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The Spirit-Fruit Goodness

Our Supply in GodI’m taking a few extra posts to look at the Fruit of the Spirit.  The next one to see is goodness.  As with the others, goodness is not merely about being good.

Just to remind you, all of these fruits are the result of cultivating our spiritual walk.  It’s time spent with the Holy Spirit that causes these to grow in us.

We can’t just go by society’s definition of the word.  What’s important is how God defines it and uses it in Scripture.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…
Colossians 1:10

In this verse, Paul talks about bearing the fruit of goodness.  But what we find is that he prayed for something that needed to happen first.  What was required for the Colossian people to walk in goodness?

Paul tells us in the previous verse.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9

In order to walk in the fruit of goodness, you must lay hold of the knowledge of God’s will for you.  That will never come through your own human intelligence.  You must tap into the wisdom and understanding that only come through the Spirit.

In other words, if you’re not hearing from God, then there’s no way you can do good – at least by the Lord’s definition.  To God, doing good is doing His will.

Jesus described this very thing in one of His parables.  At one point He described the Word of God as the seed planted in many different types of soil.  The seed in good soil flourished and produced an abundant harvest.

Listen to how Jesus explained this parable to His disciples.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Luke 8:15

According to Christ, there are three distinct activities that are a part of a good heart – a life that consistently produces goodness.  The first is the most important, and that is to hear the Word of God.  If you’re not hearing the Word, then you can never go on to produce the fruit.

The second part is just as important.  Once heard, you must retain it.  That literally means that you hold fast to it, you lock it down into your heart.  This means that you meditate on it.  You rehearse it and think about it until it becomes second nature to you.

The third thing that has to happen is that you continue holding fast to that Word.  This requires perseverance.  Day after day; month after month; even when it doesn’t look like anything is happening in the natural.

Then, as we remain in the Word of God, that change begins to take place and we receive an abundant harvest.  The Greek phrase for producing a crop is that we become fruit-bearing.

I don’t know how anyone who reads these verses can say that to bear the Fruit of the Spirit you just need will-power.  That won’t get you anywhere.  The fruit can only be produced by the Holy Spirit working in you.

Do you want to produce what the Father describes as good works?  Then spend time in the presence of the Lord with a listening heart, then guard that word, and allow the Spirit to bring them forth in you.

Question: What was a recent time that you saw God’s goodness operating through you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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Getting Help

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Most of us like to be helped.  When facing a difficult challenge, even a word of encouragement can go a long way.

If you are like most people, then you have relied upon help at one time or another.  Scripture teaches us that part of showing gratefulness is taking the blessing you received and passing it on to someone else.  It can be anything – a kind word, food, a ride, or a helping hand carrying things.  If it is done in obedience to God’s Word, it’s powerful and life changing.

What we need to start realizing is that even though all these good things came through the people around us, God originated them.  All the blessings that we receive come from the Lord’s hand.  It’s in thankfulness to Him that we are willing to pass a blessing on to someone else.

Look for an opportunity, today, to be a blessing to someone.  Do something unexpected.  Take the good things you have received from God and pass them on to someone around you.  The Lord will see to it that some day, in some way, you will be rewarded for your act of gratefulness to Him.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Transformation

Isaiah 55:12-13
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”

We have the power to transform our world.  It would be an amazing thing if we could see this verse happening as we going about our daily tasks.

I have mentioned that I enjoy hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  There is a portion of this trail in Pennsylvania that traverses a barren, polluted wasteland.  It became that way because of the carelessness of man’s industry.  Nothing grows there, and you cannot drink the water.  You just want to get through it as quickly as possible.  It is an ugly scar on the earth.

What a joy it would be to see it blossom with new life before our very eyes.  Unfortunately, the literal fulfillment of this verse will have to wait for the coming of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on earth.

The good news is that there is another way to bring this verse to life.  We can fulfill this every day in the area of our attitude.  That is what makes all the difference in our outlook. It can change our whole view of the world around us.

If we are always looking for problems, disappointments, and sorrows, we will see plenty of them in this world.  But, on the other hand, if we are looking to see God’s Spirit at work, opportunities for ministry and things to praise God for – this attitude will transform our world.  We will see it change from thorn bushes and roadblocks to myrtle trees and singing mountains.

Transform your world today.  Renew your attitude in the presence of the Lord.  Let Him realign your focus so that you see His goodness and grace, instead of your problems.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Reflecting God’s Glory

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In this verse, Paul is referring to Moses.  When he was leading the children of Israel through the desert, they stopped for a while at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  Moses went up to meet with God.  At one point, upon his return, the people couldn’t look at his face because it shone like the sun.

The glory of God was reflecting off his face.  Moses had to wear a veil until things were back to normal.  He had an incredible encounter with God, but it eventually faded back to the way it was.

Understand this, the Lord has greater plans for us.  The Holy Spirit is working in us to make us like Christ.  Each day we are becoming more and more like Him.  This is the glory of God in us.

This glory that God is clothing us with is different than that of Moses.  First of all, it doesn’t fade.  It is a glory that is always on the increase.  My prayer in the presence of the Lord is that throughout my life people will see more of Jesus and less of me.

Another aspect of this glory is that we reflect it with unveiled faces.  It is not a glory that frightens others and pushes them away.  It is the warmth of love and freedom that draws men and women to the cross.

Spend some time in the presence of this glory.  Let it continue to do its transforming work in you.  Make it your goal to reflect more of His beauty.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Food for the Traveler

Mark 2:23
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.

On one of His journeys, the Lord and His disciples passed through a field of grain.  As they went through they began to pick and eat some of the heads of wheat.  This was something the Law of Moses allowed so that a traveler could have something to eat along the way.

This reminds me of a time when I was hiking a trail up Mt. Everett in southwestern Massachusetts.  As I neared the top I suddenly came into a stand of high bush blueberries.  Each bush was overflowing with ripe fruit.  Without even bending over I was able to grab a handful at a time and pop them into my mouth.  What a great snack God had provided!

God always desires to refresh the weary traveler.  He provides a bounty in the wilderness.  This is especially true along the path of life.  God wants to keep your spirit fresh and vibrant.

Our job is to keep our eyes open and to look for these times of refreshing.  They could happen anywhere and at any time.

Spend a few moments right now thanking God for His abundant provision.  Give Him praise for the times of encouragement you have received in the past.  Ask Him to give you a sensitive spirit so that you can recognize the signs of His presence all around you as you continue your journey.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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A Table in the Desert

Psalm 78:19
They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the desert?

Once again we find that Israel is complaining.  They seemed to have spent most of their time angry and grumbling at God.  Usually they didn’t even give God the opportunity to prove Himself before they went off on their own tirade.

In this instance they didn’t think that He was capable of feeding them all in the wilderness.  They were complaining over what they saw as a short supply of food.  God, however, once again proved that He was more than able to abundantly supply their needs.

Hopefully you have enough food as you read this.  The truth is that our life is more than just being well fed physically. There is a deeper hunger that natural food, no matter how plentiful, cannot ever satisfy.

The issue I want to deal with today is not food for our body, but food for the soul.  As with your body, God is equally able to feed your spiritual man.  As we come into His presence each new day we can have a rich feast awaiting our soul.  God has already provided everything we need for life and godliness.  It is up to us to believe God and pull up to the table.

Spend some quality time with the Lord today.  Let Him satisfy your inner hunger.  Go your way rejoicing in the goodness and bounty of the Holy Spirit working in you.  Find out for yourself that God can truly spread a table in the wilderness.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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