Posts Tagged ‘Goodness


God Is Good

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. — Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. — Luke 18:19 (NIV)

I’ve often wondered if the reason we don’t pray as much as we should is because we doubt.  There are two things that we primarily doubt about God.  We doubt His greatness and His goodness.  I wrote about God’s greatness the other day and how we should be amazed at His power and His deeds.  When we come to Him in prayer, of these two attributes, this is the thing we doubt the least.  We know that God is powerful.  We believe that He is great.  But is He good?  Will He really “give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11, NIV)?  Does He really care?  Does He really love us?  Can we trust His goodness?  Absolutely!  We are talking about the God who knows the very number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).  He is so intensely interested in you that He knows something as seemingly as trivial as that.  It matters to God, though.  Why?  Because you matter to God.  I matter to God.  He loves us so fiercely and passionately!  May you sense and feel that love today!  May you taste and see His goodness.  May you have the power to grasp the height, width, depth and length of Christ’s love.  May we have a better understanding of God’s infinite goodness on this day and in the days to come.  Because God is good…all the time.

PRAYER: Help me, O God, to be aware of Your goodness in my life today. Help me to keep faith and not doubt Your love for me. Thank You for Jesus, the ultimate expression of Your love. Amen.


Is Anything Too Hard For God?

Let’s face it.  We doubt.

We doubt God’s goodness.  When we doubt His willingness to provide for what we need, we are doubting His goodness.  Is God not truly good that He would withhold the things His children need?  Of course not!  God is good and He will provide what we need!

We doubt God’s forgiveness.  We think that we are so far gone and so sinful that He could not possibly forgive what we’ve done.  What kind of Heavenly Father would He be if He limited His own forgiveness of His children?  He is full of love and grace and forgiveness and He demonstrated it by sending Jesus.

We doubt God’s power.  We sometimes believe that God has “more important” things to do than to attend to the petty little details of our lives.  Oh really?  God is not all-knowing or all-powerful enough to handle what we are going through no matter how big or small?  I like what God said to Jeremiah:

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:  “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:26-27, NIV)

He is the “God of all mankind.”  Nothing is too hard for God.  No problem is so insurmountable that He cannot handle it.  No child of His is too far gone that He cannot reach him or her.  No sin, save one (Mark 3:29), is so egregious that He cannot lovingly forgive it.  We have to learn to trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  I believe that God is calling out to us each day, “Trust Me.  Trust Me.  Trust Me.”  He is good and His love is everlasting.  He is good and He will not withhold good gifts from His children.  He is good and full of grace and mercy.  He is good and His power knows no limits.  God is good, my friends.  God is good and nothing is too hard for Him.

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for Your goodness and grace.  Thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness.  Thank You for loving me at my worst and helping me to be my best.  Thank You for Your power and might.  Allow me to experience Your goodness in my life today.  Amen.


How Long, O Lord?

Psalm 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me. — (Psalm 13, NIV)

Let’s face it.  Hard times come to us all as we journey through this life.  David knew all about them.  As king of Israel, there were many enemies who wanted to take his life.  He knew what it was like to be down.  This psalm makes it sound like he knew depression.  He told God that he had sorrow in his heart every day.  He was in the thick of the hardships of life, but he knew where to turn…the unfailing love of the Lord.

Sometimes we forget where to turn.  We forget the last two verses of Psalm 13.  We express our grievances to God and we complain to Him (which we should), but we stop there.  We need to remember those verses:

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Do you trust in the unfailing love of God?  How has God been good to you?  Can you sing to the Lord, even especially on the bad days?  When life is crashing around you and you feel like you are just going to die, can you rejoice in the salvation that was given to you when you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ?  It’s not easy and the hard times seem to come more frequently than the good times, but God is good (all the time) and He’s been good to us all.  May He overwhelm you with His goodness today.
PRAYER:  Father God, life is hard, but I know that You are good.  Help me to see Your goodness today.  Amen.

