Goodness gracious, indeed! We've entered the 12 Days of Christmas!
So before we count down to five golden rings and a partridge in a pear tree, let's talk about another fruit - a fruit of the spirit: Goodness.
"You are a chosen people... you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9
For anyone who's ever described someone as having a "good heart", you know what we're talking about. God calls each one of us to have a good heart.
But how do we demonstrate goodness?
"How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world."
God 'stores up' goodness for those who fear Him. Fear of God is a form of respect. As a loving Father, God wants a relationship with us. And as a good Father, He commands respect. He disciplines us when necessary to protect us from harm. While we should not be in fear of punishment, we must show healthy respect for His authority and power.
To cultivate goodness in our lives, we must fear God.
"I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness."
God is good. He wants only goodness for us - His beloved children. In His word, He tells us how to live good lives. The ten commandments in Exodus 20 condenses God's laws into easy-to-understand rules for living.
To emanate goodness from our hearts, we must obey God and His commandments.
"I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them."
Following God's commandments with proper respect sets an example so we can teach others the Lord's ways.
To initiate goodness for others, we must teach others God's ways.
"Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness."
Worshipping God through word and song proclaims His righteousness to the world and praises HIm with joy and thanksgiving.
To elevate goodness to God, we must worship Him and sing for joy.
These four ways of living: fearing God, obeying, teaching and singing for joy radiate goodness in our lives so that we too will be described as having a "good heart".
What joy a good heart brings to God, our families, our friends, and ourselves this Christmas, this new year, and always!
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23
May we all be filled with goodness this Christmas as we celebrate our Savior's birth.
How would you like to radiate GOODNESS this Christmas?
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