Do Something GoodSeries: God Help Us Unite. James Dewhurst July 12, 2020
God Help Us Unite
Do Something Good
Just this week, we heard that although death tolls continue to drop, positive cases have risen as testing and movement have increased. Because of this, 21 states have paused their re-opening plans, and some have even reversed openings. Mental health experts say that the start and stop the behavior, along with the mixed messaging has not only become confusing, but it is beginning to create fatigue and frustration. Mental health professionals are citing fears of an increase in mental health breakdowns, as cases rise, re-openings pause, divisions grow, and people are overwhelmed by it all!
While we can’t control the circumstances around us, I believe there are things we can do to affect the climate!
We have the power to do good, even when it’s bad!
People who are carrying their cross have the power to lift our defeated world!
As a follower of Jesus, our blood type is always – BE POSITIVE!
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
A wise person – “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Albert Einstein – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”
Unknown – “Instead of worrying about what you can’t control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
What is goodness? The Greek word for good or goodness is Agathos and describes that which is good in its character or nature. Goodness is to be moral and honorable, but it also means benevolence or kindness as a result of grace. Goodness is a uniquely biblical character trait that’s only in the Bible. We have a world full of people who are always try to achieve greatness instead of goodness. America needs to focus on being better, not being better off. Greatness draws crowds, but goodness changes lives!
The virtue the church needs right now is goodness, not greatness!
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (ESV)
10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (ESV)
21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (ESV)
The Christian life can be lived without greatness, but it cannot be live without goodness!
Mother Theresa – “Maybe you can’t do great things for God. But you can do good things with a great heart.”
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)
-The first thing that Jesus established in this parable, is that Christians are not just called to be devoted to Christ, but to also have a positive influence wherever we go.
-We are not just called to be good, we are also called to go out and do good!
In Jesus’ day, no one had freezers, so any kind of meat had to be salted and cured in order to be preserved. Salt was used not just for flavoring but also for preserving. Jesus used the well understood to tell his followers that they were being called to preserve the world they were living in. They were also called to flavor their world. Salt naturally enhances taste by intensifying certain flavors and decreasing others. Salt has the unique ability to make sweet things seem sweeter and diminish the impact of naturally bitter things. Jesus taught that those who were in step with God would make the world a sweeter place, by flavoring it with the goodness of God. Jesus’ greatest warning was to make sure that his followers didn’t lose their ability to flavor their world!
Jesus then proceeds to tell his pupils that they were also the light of the world! Since none of us have lived without light, it’s easy for us to miss Jesus’ point, but his listeners wouldn’t have understood it. Jewish homes were lit each night by an oil lamp, which was the only way they could see. The only reason to light a lamp in Jesus’ day was to create as much light as possible, and it would have been considered comical to cover an oil lamp up after it had been lit. Jesus taught that His people should be a light that is so bright it draws people, not a lamp that is covered by negativity and bitterness.
Christians carry the responsibility of preserving and illuminating by doing good.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (ESV)
> When people had questions, Jesus pointed them to the truth of Scriptures!
> When people were settling for less, Jesus called them to a higher standard!
> When people had needs, Jesus consistently put their needs above his own!
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)
Politics will pass. Riots will pass. Viruses will pass. But love the Bible says remains!
1 Corinthians 13:13
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (ESV)
3 important facts about Goodness with you before we go today:
(1) Goodness comes from experiencing Goodness!
David invited us in: Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Our world doesn’t need the biggest minds right now. We need the biggest hearts!
(2) Goodness in you brings out Goodness in others!
Barnabas, who was mentioned 28 times in the N.T., was such a legend for doing good, that he was given a nickname by the disciples, the “Son of Encouragement”.
Love is the most powerful and life-altering weapon the church has in its bag!
United In Prayer!
Matthew 18:19-20“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (God shows up when Christians are united!)
Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (Prayer takes humility!)
1. Pray for God’s will to be done in our nation, not man’s! Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
2. Pray against the enemies temptation to bring endless divisions! Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
3. Pray for forgiveness to become the response that heals our nation! Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
4. Pray for our president, government leaders and local authorities! 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV) “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
5. Pray for the health of our nation and for God to protect our families! Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV) “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
6. Pray for the economy to strengthen and recover fully! Jeremiah 29:7 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
7. Pray for revival to touch our land and draw people to God! Psalm 80:7 (NIV) “Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
8. Pray for the health of our faith leaders all over America, who are attempting to navigate these delicate times! “Lord, please cause [Our faith leaders] to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in Your work. Help them to know that their toil is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)