development. Patience comes as we learn to be the patient patient. This fruit of the Spirit does not bud, bloom, and produce a delectable fruit overnight, but when we patiently allow it to develop it brings forth the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11) A fruit that is pleasing to the Lord, and that makes it all worth the wait.
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