Plugged in with Doug
I Can Improve My Life – Goodness
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness (2 Peter 1:5)
Do you think of the saying “goodness, gracious!” when you see the word goodness? Well, it’s a saying that has more meaning than what most people give it credit for. It is words that describe God. God is good and gracious, but let’s take a look at the word good that makes up goodness. In Genesis 1, God created the heavens and the earth, and all that was on earth, and when He was done with parts of creation “He saw that it was good.” When God finally made man and woman in His image, He said it was “very good” (v.31).
A Bible dictionary will tell you that “good” means “pleasant”, “full measure”, and “kind”. It will also tell you it is a word to describe God "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good — except God alone” (Mark 10:18). I think the description of “full measure” comes closest to our passage in 2 Pet 1:5. It is a word that means complete, perfect, it describes God Himself. God told Moses on the mountain "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Ex 33:19).
So goodness is the pursuit of making oneself complete and perfect – good – in who we are. It doesn’t mean we are complete and perfect, it means we are pursuing them to come as close as we can to being good. Remember what Jesus said, “No one is good – except God alone.” We do what we can to be like God, we have faith in God and His Son, now we pursue being like them.
For new Christians that have acted on their faith in Christ, what do they need to do next? They need to find ways of changing the things that are not Christ-like in their lives, to being good as God is good, or as Peter quoted from Lev 11:44, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16). We all have a life-long pursuit of doing what is good and holy. God bless you all in that pursuit. Doug
La Grande Church of Christ
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:2-4 NIV)
Grace and peace come to us in abundance through the knowledge of God and His Son Jesus. Wow! Do you see what God wants for us? Grace and peace in abundance! That sounds great to me. I want to be forgiven of the wrongs I do and to have peace with God and others. But how does Peter say we are able to have grace and peace in abundance? It’s through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. That is the work of living a great life. We need to take every opportunity to know more about God and Jesus. Through studying our Bibles, praying (talking) to God, taking time to see where and how God is working in your life, and appreciating the sacrifice that was given for you to have peace, forgiveness, and salvation for a faithful life.
Peter goes on to tell us that God has given us everything we need for a godly life. Again, it is through the knowledge of God and Jesus’ divine being and goodness. There’s something else that is said there. It comes through Him who calls us to who He is. Mankind has always been drawn to some kind of god and or deity to help him through this life. What God are you drawn to? You will be drawn to something or somebody, who or what will it be? There is only one God and He has always guided and helped mankind when they respond to His calling. Paul said that God has given us enough proof in His creation to be drawn to Him in some way. In fact, there is no excuse for not knowing God (Rom 1:18-20).
God through time has made great and precious promises to us. He gives promises that He has always kept – always. God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13) and wants the best for us. He wants us to be able to participate in who and what He is so we can escape all the garbage of this world. Do you believe that? We can you know? By our faith in the Lord’s ability to provide and get us through anything that comes up. Our faith cannot be shaken if it is based solely on Him. Nothing in this life can touch us and God will give us the strength to handle anything (Phil 4:13). But, a strong faith is the key and so now we will go through a series of lessons on what and how to add to our faith. Take time to think of what your faith is in and how we can make it better in this new year.
I love you all, Doug
La Grande Church of Christ
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
What does it mean to you to be a brother or sister to someone? I hope it’s not in a childish way where you argue and fight. That needs to stay in your adolescent years and not in your adult life. Possibly it doesn’t even belong in adolescent years. It is loving one another to the point that you respect and build each other up. You have each other’s back. It is caring for one another. Do you notice the “one anothers”? The New Testament talks a lot about how you should be to one another. It means that we need to have contact with one another to know how the other is doing and to build one another up. You can’t do “one another” buy yourself. You need to be part of a group of more than one.
Brotherly kindness is what we all should participate in. In Christ we are all part of the brotherhood of believers, we are brethren, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family, part of the same body, we are the church. We act kind towards one another because we have this relation of kinship. Why would you want to hurt someone who is a part of you? We live off of each other’s love, respect, goals, encouragement, and all that is good and wholesome. We are in-kind and we don’t hurt our own kind because we wouldn’t want to be hurt.
Another word for kindness is grace – “show grace towards one another” – you might say. Grace is what God had for us through Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection. Paul put it this way to the Colossians: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col 3:12-14). Love? We’ll touch on that next week J
In brotherly kindness, Doug
La Grande Church of Christ
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Finally, and above all other traits, we are to add to our faith – love. If you want to be like God, you must achieve love in all things. The apostle John wrote: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him (1 John 4:16). How important is it for you to have God live in you? Do you think that you could then handle any and every situation you come upon? Do you think you would have better relationships with those you come in contact with, have a better influence on others, and have the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus? (Phil 4:7).
It is beyond all understanding to have great relationships, influence others in the right way, and to have the peace of God dwell in you. Do you think that it is impossible to have this kind of life? Then grow more in love with God and He will fill your heart and mind with His traits. The more you are filled with the essence of God’s Spirit; the more your life with reflect God to others. The more you reflect God to others; the more you feel peace in your life. The more you have peace in your life; the greater your relationships will be. These three things are a cycle that makes you a better person around others and have a stronger inner person within yourself. If you have those two things plus a stronger love for God you are ever-closer to being complete.
Love is at the root and heart of being complete. To have love in your heart for God and others is to have your cup run over – abundant blessings in your life that spill over to others because your life is so full of God’s love. Love is to be shared, the more you share, the more it comes back to you. You are constantly overflowing with love. A pure love that is like God that builds others up and makes you complete in life. To be complete in life is to have all the places you are lacking be filled. Fill those deficient places with God’s love, strengthen the other parts with the same and enjoy allowing God’s love to live in you.
Love you all, Doug
La Grande Church of Christ