Last week we talked about the fruit of the spirit “kindness.” This week we will explore “goodness.” The two overlap in meaning -- in fact, the Greek root word Paul uses for “kind” is often also translated as “good” in our English Bibles. But there is a distinction here in the list of the fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23. Paul listed both kindness and goodness as separate fruits of the spirit to emphasize their unique meanings.
These sketches/outlines are taken from messages delivered in SVCC's Sunday morning worship services.
How do you measure “spiritual success”? I once had a friend tell me that if I wanted to be successful as a minister that I had to first and foremost learn how to “ooze spirituality.” He was not a Christian, and even though he sincerely meant well, his analysis of spiritual success was both intriguing -- and disturbing. I just wanted to follow Jesus, not “ooze” anything!
Part 3 in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit
If we want to know how to live and die happy, we have to define happiness. I believe that happiness is knowing that your life matters, that you have a purpose, that your life counts for something. Does your life mean something? Do you know that you have a higher purpose than living day to day? In the end, will it make any difference whether you were here or not?
Part 2 in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit
Part 1 in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit
Did you know one of the founding principles of our nation is happiness? The Declaration of Independence says loud and clear: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Much like our own conflict between the North and the South from the American civil war, today’s text recounts the grim story of a very long war between two kingdoms that were North and South of Palestine.
Behind the Curtain
The cryptic words in Daniel 10.20 and 11.1 offer a fleeting backstage glimpse at a spiritual war. While some may scoff at the idea of angels and demons, these forces are clearly accepted and accounted for throughout the Bible. It begs the question -- is there something deeper going on behind the scenes? Is there a spiritual dimension to our day-to-day existence and, therefore, to history?
We are now the the last vision in the book of Daniel, and it is a doozy. The whole experience takes up chapters 10, 11, and 12. I am going to cover it in bite-sized pieces each week, focusing on some of the details of the story that I believe are relevant to you and me today.
Warning: Limited Visibility Ahead
Have you ever tried to jam in a puzzle piece that just doesn’t quite fit? That is what interpreting this Scripture is like. When you turn it one way, most of the edges line up, but it won’t go in. And when you twist it another way, the part that wouldn’t fit before lines up perfectly, but now two other edges won’t fit. For some of us who like to have control (we know who we are!), this can make some Scriptures, like today’s, frustrating to study.
In about 1150 BC, Moses gave final instructions before the children of Israel entered the promised land, following forty years of wandering in the wilderness after their captivity in Egypt:
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…