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Devotional - week of February 12, 2006


GOOD PEOPLE

 

Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  Matthew 19:16-17a

 

Most of us have called someone “good.” We did so because of the person’s quality of life. He is pure in heart, he is a hard worker, he has integrity, and he goes about doing good for others. We have even referred to unsaved people as being good. Some of us can remember saying of someone, “He is not a Christian, but he is a good man.”

 

Matthew 19:16-17 records Jesus sweeping away the thought of any human being a good person.

 

We may not know all that Jesus had in mind when He said these words in which He seemingly denies that He was a good person. We cannot mistake, though, the meaning of the statement, “No one is good but one, that is, God.”

 

In light of the statement of Jesus, is there any way a person can be a good person? There is. Galatians 5:22 says:

 

… the fruit of the Spirit is … goodness …

 

In order to be a good person, one must be filled with the Holy Spirit. God must be good in him and through him. There is no such thing as a person arriving at a fixed state of being “Spirit-filled.”

 

Being filled with the Spirit is a moment-by-moment thing. We can be filled with the Spirit early in the morning and an hour later be in the flesh. We must continue to receive the filling of the Spirit.

 

We receive the filling of the Spirit by putting off our old man and putting on our new man. We do this by living out the commands for living by grace—the commands of Romans 6:11-13. They are to be lived out on a continual basis.

 

It is possible for parents to lead their children who are Christians to experience the filling of the Holy Spirit and send them from home reminding them of the possibility of being good. Christian parents who have children who are not yet Christians can teach them to trust in God throughout the day.