This summer we have been looking at various aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) through our message series called "Life Apps". Who wouldn't want to download a little more love, joy, patience, etc...into their life? Yesterday, Andy preached an awesome sermon about "Goodness", or active benevolence as the word means in it's original language.
Andy pointed out how churches seem to be at one extreme or the other when it comes to goodness, benevolence, service, and good deeds. On one extreme there are churches who focus so much on good works, social justice, or community involvement that the message can easily become communicated that we earn forgiveness and salvation by doing good deeds. Doing more good than bad is the goal.
On the other extreme are churches who get so focused on teaching and Bible knowledge and sparsing Greek verbs and feeding the sheep that they forget there is a whole world out there in dire need of the goodness of God.
Andy was saying there is no reason that it has to be one without the other! We should allow the truth of the Gospel propel us into serving those around us. God has been good to us, and the natural outflow should be a desire to show goodness to others.
When we receive the goodness of God and notice the needs of the world, we should be compelled and motivated to do good.
Andy left us with a very simple challenge saying, "When it is in your power to act, do something!" It will look different in each person's circumstances. But when you notice a need, don't turn your head. Do something!
The leaders at South Bay noticed a need at our church recently. There is a single-mom in our church who is one of our most committed volunteers. She has 5 kids (the youngest of whom is 5 years old) and her husband passed away a little over five years ago. Tiana is such a hard worker and has an amazing attitude. She works the night shift to make ends meet, but that doesn't keep her from serving at church the next morning if there is an opportunity to serve.
God changed Tiana's life about a year and a half ago when she fully surrendered her life to Him. She said to me Sunday, "I'm not serving to get any type of reward. I'm serving because God changed my life. He gave me a second chance and I just want to serve Him now."
Watch this video to see a bit of goodness is action:
Tiana's van from Stacie Wood on Vimeo.