The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS. Our background photo today shows a journey through the utter darkness of a lava tube, deep underground in central Oregon. This world where we are living is a very dark, very bad place. But God, in His great GOODNESS, has shined LIGHT in the darkness! Jesus is the LIGHT! If we allow Jesus to take away all of our badness and sin, the Holy Spirit will fill our lives with GOODNESS and with LIGHT! * Jesus told us: “Let your LIGHT shine before men, that they may see your GOOD deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:16 The utter and total darkness of the lava tube, in our background photo today, is being brilliantly illuminated! This is what our lives look like when the Holy Spirit fills us with GOODNESS and with LIGHT! But not everyone wants the GOODNESS or the LIGHT. In fact, many people do not want GOODNESS or LIGHT at all!!! * “LIGHT has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of LIGHT because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the LIGHT.” -John 3:19-20 Yesterday we saw that the Fruit of the Spirit GOODNESS is directly tied to Righteousness and Truth! (Ephesians 5:8-10) Many people do not want Righteousness!! Many people do not want Truth!! Journeying through the utter darkness of the lava tube, the walls gradually start to narrow, the roof presses in lower and lower, the space shrinks, the passage gets smaller and smaller … tighter and tighter. This is how it feels right now! This is totally how life feels right now as we seek to live GOODNESS, Righteousness, and Truth in our world. The darkness is closing in! The space is shrinking! But God is GOOD. God WILL protect His own! * “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life;” - Psalm 138:7 * “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” -Psalm 46:1-2 * “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the GOODNESS of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” - Psalm 27:13-14 * “The LORD is GOOD, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” - Nahum 1:7 Even though the darkness is closing in, keep shining GOODNESS! Keep shining Righteousness! Keep shining Truth! The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS.