Superhero or Supervillain? – Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it (Proverbs 3:27, ESV).

Did you know that you have superhero power? If you don’t know what your superhero power is, then read this verse from Proverbs over again!

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO GOOD!

If there is one superhero power better than all others, it’s certainly the power to do good! After all, isn’t “Good” what all superheroes are trying to accomplish with whatever superpower they have?

So, you have the greatest superpower of all superpowers–TO DO GOOD!

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Finding God’s Will – Part 2: Why God Reveals His Will – Psalm 25:6-11

<< Part 1: Looking For God’s Will

“Remember, Lord, Your compassion and Your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, Lord. The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees. Because of Your name, Yahweh, forgive my sin, for it is great” (Psalm 25:6-11, HCSB).

The explanations the psalmist provides in Psalm 25 about how God reveals Himself and His will to us are so perceptive and penetrating that it merits another post to explain the reasons why God reveals His will.

Fortunately, Psalm 25 provides explanations for both How and Why!

In Part 1 we noted that how we look for God’s will is to turn to God, trust Him, and wait for Him.

And, we concluded that God reveals specific details of His character and His will to people who are desperately looking for Him. In other words, when we depend on God, then He will show us His way for us to follow.

But you might be left wondering why God would want to bother with providing a personal revelation of Himself to you and me?

Why go to all that trouble?

The psalmist provides a powerful theological explanation for God revealing Himself and His will to His people in these verses: God is good!

The psalmist contrasts the faithful love of God and His goodness with the depravity of human beings and their need for restoration.

The juxtaposition of remember/not remember/remember demonstrates that God’s consciousness (remembrance) of His own everlasting love and mercy is the reason He acts beneficently toward His people.

Therefore, people’s sins are forgiven (not remembered). And only then can God act on behalf of His people (remember) who have humbled themselves and depend on Him.

In fact, it is God’s reputation (His name) that is at stake in the forgiveness of people’s sins.

God’s reputation–His essential nature or character–is closely connected with His actions toward His people.

Because people are sinful and God is good, He must impute His goodness by forgiving our sins!  

It’s as if God is compelled by the force of His own nature to reveal Himself and His will to His people!  

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

Examine the Fruit – Matthew 12:33,35

“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad…A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”  (Matthew 12:33,35, NLT).

Goodness is a quality that is only attributable to God.

And God’s redemptive purpose is not to create good people, but to establish His goodness in the human heart.

So God’s plan for you is not just to clean you up, but to shape and form the character of your being for eternity.

God wants to do an inside job on you!

He knows that it is what is on the inside—your character, your heart, your soul—that determines what you will do with what is on the outside—your words and behavior.

According to Jesus, it is relatively simple to determine what is on the inside of a person.

You examine their fruit!

When you purchase fruit at the store, you pick it up and look it over before you place it in your shopping cart. It’s the same way with people.

You hear what they say and see how they behave: “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (vs. 7:20).

What you say and do are indicative of what’s in your heart.

What do people hear and see coming from your heart? Do you  pass the fruit exam? Are you a tree that bears good fruit?

Let the words you speak and the way you live demonstrate that Jesus lives in your heart!

“So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone” (James 2:24,NLT),

Adapted from The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present, by Steven C. Mills