Saturday, March 29, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (ENDING SCRIPTURE)

Ending Scripture: Isaiah 55:11
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
 

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (ANSWERS)

Reflection Questions: Goodness 

1.   Do you find yourself growing in hope and trust in God's goodness, or cynicism and worldly realism?


I do find myself growing more in God's goodness, because I am obeying Him more, and choosing to walk in the fruit of the Spirit.


2.   Are you known for being a positive influence on others, or do you have a reputation for a particular vice or indulgence? 


For years I have prayed to God for help in being more positive influence on others. 


3.   Are there dark secrets and sins that you would prefer never see the light of day in your life? How would you rate your integrity?


I am not perfect, still growing in the grace of the Lord, and I pray always this prayer; Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew the right spirit in me right now, amen.


4.    Are you habitually trying to grey the lines and make everything ambiguous, or do you affirm good and evil clearly?


I always try with all my heart to clarify the difference between good and evil, and I ask God daily to change my heart to see others as He see them, so I can be a positive influence on those I meet daily. 

What a way to say that! (habitually trying to grey the lines and make everything ambiguous).  Wow!

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (I CHOOSE GOODNESS)

Extra: Goodness

I choose goodness. . .I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

This week's scripture is in the (ESV) version.
 
Read: Galatians 5:22-25
"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." (ESV)

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (A DEEPER STUDY)

These are from Lara Velez's Bible Study book.................
Mercy:

1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.

2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.

3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.

4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.

5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.

 

Merciful:

Mercy is a concept integral to an understanding of God's dealings with humankind. In English translations of the Bible, it comes to expression in phrases such as "to be merciful, " "to have mercy on, " or "to show mercy toward." The corresponding term, "merciful, " describes a quality of God and one that God requires of his people. The noun denotes compassion and love, not just feelings or emotions, as expressed in tangible ways.

 

Forgive:

Two types of forgiveness appear in the Bible: God's pardon of our sins, and our obligation to pardon others. This subject is so important that our eternal destiny depends upon it.

1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.

2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).

3. to grant pardon to (a person).

4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.

5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.

 

Pride:

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

2. the state or feeling of being proud.

3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride.

5. something that causes a person or persons to be proud: His art collection was the pride of the

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (PRAYER)

I am praying this prayer:

Father God, thank You for all of the goodness You have shown me in my life. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to forgive others as You have so freely forgiven me.  Please help me to see others (even people I think are hopeless, or do not think the way I think) the way You do.  Help me to show Your love and compassion to all people and all situation all the time. Remind me that I too am in need of forgiveness and mercy. Help me to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of others. Help me to find creative ways to show kindness to people around me. Help me to let Your light shine.  Help me to be a living example of Your Great Goodness.  In Jesus' Mighty Name, Am


BIBLE STUDY WEEK #6 (SCRIPTURE READING)

Reading Scriptures:

Romans 15:14
 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.

Ephesians 5:8-10
….for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:4-5
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

2 Peter 1:3-5
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,

Matthew 25 (read the whole chapter)



Lara Velez’s scripture reading for Goodness. 

Matthew 6:14-15, 18:21-35

Jude 1:22

Psalm 86:11

Mark 11:25

Ephesians 4:31-32, 4:26

Proverbs 16:5, 18

Ezekiel 11:19

Hebrews 12:14-15

Luke 6:36-37

James 2:13, 4:6

Romans 12:10-17

Philippians 2:3

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BIBLES STUDY WEEK # 6 (3/25/14)

Bible Study "The Fruit of the Spirit"

[By Glenn Pease]

Week # 6 (Fruit of Goodness)

Date (3/25/14

 

6.    THE FRUIT OF GOODNESS


 

A young boy had been sent to his room for bad behavior. After a while he emerged and told his

mother he had thought it over and prayed about it. "T hat's wonderful", said the mother. "If you ask


God He will help you be good." The boy responded, "But I didn't ask God to help me be good, I


asked Him to help you put up with me." This little guy discovered the path of least resistance. He


realized life would be easier if others would just change in relation to him. Let's face it, life would


be easier for all of us if people would just tolerate our weaknesses, and put up with our


shortcomings. In other words, if everybody else had the fruit of the Spirit we would not have to


bother being good. Somebody would have to remain as a pain to give others an opportunity to


exercise their fruits. But since this fantasy is never going to be a reality, the Christian needs to face the fact that goodness is not an option, but an absolute necessity. It is impossible to be Christ like without


goodness, the sixth fruit of the Spirit. The subject of goodness is so vast in the Bible it would take


hours just to read all of the texts. I counted in my concordance 77 different words and word


combinations dealing with the theme of goodness. It is overwhelming to try and convey the


