August 10, 2016

Concerning God's goodness

Have you said, or heard said, "The Lord's been good to me."

Concerning that thought, I would ask:

Do you think that he could be any other way?

How would you tell others to experience that goodness?

Is he only good to some and not others?

You see, when I hear those words, the niggling that happens in my mind causes me to wonder if some people are a part of a club, and in that club, God is good to them, and not to others.

But God is good to all.

His mercies extend to all.

His grace is available upon repentance however, and until a soul repents, God's wrath is on them.

While his wrath remains on a soul until repentance (Ephesians 5:6), that soul still can observe the beauty of nature, and experience the life-giving properties of the sun, and oxygen, and rain.

Hitler saw lilies, heard the sound of children laughing, and felt the warmth of the sun.

He experienced the mercies of the Lord.

Was God being good to him with those mercies?

Yes.

Did Hitler acknowledge those mercies?

I think not.

But in Hitler not saying, "The Lord has been good to me," God still was.

If you are inclined to say, "The Lord has been good to me," then I wonder, "Are you bragging?"

And have you done something to make that goodness happen?

And if so, then do you tell others what they must do to make that happen?

What does his goodness look like to you?

Is it in your possessions, or wealth, or home(s), or vacations you enjoy, or your children?

I'm asking you to define "God's goodness" in a way that does not exclude anyone.

The world has possessions, wealth, homes, vacations, and children.

Scripture says that God is the ONLY one who is good, as in no one else is good (Luke 18:19).

Think about the way you describe God, not only to yourself, but others.

Is God someone you share with others?

Do you share him simply by saying that he has been good to you?

How do you share his goodness with others?

If as Scripture indicates that God is love, then are you sharing his love?

Your words fall flat on needy ears perhaps.

Show others that God is good.

Tell them how they can know his grace (only in repentance), and remind them of his mercies (to all).

Or do you think that you have a "corner on the market" concerning God's goodness?

Is his "goodness" simply a platitude with you?

Do you speak of his goodness in hopes that you won't see his wrath?

Do you live holding your breath waiting for a horrible experience to come your way?

Do you think that by speaking of God's goodness then it keeps your husband employed, and your children healthy, and the locust from eating your crops?

Think about Job.

Job 1:1 tells us that Job feared God. It doesn't say that he loved him. Fear and love are not the same.

They are defined differently.

One can fear law enforcement, which does not mean that they love them.

Job did not know of God's grace until he repented which is found in Job 42:1-6.

Job thought that God had been good to him too, I would imagine. He had lots of kids, money, servants, and his health, and then what happened? Was God good to him as he sat covered in boils?

After Job's conversion, found in his repentance, Job's heart was different.

Boils, or no boils, Job was a new man— inside, where it counts. 

We don't hear a lot of words from Job after his repentance, except something very telling.

He prayed for his friends.....and the Lord heard his prayers.

The very ones who were not good friends, who were about to have the boom lowered on them (by God), were loved by Job, who interceded for them.

And God heard Job's prayers.

And God's hand was stayed.

We do not see that happening before Job's repentance.

Do you pray for those who spitefully use you?

Do you hold angst in your heart for anyone?

Then most likely you are not praying for them even as you proclaim that God is good to you.

And most likely, if you don't pray for those who hurt you, then you have fear of God, as did Job, but you have not repented, and you do not love God, and you do not pray, fervently, for anyone.

Job 42:11 tells us that the Lord had brought evil on Job (when he lost all, and had boils).

Yep. God did it. Is God good in that scenario?

Does God ever change?

Do you think that, at that time, Job, while covered in boils, was declaring the goodness of God?

It is not recorded.

Job lost almost everything. What did he still have? His breath.

Before Job had everything restored to him, he used it to pray for his friends.

What do you use your breath to do?

Fuss? Complain? Express bitterness? Gossip? Slander? Libel? Do you waste it?

When Job had nothing (yet), we know he prayed (see Job 42:10).

Notice it wasn't for possessions, a wife, children, and servants.

Job prayed for others.

His heart had been changed, through repentance.

His heart finally knew what he had only heard of prior to that.

Job 42:5 tells us this is so.

Job says, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you."

When do we see God?

See verse 6, and you will see what one must do.

Repent.

God's goodness, his grace, is known when one will agree with God about the sin they do.

Metanoia.

Upon knowing his grace, all else is rubbish, and unnecessary, and though he slay you, you will still praise him, and it will be with clean lips that do not boast of "things" at all.

Yes.

God is good.

Always. With or without physical health, or physical possessions, God is good. Is that your claim?












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