EVENTUALLY #5: Goodness
Minister: Rev. Olon M. Lindemood
June 30 and July 1, 2012
Galatians 5: 22-23
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Titus 3: 4-5
4But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, 5he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water* of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
The same Greek word is translated as both Goodness and Generosity… Goodness of God is generosity because God is choosing to share the finest of God.
Jesus (John 10:12) said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.
And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:18
Psalm 23 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
WE ASK “WHAT GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS?”
At a prayer meeting this past Wednesday, Bishop Elaine Stanovski said “the good news is that the bad news is not the last word.” That is the Christian Gospel hope!
What good can come from a week like this?
In a week of the Waldo Canyon fire there have been several stories that give witness to the need for our Christian lives to be part of our world! I have been struck with two extremes. One. Several homes looted and profaned! (So reminds me that there are the ways of the flesh that Paul refers to in Galatians 5:20 and 21) The family that had escaped fire, violated by vandals! It becomes difficult to think of any sort of mercy for such persons that did such things! And we ask again… What good can come from all this!?
Two. Four stories of Goodness are fixed in my memory: 1. A woman and her children are evacuated Tuesday evening. She is afraid and uncertain what to do. She is in the check out line at the grocery store to have snacks for her kids. The checker asks her about the fire … she says … We just were evacuated and don’t know what to do our where to go. I don’t have any family here. The next woman in line instantly said, “Come to my home! We have extra bedrooms for you and your family.” And the two families have been sharing life together from that moment on. Strangers became family in a moment. (Goodness)
- His big brother, a scout, took that as a challenge to help evacuated kids to have access to toys… and with the help of a radio stations started collecting toys for the kids involved. (goodness)
- Here at Sunrise, the phones started ringing. People wanting to offer their homes, offer food, offer money, offer help with whatever might be needed. Teri Alcorn and Pattie Smith have coordinated efforts to contact and track our members in the evacuation zones and confirm their whereabouts. Our prayer chain started instantly. Our vbs continued to meet to provide sanctuary for children and families looking for a way to cope. The children donated over a thousand dollars! (Goodness!)
- Overhearing a “Hot shot” firefighter: We don’t usually work so close to houses. The tragedy is not the burning of the houses, it is the legacy of life that each house had within it. We couldn’t save enough of those memories of life lived! ( that was a good man) (Goodness)
It was Wednesday, I had been to the prayer meeting downtown. As I drove onto Briargate Parkway on my way home… rain was all over my windshield… (God’s Goodness)
What good can come from all this? We ask … What good?
Jesus Christ makes for the Good … DON’T misunderstand, we are not working for our salvation by doing Good… But Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit offers the fruit of Goodness in the moments that require something “Good!”
Yes… We were frightened as the flames came over the ridge. We prayed … “I look to the hills… (I am afraid of the flames) From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”
Our Christian faith is grounded in Resurrection faith. The real truth of Resurrection faith is that from the ashes, God creates new beginnings!
In the end dear friends we return to the words of our faith:
- Bishop Elaine Stanovski: “The good news is that the bad news is not the last word!”
We know that all things work together for good* for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
- (Start with this one!) Matthew 25.21:His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
The fruit of the Spirit is not academic! It is not something to learn and train our selves… It is the activity of GOD… and GOD alone...
What Good can come from all of this? God rules our world… And God is good… All the time!
God is good. All the time. ALL THE TIME, God is good!
PREAMBLE TO THE EVENTUALLY SERMON SERIES
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians has helped us with an understanding living in the life of the Spirit!
This Summer we will be listening to the Lord’s high calling for knowing that the Fruit of a life of faith manifest is these forms:
- Goodness / Generosity
A significant part of the clarity of Paul is to understand that these fruits are in contrast to the Acts of Sinful Nature: Also in Galatians 5: 16ff
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy,* drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.