significance of this material in one message, but let's begin by seeing that goodness begins in the


very nature of God. His goodness is linked to His love, as are all of the fruits. The only reason there is a relationship between God and man is because God is good. In Psalm 25:7-8 we read, "Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, He instructs sinners in His ways." We see the goodness of God is what makes Him care about sinners and their forgiveness, and their guidance into the truth. Why do we have a Savior? Because God is good! Why do we have a Bible? Because God is good Why do we have the church for fellowship and encouragement? Because God is good. All the gifts and blessings we have, we have because God is good. If He was only Holy He would have destroyed the world long ago and started over. But God is good, and goodness is love reaching out to give a helping hand to those who cannot make it on


their own. The Good Samaritan was good because he helped a man survive who would not have


without his help. Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Over and over the Bible says the Lord is good, and He expects His people to reflect that goodness in the world. Hannah Whitall Smith,


famous for her book The Christian's Secret Of A Happy Life, tells of her discovery of the goodness


of God in her other book, The God Of All Comfort. She writes,  


 

"I shall never forget the hour when I first discovered that

God was really good. I had, of course, always known that


the Bible said He was good, but I had thought it only


meant He was religiously good; and it had never dawned


on me that it meant He was actually and practically good,


with the same kind of goodness He has commanded us to


have. The expression, "The goodness of God," had


seemed to me nothing more than a sort of heavenly statement,


which I could not be expected to understand. And


then one day I came in my reading of the Bible across


the words, "O taste and see that the Lord is good, " and


suddenly they meant something. The Lord is good, I


repeated to myself. What does it mean to be good? What


but this, the living up to the best and highest that one


knows. To be good is exactly the opposite of being bad. To


be bad is to know the right and not to do it, but to be


good is to do the best we know. And I saw that, since


God is omniscient, He must know what is the best and


highest good of all, and that therefore His goodness must


necessarily be beyond question. I can never express what


this meant to me. I had such a view of the real actual


goodness of God that I saw nothing could possibly go


wrong under His care, and it seemed to me that no one


could ever be anxious again. And over and over, when


appearances have been against Him, and when I have been


tempted to question whether He had not been unkind, or


neglectful, or indifferent, I have been brought up short by


the words, "The Lord is good"; and I have seen that it


was simply unthinkable that a God who was good could


have done the bad things I had imagined."


 

Bad things happen to good people all the time in this fallen world, but not because God wills it.

He, in fact, forbids it, and no one is guiltless who does a bad thing against his neighbor. Jesus went


about doing good, and never did a bad thing to anyone. He did have severe words of judgement for


the Pharisees, who had perverted the truth of God. They were such religious people, but they were


not good. No amount of religion, learning, ritual, or legalistic law keeping is worth a hill of beans if


it does not make you good. Jesus blasted all religion that failed the test of goodness. If people are


not made good by their faith, their faith is no good. God is good, and what is not good is not of God.


That is Biblical theology in a nutshell, and this is to be our guide for evaluating all movements and


ideas-are they good?


 

Before Paul's conversion he was a very religious man. He was learned in the Old Testament law.

He was scrupulous in his obedience to the legalistic system of the Pharisees. He was zealous in his


promotion of the Jewish faith. Paul had all you could ask for in a religious person, it would seem.


He had it all except for one thing, he was not good. He was cruel and hard hearted, and he hurt and


killed people who would not conform to his convictions. When he surrendered to Christ as Lord of


his life, he had all the virtues he had before, but now he was also a good man. He never again hurt


another person for not conforming to his convictions. He did not persecute the Jews as he did


Christians. He did good to them as he sought to persuade them that Jesus was their Messiah. He


devoted a good part of his ministry to doing good to the Jews in Jerusalem. Paul was converted


from being a radically religious man to being a good man in Christ.


 


The Greek word for goodness is AGATHOSUNE, and Paul is the only one who uses this word in


the New Testament. His vocabulary was converted along with his heart, and he had a special love


for the fruit of goodness. Paul was converted to Christ and to goodness all at the same time, but not


all Christians have this conversion. All are saved by faith in Christ, but they are not good. Many


still have prejudices that make them mean spirited toward certain people. The letters of Paul, that


comprise almost half of the New Testament, are basically his efforts to get Christians to be good-to


be good to one another; to be good to the lost; to be good citizens, and to, like Jesus, go about doing


good. The greatest weakness in Christian history is Christians who are not good. There love for the


Bible and for Jesus are not questioned, but they fail to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in relationship


to others, and therefore, they are not good Christians, because they are not good. You can be saved


by grace yet still live in the flesh, and therefore, not be a good person. A lot of New Testament


Christians were not good people. They were prejudiced against either Jews or Gentiles. They were


envious and jealous. They developed a party spirit that divided the church. They were power


hungry and fought against Paul to get fame and control. Just about every sin you can imagine was a


part of the life of New Testament Christians. They were saved but not yet good. Goodness must be


a goal for all believer's if they intend to be true disciples of Jesus.


