I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. (Romans 15:14)
The apostle Paul was absolutely convinced that the saints in Rome were full of goodness. Wouldn’t that be well said of all of us! This word “goodness” in the original Greek means to benefit others, and its highest expression is found in sacrificial service. It is living a life that is other-oriented for two reasons: God’s glory and the good of all others. Someone once said, “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway!”
This goodness is not manufactured by man. It is a gift from God that comes to us by virtue of our union, by faith, with Jesus Christ and is manifested as one of the fruits of His Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
This heavenly gift, given to those who have trusted in Christ Jesus, is meant to be poured out on all others out of love for God and for the glory of God. We must remember that genuine faith always produces this fruit because “a good tree bears good fruit” (Matthew 7). I have written this here several times, but it bears repeating here: the Christian life is not about perfection on this side of the grave. It is about a change in direction, and that change is produced by our union with Jesus.
When we are united by grace through faith to Jesus, everything changes! Our desires change. Our goals change. Our dreams change. Our plans change. Our ultimate destination changes, and along the way we become more and more like our Master, who “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38).
If Jesus went around doing good, His ambassadors—that means you and me, beloved—should go around doing good also. And it is important to note that Jesus went around personally. He did not send angels or disciples for the work He was here to do. He did not send money so that others could do good. He went personally to the woman at the well. He went personally to the tax collector. He went personally to the tomb of Lazarus. He went personally to the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the lost.
So . . . is your life marked by going around doing good personally? This is what I call the ministry of the presence. Just showing up is one of the best ways to minister and do good to someone. Let them hear and feel . . .
- Your high five
- Your helping hand
- Your holy hug
- Your healing hope
- Your heavy heart
- Your hallelujah
Ecclesiastes 9:10 tell us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” In other words, do what you can do while there is still time to do it. Perhaps someday someone will say that you are full of goodness!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!