"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" 2 Peter 1:3
When our son was a baby, I would place him in the pram and take him outside as I pegged my washing on the line. That gives you an indication of how pleasant Sydney's weather is for most of the year.
As I hung the clothes Caleb would be kicking his feet under our Valencia tree. The movement of the pram would shake the orange blossoms and they would trickle into the pram and on his face. The smell was intoxicating! As spring arrived we would repeat the whole process only the blossoms were now pea-sized baby oranges. They would shake on the trees as he kicked his little feet. He loved it and it was an enjoyable activity while I hung the washing.
During the summer months we filled pails and pails with our Valencia oranges. They were incredibly delicious! We had so many we would eat them thrice daily and share the remainder with the church folk.
I love simple!
Another highlight of my life is gardening. As I get my hands dirty plucking the weeds and looking for the seedlings popping up through the soil, I use this time to talk to God.
There are so many parallels in the Christian woman's life and God's creation. When I don't weed my garden beds it is difficult for me to find cultivated soil to plant the seeds into. If I plant them amongst the weeds they have very little chance to grow. They usually end up in the compost as unfulfilled seed. Weeds have a way of growing faster, stronger, and eventually overtaking anything you plant.
There's something about kneeling before God whether it's by my bed, the couch, or in the garden. As I pull the weeds I ask God to show me the weeds in my own life that choke the seeds of His love and goodness out. My prayer goes something like this, "Please God, show me the weed of pride today. Give me wisdom, strength, and the understanding I need to pluck the weed of self out of my life." As I yield myself to God in this way I ask Him to replace the empty soil with the precious seeds of His Word. It doesn't stop there! As I water the seeds I ask God to continue to feed me from His living Word and to fill my life with richness and new growth.I like to see progress and I like to smell success – in my garden and in my walk with God. Between being a wife, a mother, active in a ministry, sitting in my office at work, or fellowshipping with other like-minded Believers; my daily routine of preparing, planting, and pampering the soil of my soul is my first priority.
God's Word penetrates the soil of our soul and pulls the weeds of pride - roots and all.
The Goodness of God bears fruit if we yield ourselves to Him. I want my life to be a box of produce. The tasty treats that we share with others are merely the fruit of God's goodness reflecting in our own lives. The Believer's faith ought to be exercised each day as surely as we would exercise our physical body; being daily in His Word, having godly fellowship with other like-minded Believers, and by yielding ourselves to be Spirit-controlled in our walk with God.
This morning I was reminded of God's goodness. As my heart was pricked the tears flowed uncontrollably. Our son often hears me sobbing in prayer. He calls them "Mummy's God-tears."
The God of this world loves to hear our tears as we pour our hearts out before Him.
I have increased my Bible reading and my praying this year. Because God has more input into my life I can see changes I never imagined were possible, not to mention necessary.
We never see ourselves as God does!
His Divine nature will bring about the goodness of God through us if we are yielded to Him each day. I need God's goodness. I need my Salvation. I want to be a reflector of the goodness of God to a lost world.
Doing good is the goodness of God that people can tangibly see.
If you desire a life filled with the fruit of God's goodness, then your desire will become your signature fragrance IF you follow these steps:
Goodness is found In the Word of God
It's important to read the Word of God daily. The goodness of God is found in the Bible. There is a good question I ask myself each day - "Who is my decision maker?" I constantly have to work on this. My guide is not what I think. My guide is God's Word and what He thinks about the issues of life; the words out of my mouth; the things I listen to or read; the friends I keep; the good things I do for others; the way I conduct my finances; what pulls for my attention more than Him; the way I dress; my attitudes; my eating habits; what I watch or look at on the internet.
Goodness Comes Through Godly Fellowship
Have you ever had a bad feeling after you spent time with someone? Has it ever occurred to you that your conversation has left someone else with a bad feeling? Do you care what you say to others? Are your words chaste? That's a Biblical principle that means "Are your words pure and incorrupt?"
My spirit and my attitude can be greatly affected by the company I keep with other women. I choose who I fellowship with carefully. The Bible gives us the guidelines for how we ought to conduct our conversation with other women.
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" Philippians 1:27
One spirit…one mind…striving together for what? For the faith of the gospel! God wants us to be simple and plain in our habits.
