Our devotional this month features the spiritual virtue of goodness. Galatians 5:22 includes goodness among the list of Spiritual fruit. In 2 Peter 1:5 Peter instructs believers to add the virtue of goodness to their faith.
In these 30 devotions on "Goodness" we are encouraged to...
We explore how the goodness of God has made a way for us to experience his grace even though we are not worthy. We also take a look at Psalm 100:5 which tells us that the Lord is good and his love endures forever.
Each of these devotions are followed by a page with a principle pulled from the text, an affirmation of that principle, a reflection of the text and finally at least a half page where the reader can journal their thoughts on the devotion for the day.
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Below is a sample from this devotional. It is just one day's devotion out of the thirty that are included in this book of devotions on Goodness.
Saved To Do Good Works
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves. It is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one boast. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ-Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:8-10
There is much discussion in the body of Christ concerning this statement made by Paul to the church at Ephesus. He declares that it is by faith alone that we are saved and not by any works that we have done, or any works that we could do.
Some have felt that because we are saved by grace through faith that once we are saved we have no responsibility to the kingdom of God. We’re saved and that’s that. However, Paul doesn’t stop with the declaration of salvation, he also explains what we are saved to.
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ-Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This is not about getting saved it is about who we are once we have become saved. This concept of being saved to do good works is not to be confused with the idea that we are saved by doing good works.
I love what C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity; “The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God, if there is one; or – if they think there is not – at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us.” (As quoted in God’s Treasury of Virtues, page 276).
If we are still having to try very hard to do good then it is possible that we have not yet actually partaken of the grace of God. When we become born again we are truly new creatures in Christ-Jesus as Paul declares. As new born Christ-creatures we should reflect the nature of God. We truly are not good because we have tried to be – we are good because the love of God has made us good.
Prayer: Lord, I have often grown weary of trying to be good. Grant me the grace of your goodness that I might reflect your love. In Jesus name, amen.
(Every devotion in the Daily God Walk devotional has a page, like the following, with a principle, an affirmation, and a reflection on the text of the devotion:)
Principle: We are not saved by good works, but we are saved to do good works. "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ-Jesus to do good works."
Affirmation: I have been "recreated" into the image of Christ, and I am becoming the image of Christ, therefore, I do the works of Christ.
Reflection: Many believers have used only the first part of this passage and have neglected the second part. They have the part about being saved by grace and not by works down very well, but they seem to have missed that being recreated into the image of Christ means that we will do good works. Something to think about.
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