“Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18
There is an old scientific law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the idea that there is a consequence to every action that occurs.
In life there are many consequences to the actions that people do. Some are positive and some are negative. Some occur immediately, while others don’t occur until many years later.
Speeding down the road when there is a policeman there will result in a ticket immediately. Eating a poor diet will take years to show, but it is result in weight gain and health problems later in life.
God is beginning to punish Israel for their rebellion and sins against Him. He points out that it is their own actions that had brought this punishment upon them.
God is a patient God and full of mercy, however, there are consequences that He brings about or allows because of sin. There are many health problems that occur because of a sinful lifestyle. There is a loss of peace and joy because of sin in one’s life.
For the believer, God is always striving to call him away from sin. He may use the consequences of sin to get his attention and draw him back away from sin.
Most people do not like consequences to their actions, unless they are positive. Yet, God has placed negative consequences upon sin in the life of a person. The ultimate consequence is eternal death and separation from God.
This is not God causing the consequence, but the actions of the person. One’s own self brings upon him the problems of sin. This does not have to be, since a person can go to God for forgiveness and be changed into a new person. Living for God and rejecting sin brings about positive consequences.
Is there something missing in your life, such as joy, peace, love, God’s presence? Take a look at your life and how you are living.
What actions have you been allowing in your life? Are they God honoring actions, or actions of selfish sin?
Jesus is right there to help you turn from sin. He is willing to wipe the slate clean and forgive you, bringing about positive consequences. Do not give God a reason to strike you to get your attention, but live for Him in His ways.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that all of your actions will honor God; that you will know God’s peace, joy and love in your life; and that you will hear God’s direction for your life.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:7
Changing personal ways is something most people do not ever want to do. It is something that is difficult and can often be somewhat painful.
Most people like the way they are and don’t see a reason to change. This can even be true when the change is for the better in the long wrong. Humans want the benefit immediately, not after a long time and lots of work. They want the benefits now without the hard work.
Through Isaiah, God calls those who are wicked to change their ways and thoughts and turn to Him. God is willing to have mercy upon them and free them from all guilt.
There are people every where who claim to follow Jesus, yet their lifestyle and thoughts do not show it. In fact, many will just claim that is who they are and they cannot nor will change. They stay living in a sinful way or keep on with the sinful thoughts in their hearts.
Churches are filled with people claiming to be believers, but are not willing to change. God has set a standard of living that is above the ways and thoughts of mankind. It is a holy and righteous standard of living.
One cannot earn his salvation by living a righteous life and turning away from sin, because that price was paid for by Jesus. However, turning from sin and changing the thoughts is a love response for what Jesus has done. It is showing that one is truly grateful for the salvation that Jesus has provided. It shows a change to a new creation in Christ Jesus.
As a believer, you have been forgiven and saved by Jesus. Your sins have been removed. Now it is time to change your ways and not go back to those sins or sinful thoughts. He will pardon you from your sinful ways when you turn from them.
Allow God to change you into the new image of Jesus. Be willing to forsake and turn away from old sinful habits and thoughts. Allow the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out. Do not stay the same in the old sinful ways.
God is ready to have mercy upon you and freely pardon you. Let Him do so.
I pray today that you will know the forgiveness of Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to be your Savior; that you will turn from all sin towards God; that you will live your life as an image of Jesus; and that you will not abuse the mercy of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Thank you for continuing with me on this journey of looking at the fruit of the Spirit and how it applies to our lives. If you have missed any of the previous studies you may find them here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, and kindness.
Today I will be looking at the fruit of goodness. This is something that a lot of people may ask about…what is good? You may have asked yourself that at times. You may look at yourself and say you are not good and that there is nothing good in you. Yet, Paul tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness.
So now the question is what is this ‘goodness’? The interesting thing about this term is that in the Greek the word here used is only used in the Bible. It cannot be found in any other Greek manuscript at all.
Strong’s concordance makes its usage as: intrinsic goodness, especially as a personal quality, with the stress on the kindly (rather than the righteous) side of goodness.
Goodness, then is doing the right thing towards other people at all times. It is how one is towards others, regardless of how the other person acts or reacts. It is the actions and words that one does and says to another person.