There ought to be something in our manner, our speech, our dress, and our complete behavior, that magnifies simplicity. If our life is to resemble the gospel we must shun sin. Anything that hinders our perfect conformity to Christ is to be avoided; for His sake, for our own sake, and for the sake of others. We should strive day by day to ensure our conversation is in accordance with His gospel.
Most recently I phoned a close friend and shared with her how God had convicted me of the content of our recent verbiage. I love spending time with this friend and by God's grace I was able to realign our relationship with that of God's standards. I suggested that before we have fellowship that we pray for a hedge around our words; speech that is God glorifying, encouraging, and edifying. Whenever our conversation strays from a Biblical standard of conduct, we pause for a moment and change the conversation to what we know would please God. Is this easy? No, it's most difficult for the average Christian woman and very difficult for friends who have become familiar with each other.
Unfortunately, the 'norm' for Christian women is free-flowing and unaccountable conversation. Anything goes as long as we're having a good time! With the wrong words we bring shame and reproach to ourselves and to the subject (usually another woman) in our conversation.
Has it ever occurred to you that if a woman is talking badly about another woman to you she WILL talk badly about you to someone else!
Goodness Is Produced Through Our Walk with God
We are His workmanship - the good works of our witness and the good works of serving others. People know us by our fruit - the product of our walk with God.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Is there goodness in my heart? Am I yielding myself to the Holy Spirit?
Don't loose the opportunity of doing something good for someone. Our lives are a vapour. The thought enters our mind (that's the Holy Spirit), and yielding puts the thought into action. That's God's goodness through us and onto others. If we are not yielded to the Holy Spirit the thought enters our mind and then vaporizes into doing nothing for others.
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14
We are the recipients of the goodness of God all the time. Sadly, for the most part it goes unnoticed.
I prepare myself to receive God's goodness and I'm fine tuning the receptors in my mind to be sensitive to every good thing which comes from above. God loves us to embrace His goodness and he loves a grateful heart. He looks for opportunities to flex His love and goodness muscles all the time.
After a long, cold, snowy winter, I have started to weed and prepare our garden beds. Three weeks later and I am almost finished. We live on a very tight budget and I had concluded that buying plants of any kind is completely out of our financial equation. I could have despaired and left the various garden beds filled with weeds. Because I base my life on faith and not facts, I have done all I can to make our yard look well kept.
Just a few days ago as I walked through the gardens after work, I prayed this prayer; "Lord, thank you for my home and my garden. I love what you have given me. The soil is mostly bare and that's OK! Lord, it would be so good to have some plants and I'm anticipating what you provide."
This prayer was between me and God. I said nothing to my husband. A woman's words can reflect on the man's ability to provide. My husband is a wonderful provider. Having no money to purchase plants does not equate to him being a poor provider. It's a blessing to have a garden – an extra blessing!
One of my girlfriends phoned me last night and this is what she said (remember…my prayer was between me and God).
"Deborah, I want to take you to Home Depot tomorrow and we can buy plants for our gardens!" Glory to God…His goodness just grew.
One day when God so chooses, our lives will be entirely gone on this earth. It will disappear altogether. The works of art that man has made, the houses that we build and fill with a whole lot of unnecessary and expensive stuff; it all remains for a little time but our life will go. There will be nothing of it remaining -- any more than the morning vapour which climbs silently up the mountain side.
I have a new motto for life, "Do good – don't wait!"
If you have trusted Christ as your Saviour then your life counts for eternity. One day we will be called before the judgment seat and we will all have to give an account for the Words we said. The Bible says that our words will be judged!
Do you give the gift of words in your marriage and your home? Are you good to those in your workplace? Do you leave a trail of goodness wherever you go and when your life is over on this earth will others' say?.. "God's love and goodness glowed through her!"
We love how good you are to us. Give us wisdom and understanding today in a very tangible way. We need to see your love through the good things you do for us and we need to do good for others. Help us to be tuned into the opportunities for both.
Forgive us for withholding good, especially in our marriages and our homes. Forgive us for withholding good through neglecting opportunity. We need you Lord and we need you to change the way we see ourselves and the way we see others.
Please help us to grow in grace. We want to be Spirit-filled Christians, sensitive to the words we use and what effect they have on others.
Bring fruit into our lives Lord and help us to make a difference. We give you the glory for all goodness and thank you for the gift of your precious Word.
We Love You" – Amen
…and I Love You,