God's goodness saves us. Our goodness does not. Our goodness is a fruit which the Holy Spirit


grows in us, when we surrender to Him. If a Christian is not good, it does not mean he or she is not


saved. It means they are choosing to live in the flesh, and not surrendering to the Spirit. Carnal


Christians are saved, but not yet good, because they quench the Spirit and live in the flesh. A Spirit


led Christian will go about doing good, as Jesus did. Goodness is love in action. It is that which


makes Christianity practical, so all can see its value. It makes people good so they are beneficial to


society. These are the people who seek to counteract the evils of society. They are the foundation


for what use to be called the Social Gospel-the efforts to fight off the social evils that damage and


destroy the happiness of people. Being good does not save anyone, only Christ can do that as they trust Him as their Savior. This led many Christians to oppose the Social Gospel for decades, and some still do, forgetting that the good that Jesus did, also, did not save anyone. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and did many good things for people that did not save them. But it did lead some to get saved because they could


tell He really cared about their needs. Love like this convinced them He was one they could trust.


But many took His good deeds and rejected Him. So being good, or doing good, does not guarantee


people will be changed in any long range way. If you refuse to do good because of this, you are


living in the flesh and not the Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ like, and does good because good is the


thing to do, whether it leads people to respond properly or not. Goodness does not say, "I'll be good


only if I can see the payoff." That is not true goodness, but hypocrisy.


I read of a small town pharmacist who always closed up his drugstore on Sunday, because he


believed in keeping Sunday as a Christian Sabbath. Bus as we all know, sickness does not take


weekends off, and so people get sick and need medicine on Sunday. He did not hesitate to to open up


and fill prescriptions on Sunday. Once a father needed a prescription filled on Sunday for his sick


daughter, and after he got it he said to the Pharmacist, "Thank you, now you can go home and get


back to keeping the Sabbath." "Oh no!" said the Pharmacist, as he handed the man his medicine.


"This is keeping the Sabbath!" That it the spirit of Jesus, who healed on the Sabbath. This made the


legalists mad at Him, but Jesus taught by his actions that what matters to God is that we be channels


of His goodness in this world. The reason behind the Sabbath was the goodness of God. He was giving man a break from the toils of life for his health and happiness. It was a day meant for the good of man, and if you could add to their health and happiness by some act of goodness, it was pleasing to Him. God was


concerned about goodness, not legalistic conformity. The Pharisees were very religious and they


obeyed a lot of rules, but they were not pleasing to God because they lacked goodness.


Barnabas received one of the greatest compliments that can be given to a Christian in Acts 11:24,


where it says, "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and faith." Barnabas was the man


who befriended Paul when all others were afraid of him. He sought him out and gave him a chance


to preach in Antioch. He helped Paul get into the ministry of building the church. One good man


showing that goodness to a former enemy helped change the course of history for the glory of God.


Shakespeare said, "How far that little candle throws his beam! So shines a good deed in a naughty


world."


In the day of judgement the words all of us are going to want to hear are, "Well done, good and


faithful servant.!" We will not long to hear famous servant, popular servant, rich servant, but good


and faithful servant. What matters to God is that we are good and faithful. No matter what else you


are, if you are not good and faithful, you are living in the flesh and not producing the fruits of the


Spirit.  In Matt. 25, Jesus tells the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, which defines what he had in mind


by goodness. Those rewarded are those who fed the hungry and gave the thirsty to drink. They


showed hospitality to strangers and clothed the needy. They cared for the sick and visited the lonely


in prison. In other words, like Jesus, they went about doing good. A good person is simply one who


recognizes the world is full of hurting people, and goes about seeking to relieve that hurt where they


can. Christians are to be involved in all effort to relieve the suffering of this world. That is the essence of goodness. How our lives would please the Savior If we only understood, What He seeks in our behavior


is a love for doing good. On a tombstone in Shrewsbury, England, these words are engraved-


For the Lord Jesus Christ's sake


Do all the good you can


To all the people you can


In all the ways you can


As long as ever you can.


 


That is to display the fruit of goodness. Like all the other fruits of the Spirit, this one too, is based on


the conviction that good will win the war with evil, and in the end all goodness will survive forever,


and all that is bad will perish forever.


Goodness is to be a part of our very being. It is not like a bulb we hang on the Christmas tree, but


it is to be like one of its branches-a very part of the tree itself. People can do good deeds and not be


good people. A Mafia boss can write out a check to help someone out of a jam, but they may have


gotten that money by acts that hurt other people. That good act does not make him a good person.


