For Goodness Sake
. . . make every effort to add to your faith, goodness. . .
2 Peter 1:5
goodness – the state of being good – pure, moral, conscientious, meritorious, worthy, exemplary, upright, beneficial, having admirable, pleasing qualities
Danny, the leader of the Hands of Mercy building project, teared up as he stood watching his team congratulating the little family on their new home. Handshakes, hugs and comments on the success of the day passed throughout the group. Although dinner was waiting, no one wanted to break the moment. It had been a good day.
I am so glad I was there to witness this life changing event for a young mother and her children. At the end of the day, theirs were not the only lives that were altered. A team of twenty individuals had answered the call to do something good and this would have a lasting effect on them as well. That is the way of things when you put your faith into action by practicing what is good.
The word goodness from the focus verse in 2 Peter, is the Greek word areta which means: moral excellence; a virtuous course of thought, feeling or action. This step of adding goodness to our faith is a strategic one. Now that we have put our faith in God, aligning ourselves with him, Peter says, “Add goodness.” It makes sense that we would follow God in his ways by choosing to do what he does- do good. It was his own goodness, after all, that has called us out of a life of “corruption. . .caused by evil desires” and “has given us everything we need for a godly life.” 2 Peter 1:4
Romans 12 gives a Goodness Plan for our lives, calling us to become “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. . .” by being “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” It gives us a way of seeing things differently by thinking and acting in a way that is good. And in this way, we are “not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
That, my friends, points to a major reason to add goodness to our faith – It overcomes evil. Goodness is something definitely needed when it comes to living a godly life. It also allows us to participate in the divine nature which gives us a deeper knowledge of who God is.
The challenge set before us is to continually choose good in everything we do. We not only will be changed by doing good, but it also has a way of affecting others in the most positive way while bringing attention and glory to the Father. So, for His sake choose goodness.
God’s definition of doing good –
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me–put into practice. And the peace of God will be with you.”
”You are the light of the world…let your light shine among others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.”
Hands of Mercy, a non-profit based in Redlands, California, whose mission is to strengthen the Body of Christ by discipling families and individuals of all ages to love others in tangible ways through building loft houses. A loft house is prefabricated in church parking lots in the US then assembled in Mexico. Though not luxurious by any definition, a loft house gives some basic protection and shelter from the elements. A loft house is a 12-foot by 12-foot structure with 4 windows, a lockable door and a second story attic loft for sleeping that is reached by interior stairs. The kit-house consists of prefabbed panels made from simple building materials, widely available at most home improvement warehouses: 2x4s, 2x6s, plywood and tar paper roofing. The house has a raised wooden floor, covered with linoleum, built on concrete piers. This speeds construction time by eliminating extra days to pour and cure a cement slab. Work teams can build loft houses on land that would not be suitable for slab construction. For about $4,500.00, these homes exhibit a visible testimony to the love of Jesus to the new home owners and their entire community.
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us.
We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16