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Archive for March, 2019

African Sunset

[ Paul, the Minister to the Gentiles, writes ] “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14 NIV).

Paul wrote the book of Romans while he suffered in a Roman prison. He writes to Roman Christians, telling them that they are filled with goodness. These Roman Christians probably worshipped in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. On that day some three thousand Jews, there to celebrate the feast of Shavuot (the receiving of the Ten Commandments), were baptized into the faith. Thus, a church existed in Rome when Paul arrived.

Believers had heard about Paul and knew he was a good man. Paul was in prison and couldn’t go into the streets of Rome to preach. Confined to a prison cell, he wrote letters consoling his friends and followers. These friends and followers shared the letters with the Roman people and many came to know the Lord.

Paul was granted visitors. When they came to bring him food and clothing, he shared the good news of the gospel. He would send them out of the prison with messages to the people. He knew that they were good people because of their goodness toward him. And because of their goodness Paul felt encouraged that the church would survive after his death.

Goodness feels good. When we do something we know is good, we feel good. But we do not want to get into the habit of doing good works just for that ‘feel good’ feeling. That would feed into our egos. That is not the kind of goodness Paul is talking about in this verse. He is talking about an attitude that strives to do ‘good,’ to live a ‘good’ life. We learn good from bad from the time we are very young. Right from wrong is instilled in us, and being ‘good’ is what our parents tell us to be. As Christians we strive to be like Jesus, who we know is good. An attitude of goodness clothes us in humility because we know that we cannot, in ourselves ever be truly good enough. Our motives are never completely pure. This should not be discouraging, but it should encourage us to keep working to be like Jesus.

Let this be your attitude today. You have the Holy Spirit just like the three thousand Jews who were baptized at Pentecost. Therefore, you are filled with His goodness. Today you can let it overflow and benefit someone else.

Lord, You are my Rock and my Salvation. Help me to be covered in an attitude of goodness that will glorify You. I ask forgiveness for the times I have failed You in word, thought or deed. Give me strength to be good, as You taught us. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

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