Goodness

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Ro 14:17 nlt

As children of God, we are to live a life of goodness. That seems pretty simple and straightforward and it is but is it easy? The dictionary says goodness is a state or quality of being good; moral excellence; virtue; generosity; integrity; honesty.  Easy to read the definition of goodness and I would like to say it is easy for me to live it. But I often find it difficult to be an example of goodness.

When I find myself with thoughts that are not good or generous, less than honest or pure Iheartlight have a choice. I can follow through with those thoughts or I can turn away from the darkness of them and face the Light of my life.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light
(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
and find out what pleases the Lord.
Eph 5:8-10 niv

When I turn to Jesus I can see where the problem lies and do what I need to sweep it away. I may think I have kept my heart clean and well kept but in His light, I can see into all the nooks and crannies where dust and dirt have found their way and settled in. Then I know it is time for some housekeeping of my heart. There isn’t room for unwanted clutter in my heart. That stuff has to go to make room for more of the goodness of the Spirit.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matt 12:35 niv

There was a time when I believed I was to be good, to have goodness shine through me to prove I was a child of God. The truth is I have no need to prove anything with whatever goodness I have in my heart. The goodness is there, has been put there so through me others can see God’s light, His goodness.

…You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,
for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Pet 2:9 niv

Why would I let the light of life that dwells in my heart be masked with worthless thoughts? It is so easy to relax and let the light in my heart be veiled by my inattentiveness and selfishness. How sad is that?!

When I talk with Jesus He often reminds me of what I must be vigilant and aware;

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Prov 4:23 niv

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

 

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Be Gentle

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.(Col 3:12 nlt) Notice the word gentleness. What does it mean to be a person of gentleness?

Gentleness is a quality of character. It is a behavior that is deliberate, a behavior we choose to demonstrate that isn’t always natural to us. We show gentleness when we act or respond in a kind and quiet way. With gentleness, there is calm in the storms of oursheep-451981_640 relationships.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Eph 4:2 niv

Some may think that gentleness is soft and weak but in truth to be gentle takes strength and thought. Not only our actions are to be gentle but also our speech is to be gentle. Sometimes we must say something to another that is hard or unpleasant; at those times we may need strong words. When strong words are needed it is best to have a soft voice, guarding our tongues and expressions so our words are expressed in a way that can be accepted without anger or hurt feelings.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Prov 15:1 nlt

Some people are gentle by nature and find it easy to show and express gentleness. They at heart are kind and merciful. I have talked to Jesus about this on many occasions when I have not felt merciful or kind, patient or humble, times when I have not shown gentleness where it was needed. He knows these traits are not necessarily inherent in us and it is essential that we develop them.  He will help us;

Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt 11:29

To help us He tells us to take His yoke and asks us to let Him teach us. He doesn’t force these lessons but He wants to teach them. When we look to Him as our Teacher we learn to be like Him, humble and gentle at heart. Is that not what we want, too?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

Self-Control

It seems it would not require any great difficulty or hard work to have self-control. We all know it is important and needed in our lives. Yet, it is difficult and takes a lot of work to exercise self-control. Maybe it is because it is something to be exercised that we find it challenging.

Self-control is expected of us not just by our families, friends, and communities but the Lord expects it of us, too. Whatever we enjoy or desire that is not in line with the life Jesus prepared for us must be done away with. It’s no easy task! But we are not left to our own devices to accomplish the work of exercising self-control. We have what we need for willpower to overcome what is not meant to be part of who we are.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him who called us
by his own glory and goodness.
2 Pet 1:3 niv
We have been given minds to use to work through our problems and struggles. We need to remember to think before we act. We need to seek the advice of people who know and love the Lord to help us overcome our adversities and to help us think decisively and with determination.
So think clearly and exercise self-control.
1 Pet 1:13a nlt
A godly life may seem to be beyond our abilities but it is not. Yes, it is not easy trying to live as the Lord would have us live. We often fall short and even fail in our efforts. We are imperfect and live in a world that does everything it can to distract us from the righteous life we are called to live. But, again, we are encouraged by God’s Word;
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted,
he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Cor 10:13 nlt
Sometimes when I am faced with something that I need to exercise self-discipline about I think maybe God has me mixed up with someone else for surely whatever I may have inathlete-1296472_640 my path is more than I can resist. This often makes me afraid and discouraged and I want to just give up, quit trying and go with the ungodly flow. That’s when I know I need to talk with Jesus. Most often He takes me to this verse,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:7 nlt
Then I know it’s time to polish the armor and get to exercising.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor
so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Eph 6:13 nlt
Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

True Love

We are led to believe that love is easy. But is it? To truly love is more than saying the right words and doing the right things. It isn’t all warm cuddles and hugs. Sometimes loving means saying and doing things that are hard and hurt in the present but lead to better tomorrows. Loving isn’t always saying yes sometimes it is saying no.

Children can say the word no powerfully and loudly when they don’t want to do something but they don’t like to hear the word no. Parents know that the word no is needed to protect children and to teach them right from wrong. Often as adults, we act the same when God says no to us. Like children, we need protection, direction and discipline to mature and become the people He created us to be.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.https://pixabay.com/en/tree-trunk-forest-floor-trunk-roots-569275/
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Eph 3:17 nlt

Like children, we crawl spiritually before we walk straight and steady. The deeper our relationship with God becomes the more we understand true love, His love. The reality of His love is so great it takes a lifetime to know it fully or as fully as we can while living in this world.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of
life and power that comes from God.

Eph 3:18-19 nlt

God is patient with us. What a blessing! All He asks of us is to stay on the path with Him.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Mi 6:8 niv

My prayer for all;

May the Lord lead your hearts
into a full understanding and expression of the love of God
and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
2 Thes 3:5 nlt 

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Strength and Joy

I am not a strong person but I am not powerless. I am often afraid and can be discouraged yet I am not defeated. Seems I am a contradiction of terms but it all makes sense when you know my Lord.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isa 42:10 nlt

Sometimes I allow the negatives of fear and discouragement to step in and take up space in my heart. Usually, this happens when I don’t get enough sleep, don’t eat healthy meals, or spend too much time with unhappy people who drag me down with their anger andcat-564202_640 frustrations. When negatives are unchecked I feel heavy and tired, unbalanced and confused. However, I know how to have my peace and well-being restored. I talk to Jesus.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Ps 73:26 niv

Without Jesus life is filled with negatives. With Him, life is filled with positives.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
Eph 6:10 niv

He is my strength and my joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia