Lord our God, from who great promises are given for all people, we gather in your presence. We rejoice before you, for your promise is sure and your works will be revealed to the glory of your name. Grant us steadfast faith in the grace of Jesus Christ. Grant us faith to hold firm, and in spite of all evil to trust that you are ruling and will set everything right. Lord our God, our Father, we cry to you. As the deer pants for refreshing water, so in our time our souls cry out to you, “Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Amen.
I will display goodness to others.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12:9-10 NLT
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Bible Reading: Romans 15:13-14
I am fully convinced, dear friends, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well that you are able to teach others all about them. Romans 15:14
EVERY SCHOOL HAS ONE.
You know, the teacher’s pet, the guy or the girl who never gets into trouble. The kid who likes cleaning chalkboards and erasers. The kid who volunteers for stuff. The one who walks the first grader who fell on the playground to the nurse’s office. The one who actually defends Old Man McCracken when the other kids start calling him names and talking about how mean he is. The one who shares his lunch with the hamster in the science room.
When this kid gets to high school, he or she might be on the yearbook staff or student council or the prom committee. This kid actually seems to like school! Does extra-credit work. Visits his or her grade-school teachers. Seems willing to do anything for anybody. Seems to be happy-all the time. The kind of kid who makes you want to throw up!
These kids usually get branded with names like “goody-goody,” “goody two-shoes” (where’d that come from?), “teacher’s pet,” or “brownnoser.” And although it’s true that some kids do all that stuff just to try to earn points with teachers or other people, goodness is a good thing, not a bad thing. Goodness-whether it’s sharing your lunch with a hamster or being nice to teachers-is a godly virtue, one of the fruits of the Spirit.
That’s what the apostle Paul said of the Christians who lived in Rome. He praised them for being full of goodness. If they saw a chariot on the side of the road with a flat tire, they stopped to help. If they heard that a neighbor lost her job at the toga factory, they dropped by with a bag of groceries. They even had a cheerful word for those annoying camera-toting tourists from Crete! They had a positive attitude and took every opportunity to help others.
Of course, that kind of attitude doesn’t come naturally for most people. It’s easier for some people to act that way than it is for others. But it should be true of you, if you’re a Christian, because goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, who lives in every Christian’s heart.
REFLECT: Do you know anyone who is “full of goodness,” as Paul said the Roman Christians were? What can you learn about goodness from them? Like any fruit, goodness needs certain things (like water, soil, and sun) to grow. What can you do to cultivate the growth of goodness in your heart and life?
PRAY: If you’re honest, you may want to tell God what Paul said in Romans 7:19. “When I want to do good, I don’t.” But you can also be glad with Paul, who knew the answer to the dilemma: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (verse 25).
© 2016 Josh McDowell Ministry. All rights reserved. No part of these Materials may be changed in any way or reproduced in any form without written permission from Josh McDowell Ministry, 2001 West Plano Parkway, Suite 2400, Plano, TX 75075. www.Josh.org.+1 972 907 1000. Used by Permission
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