The greatest example of goodness is found in God Himself. How is God good? Take a look at what He has done for you. You have sinned against Him, deserving only death and punishment. Yet, God does not strike you, but offers you forgiveness and life. He gives you good things, rather than bad.
As a believer you are to be like God–good. Your words and actions should show the goodness of God, rather than the hate and harshness of this fallen world.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3
David tells us that we are to trust God and do good. This shows that good is an action. In order to be able to really do good, you must trust God. Trust that He knows what is best. Trust that He is in control. Trust that as you do good, He will take care of you, regardless of what the other person is doing.
There will come days when you have to treat a person with good, who is only giving you garbage and treating you badly. There will be some people who are difficult to love and be good to. This is where trusting God comes in.
When it is difficult to be good towards another person, take a moment to think about how God has been good towards you.
This leads to the next verse:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
No one can deny that there is a lot of evil in this world. Even the world will admit to this. The world will even admit that there are some things that are evil and bad–murder, rape, destruction. Yet, the world lives in that evil and will even promote it as good in a twisted sort of way.
Being an individual in this world surrounded by millions who are not living for God, it can be easy for you to give in to that evil or repay back evil for evil. Some day someone, somewhere will do wrong towards you. Someone will treat you badly. You now have a choice as to how you will respond–with goodness or with evil.
Too often, even as Christians, we are quick to call down judgment or run to a judge for a judgment against someone, rather than turning the other cheek and loving the person. Turning the cheek and accepting being wronged is a sign of the goodness of God’s Spirit in you.
The world is quick to talk about a person being ‘good’ but there is a difference in being good for appearance sake and being good from the heart. When God’s Holy Spirit is inside of you, you will be living to be good because of Him being inside of you. You will not be trying to impress anyone or even God, it becomes who you are. Just as God is good and does not have to try to be good, we are to be the same.
Remember that to be a disciple of Jesus is to become like Him in every way. Jesus was good and so we are to be good. This can only be done by His Holy Spirit living in and through us.
Allow God’s Holy Spirit to dwell within you and change you. Starting with His love, then His joy, leading to His peace, to His forbearance, then to His kindness and on to His goodness. These are all the work of God’s Holy Spirit inside of you. It is the process of making you more into the image of Jesus everyday.
Please feel free to leave any comments, likes or to share this with anyone who can use it. Next week I will be continuing this study with looking at the fruit of the Spirit: faithfulness.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14
Judgment is something that very few people like, unless they are the one doing the judging. It implies that one can do something right or wrong and it is someone else that makes the choice as to whether it is right or wrong.
No one likes to be told that he is wrong. He wants to be able to do, say, and think what he wants, when he wants and how he wants with no judging by anyone else. Judgment is usually seen as being told he is wrong.
As Solomon finishes out this book, he reminds the people to fear God, because He will judge every deed done, whether seen or unseen. The judgment is to determine if the action done is good or evil.
While the world hates to be judged, there are many believers who do like not like the concept of being judged, though they judge all the time. Judgment against others, believers and non-believers occurs all the time, though no one wants to get judged himself.
Many will claim that they are free in Christ Jesus and cannot be judged. While there is truth in the freedom in Christ, it is a freedom to follow Christ and a freedom to turn from sin. It is not a freedom to do what one wants with no consequences.
When Christ returns there will be two judgments. One is whether one follows Jesus or not. This brings life or death. The other is judgment for believers as to what they had done with following Jesus. The more they have done, the greater the reward in heaven they will get. The less they have done, the lesser the reward.
As a believer and follower of Jesus, you have an obligation to obey Him. God will judge how well you have chosen to obey Him. Claiming to follow Jesus is one thing, but obeying Him is completely different. It is the proof of what your words are saying.
Do not allow freedom or grace to allow you to live in sin or refuse to obey God’s every command. Out of love for God and for what Jesus did for you, obey Him. Live in a way that when God stands before you to judge what you have done, He will find that you have obeyed Him and lived as Jesus lived.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus has for you; that you will obey God out of love for Him; that God will be able to judge you and find no wrong; and that God will be able to give you a great reward in heaven for your obedience to Him.