Goodness, in order to be truly Christ like, has to grow out of agape love, which is a love that cares


about all people and not just those that please you. It is other-centered and not self-centered. It is


doing good for the other not just because it makes you feel good to be doing good. The Pharisees


wanted to be seen of men and get credit for their good acts. Jesus never did a good act for self glory.


Dr. Martineau gives us the gist of the different levels of good. He writes-"To get good is animal; to


do good is human; to be good is divine." It is this third level that is the fruit of the Spirit. It


incorporates doing good and getting good, but it has its origin in being good, which can only come


from God. This is what Jesus was conveying to the Rich Young Ruler. All three of the Synoptic Gospels


record these words of Jesus, which he said to him when he called Jesus good teacher. Jesus


responded, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." Was Jesus denying that


He was good? No!, He was saying that if you see good in me recognize from whence it comes. It is


no mere human virtue. Goodness is a part of God's nature, and if you see it in me, acknowledge that


it is of God. The goodness of Jesus was due to His being filled with the Holy Spirit, and allowing his


human nature to be controlled by His divine nature. He could have chosen to yield to the temptation


of Satan, but he chose, instead, to be loyal to God. T he point is nobody is good, not even Jesus,


without the Spirit of God. God is the source of all true goodness, and His Spirit alone can produce it


in us. You and I cannot live the Christian life in the flesh. The Son of God Himself could not do it.


Jesus could only be good by being filled with the Spirit. He was the perfect man, not by the power of


His flesh, but by the power of the Spirit. We need to see this and recognize that we too need to be


filled with the Spirit if we expect to produce the fruit of the Spirit, and especially the fruit of


goodness.


 


Extra: Goodness


I choose goodness. . .I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.


 


Read: Galatians 5:22-25


"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." (ESV)


 


Reading Scriptures:


Romans 15:14


Ephesians 5:8-10


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12


Titus 3:4-5


2 Peter 1:3-5


Matthew 25


 


Reflection Questions: Goodness


  • Do you find yourself growing in either hope and trust in God's goodness, or cynicism and worldly realism?
  • Are you known for being a positive influence on others, or do you have a reputation for a particular vice or indulgence?
  • Are there dark secrets and sins that you would prefer never see the light of day in your life? How would you rate your integrity?
  • Are you habitually trying to grey the lines and make everything ambiguous, or do you affirm good and evil clearly?

 

Personal Prayer:

Father God, thank You for all of the goodness You have shown me in my life. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to forgive others as You have so freely forgiven me.  Please help me to see others (even people I think are hopeless, or do not think the way I think) the way You do.  Help me to show Your love and compassion to all people and all situation all the time. Remind me that I too am in need of forgiveness and mercy. Help me to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of others. Help me to find creative ways to show kindness to people around me. Help me to let Your light shine.  Help me to be a living example of Your Great Goodness.  In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen.


 


Ending Scripture: Isaiah 55:11


"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

 
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 5 (SHARING POINTS)


I have chosen to be gentle to people, even when I know that they are been hard on me for no reason.  I have chosen God's way to treat people, and that is with love, and all the other Fruits will follow in my life.   In Lara's book, she says, "I think above three references explain this one. It is for OUR benefit to overlook an offense, and its one of the only ways to let go of anger and help with the development of the Fruit of gentleness."  Today as I work with my patient I choose gentleness!!   We must be careful what we allow ourselves to hold onto, amen.  Let's make sure we are always prayerfully considering all angles, forgiving, showing abundant mercy, and allowing God to speak to us and use His Word as our compass.  I love that! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 5 (ANSWERS)

Reflection Questions: Gentleness
 

1.    Are you eager to build others up and strengthen others with words, or do you find "telling the hard truths" at the expense of the feelings of others easier?

 

I truly believe that God has given me a spirit to build up others, and to strength them, so they can see Jesus.  I do want to do unto others as I wish them do unto me, I really do!

 

2.   Have you been praying for the well-being of others as you criticize others, or are your words divorced from your prayers?

 

No, I pray for others, and I pray that God keep my mouth off people through criticism. I try to keep a check on my words, but if I make a mistake and say something that I think might hurt someone, I do  ask God for forgiveness, and do better the next time. I am not perfect, but I am learning to treat others as Jesus would have me to.

 

3.   Are you known for a meek way about you, or do others consider you arrogant, self-centered, and even boastful?   

 

I have always been told that I am a meek person, but I still needed work when I got saved.  And, the Holy Spirit through the fruit has kept me.

Bible Study: The Prayer Jesus Taught His Disciples Week # 1

Matthew 6:5-16 Beginning Prayer:   Father, we enter Your gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, and with...