The Good Gift Giver

James 1:16-18 (NIV)
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
​God is a good gift giver.  ​He enjoys giving good gifts to His people.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT):

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God above.  Everything we need and more comes from our Heavenly Father.  He will provide for our needs.  We need only to trust Him.  The good news about this passage is that God’s character does not change.  We can trust Him because He does not change.  
The promises God made in Scripture are the promises we can rely on today.  God does not tempt us to do evil, for God does not delight in evil.  Rather, according to Jeremiah 32:41, God finds joy in doing good for His people.  I think that we sometimes believe that God is some kind of mean ogre in the sky who is just waiting for us to mess up so He can either withhold His blessing from us or punish us.  Not true!  God is good (all the time)!  He loves us with a perfect, unconditional love.  His love for us does not depend on our love for Him.  1 John says that He loved us first.  He reached out in love to us by sending His Son before anyone even knew that we needed a Savior.  Jesus is the evidence of God’s love and goodness.  He will bless you with good gifts because His character is good.
PRAYER: Lord God, I sometimes doubt Your goodness.  I fail to remember just how good You truly are and I am sorry.  Help me to remember Your goodness today.  Help me to trust You with my soul, my family and my life today.  Help me to live to share the good news of Jesus with a world in desperate need of good news.  Thank You for the good gift of Your love, Jesus.  Amen.

I Want To Hear These Words

“His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ — Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
There is coming a day when I will stand before my Creator and Judge.  He will open His mouth to speak.  I want to hear the words that Jesus spoke in the parable of the talents.  I believe that there are three keys to hearing these words: goodness, faithfulness and service.
Goodness requires that I do the right things.  Not to earn salvation.  Not to get stars on my chart in heaven or to earn brownie points with God.  My desire to live a life of righteousness stems from the fact that I am already saved.  God has been good to me and I want to repay Him for all He has done.  I need the Holy Spirit to continually change me and remove my selfishness so that I may live a life of goodness.
Faithfulness requires that I remain steadfast in my devotion to Jesus.  I cannot waver for one moment.  I cannot stray from the narrow path for one second.  The narrow gate must be in my sights at all times.  I have to press on towards the prize.  I have to remain faithful to the One who never wavers in His faithfulness to me.
Finally, I must be a servant.  I serve Christ and I serve others.  I can get so caught up in my own personal comfort and self-preservation that I forget to be the servant Christ calls me to be.  Help me, God, to be the servant You desire me to be.
What about you?  What words do you want to hear upon your arrival at God’s throne?

God Is Good

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good.” — Matthew 19:17 (NIV)

The rich young man came to Jesus asking about the good thing he must do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus’ response is interesting.  “There is only One who is good.”  The ancient Greeks used the word good to describe the highest and most excellent of things.  We use the word good to describe anything and everything.  “That was a good meal.”  “That was a good movie.”  “This is a good song.”  “I like this TV show.  It’s really good.”  “I’m a good person.”  Jesus turns this thinking upside down.  “There is only One who is good.

It’s true, you know.  God is the only good One.  He is good in so many ways.

  • He is morally good.  He never sins or does anything evil.  (Matthew 19:17)
  • He is relationally good.  He does what is good and best in our relationship with Him.  (Matthew 7:11)
  • His purpose and His will are good. (Philippians 2:13)
  • His creation is good.  (Genesis 1; 1 Timothy 4:4)
  • His Word is good.  (Hebrews 6:5)

God is good…all the time.  All the time…God is good.  Do you believe it?  Have you experienced His goodness?  How have you experienced it this week?  This month?  This year?  In your lifetime?  We need to remember and recognize that while we are not good, God is!  Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and for being so good to us!


God Is Near

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? — Deuteronomy 4:7 (NIV)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. — James 4:8a (NIV)

He’s not sitting on a cloud somewhere in the sky waiting for something to happen.  He’s not busy in some corner of the universe creating supernovas and black holes.  He’s not too preoccupied with the problems in the Middle East or social issues.  He’s not dealing with more important matters for which others are praying.  He’s not too deeply engaged with problems like the national debt or who’s running Congress.  He’s got all of that under control (believe it or not!).

His primary concern is you.

He loves you and is concerned for you.

He wants to be near to you.

He is not a god that is far off and doesn’t hear our cries.

He is the God who is near to us.

In His love, grace and goodness, God draws near to us.  He’s only a prayer away.  If you draw near to Him, He has promised to draw near to you.  The world’s problems are not too big for Him to handle.  Your problems are not so seemingly insignificant for Him to truly care about.  He knows your problems and your pain and He will help.

Jesus is called “Immanuel” which means, “God with us.”  He was the ultimate expression of God’s desire to draw near to people.  He became like one of us in order to demonstrate His love for us and His desire to be with us.  He hears you and He knows you and He wants to be near you.  Go to Him and draw near and sense His loving presence surrounding you today.

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