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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Goodness and Us

Jesus didn't leave things at saying only "God is good." He spent most of his ministry proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. As he taught, he also started to paint a picture for us. He started telling us to be good, too.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:23 NIV)

He describes a person who receives the word of God and understands it is a person with "good soil" ready to receive God's word (the seed). With this same picture, Jesus goes further to point out that we have control over our hearts. Our hearts are the "soil" that can be "good," receiving the word of God.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:15 NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45 NIV)

Jesus didn't just want us to see that God is good. He also didn't stop at us connecting Jesus to God through Jesus' good works. He wanted us to see that we reflect God in our lives when we are good, whether doing what is good or storing away good in our hearts for another day. When we think, store away, and act upon what is good, we are walking together with God. It doesn't stop there, though. When we are good, we reflect God to others and draw them near to God, too.

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

So, how about you? Do you see how thinking, storing away, and doing good brings you close to God? Do you see how doing good reflects God in your life? Have you ever seen your good deeds prompt someone else to "glorify your Father in heaven?"