The Essentials 9-week series will focus on what it means to reflect the character of Jesus. Each week, we will wrestle with one of the essential characteristics of Jesus with the hope of it bearing fruit in our lives as we become more dependent on the Spirit to lead us. This week our focus is on the our focus is on the sixth fruit of the Spirit - Goodness.
1. In his message on Sunday, Gary Gaddini, our lead pastor, talked about one of the most famous paintings in history: Starry Night by Van Gogh. What stands out to you and how does this relate to our series, The Essentials? Where is the light of Christ shining through you and in what area have you gone dark?
2. Gary defined biblical goodness as generous, kindhearted acts for the benefit of others that brings restoration and confronts evil. How does Micah 6:8 relate to this definition? What is the cultural counterfeit of goodness?
3. Biblical goodness isn’t always easy or convenient. Christopher J. H. Wright says in Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, that a good man or woman resists the temptation to find a way out of doing good. He says, “Nearly always there is an alternative option available. But the good choice is the right choice even when it’s the hard one.” Jesus could have deviated from the will of the Father repeatedly, but instead demonstrated goodness and integrity. Test your Bible knowledge and list some of those situations. See Matthew 4:1-11 and Mark 14:32-42 for two examples.
4. On the cross, by demonstrating goodness and integrity, Jesus provided the way for mankind to be restored to The Father. Fill in the blank: __________ and restoration to the Father comes through no other. See Acts 4:12. When we are illuminating the light of the Holy Spirit, we will want to restore what is broken in our world. Where and how is the Holy Spirit prompting you to bring restoration in our broken world?
5. According to Pastor Gary, if we align with the goodness of God, we should confront evil in a godly way. It might be easy to become complacent or passive and not want to rock the boat, especially in our world of brokenness and evil. Since the election many people are taking it upon themselves to speak out in many forms. How will your children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and the world in general hear and see you confront evil with goodness? How do the following verses encourage us: Romans 12:21, Galatians 6:9, Matthew 5:14-16 and Ephesians 4:29?
6. In the book, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, the author wrote, “If God is utterly good, then it’s not surprising that people who live close to God reflect his character and are marked by this same quality.” This week how will you depend on God for goodness to bear fruit in you?
Series Daily Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control.”
---John Stott (1921-2011), evangelist and scholar
Actions & Resources
--Make space for God this week. Declare the prayer daily.
--Memorize The Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23
--Read Chapter 6 (Goodness) in Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit by Christopher J.H.Wright
--Join a 9-week Group: Cultivating The Essentials (Men, Women, Coed) - see below
--Join a House Church -- see below