God is good : part three

You delight in showing mercyJesus reveals God the Fathers perfect goodness. In the pages of the scriptures we can see Jesus and the outworking of His goodness. Jesus rescues, heals and speaks truth to the broken.

In the book of John chapter eight we read about Jesus and the woman who  had been caught in the act of adultery

…. but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8: 1-11)

This event is a perfect example of the outworking of Jesus goodness. The woman had been caught in sin and the religious leaders of the time think that it is God’s plan for her to die because of what she has done. They stand in judgement of her and want to carry out a death sentence by throwing stones at her. They claimed to have known God and believe that this is what He wanted them to do to her.

The religious leaders dragged the woman before Jesus and make their case. Jesus gives them permission to kill the woman but he says “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Romans 8:7)

Jesus is saying that they can follow through with their judgment and stone her, but only the one who is without sin can carry out that sentence, only that person has the right to judge her.

Nobody there could even lift a stone to throw. I could only imagine that there would have been a hushed silence that fell upon the crowd as the realization set in. The only person who had the right to judge her was Jesus himself, He was the only one without sin. And the only one who can kill her, forgives her instead. He showed her mercy, mercy triumphs over judgement.

Would you wanted to have thrown stones at the woman? Remember these words, the only one who can kill her forgives her instead.

As followers of Jesus, we should be the kind of people who are like Him – living in His goodness, reproducing His goodness and showing love to everybody. We should be seeking to be a reflection of Him, mirroring His love and affection towards others.

When we read the word of God we come with our own ideas of what goodness is but we need to let who Jesus was define the goodness of God. We need to read what Jesus did throughout the scriptures and invite Him to settle the issue of Gods goodness forever in our hearts.

And when the matter of God is good is settled in our hearts then when we experience hard times or difficult circumstances our faith does not waver. We will have a deep understanding that God is good, all the time, even in the midst of our terrible circumstances God is still good and will work ALL things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28)

 

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God is good : part two

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose

God is good and He will never stop doing good for us. We know that God is faithful and that His word is the truth so on this promise we can stand firm. I love this verse in Jeremiah…

I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Jeremiah 32:40-41

God rejoices when He gets to do good things for us. It is His greatest joy to do so and He delights in it. When attacks from the enemy come the Lord rejoices. He rejoices because He gets to step in and do good for you.

The enemy is always going to come and seek to destroy. The enemy’s ultimate goal is to drive a wedge between us and the Father and a lot of the time he succeeds. He is successful because we are too busy focusing on the negative things that are happening to us and asking the question “why does God let this happen?”.

Instead we should know that the enemy will come to separate us from the Father BUT the Father delights in being able to come and do good for us in those situations. It is up to us to turn from what the enemy is doing and to look for what God is doing in that circumstance.

We need to remember and retell the good things that the Lord has done for us. God is able and He is willing to do it again, again and again. Lets give all the glory to the Lord for His goodness and not put the attention on the schemes of the enemy.

Ask the Lord to help you align your perspective with His so you can see His goodness and then expect to see His goodness all around you.

God is good : part one

God is good. So many people struggle with this, they struggle to reconcile the God of the old testament with the God of the new. The revelation that God is good and that He is in a good mood was very life changing for me. To see Him with a smile on His face every time I approach Him and every time I read the bible has just increased my desire to know Him more, to love Him more and to be living in His perfect will.

The old testament often trips us up when we are thinking of God as a good God, but I choose to see the times that God showed up time and time again to redeem His people.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7

This is the perfect example of Gods goodness, He reveals himself to Moses in the midst of his chaos. Moses had cried out to Him and the Lord answered him. God reveals His goodness to Moses, God is compassionate, gracious and slow to anger, He abounds in love and faithfulness and He loves and forgives us when we rebel or when we have sinned. The guilty will have to live with the consequences of their sin but He still loves and still forgives.

Choose to look for Gods goodness in the chaos. Even in the old testament God was still good it is just that we always tend to focus on all the negative things and not on the positive things that are happening. We need to not focus on the punishment they received but on His goodness.

We get hung up on that last line…he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation”.

But instead we should be hung up, zeroed in and placing all our focus and attention on the fact that… the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin”

God wants us to know that we will have to live with the consequences from the choices we make but more importantly is that He wants us to know that He is good. Always.

Hearing God : part two. Discovering Gods nature

walkway to beach

God doesn’t just speak to us so that He can give us directions. God speaks to us so that He can reveal His nature to us. He wants us to know Him by his heart, personality and spirit and not just be known as somebody that needs to be listened to and strictly followed.

God wants us to have a strong identity so He talks to us through His nature more then He does through direct words. He invites us in to discover more about Him and in return more about ourselves because we are created in His image.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27

How do we hear from God about His nature? We have His word, the bible, which we meditate on until it becomes our nature too. As we study the word and write it on our hearts, our heart, character and nature begin to align with His.

The bible reveals to us that..

God is powerful… 1 Timothy 6:15

God is love… 1 John 4:8

God is the truth, the light, and in Him there is no darkness… 1 John 1:5

God is holy… 1 Peter 1:16

God loves mercy and grace and He is compassionate… Psalm 103:8

God is gentle…  Psalm 18:35

God is righteous…  Psalm 129:4

God is faithful… 1 Corinthians 10:13

So now we understand that God is loving and that He shows mercy, grace and compassion so whenever we trip up and make a mistake or fall into sin we know that we can come before Him and He will show us mercy and forgiveness. We can lean in closer to Him and feel the fullness of His love and compassion. He will always be gentle with us and we know that He remains faithful so we can come before Him time and time again and He will treat us in the same loving way each and every time. This is God speaking to us through His nature.

The more that we begin to rely on Gods nature inside of us the more confident we are in our identity and in Him. We begin to take on the mind of Christ. We now no longer need to be told what is good and right for us because we fully understand who He has made us to be and we know what we should be doing and when we should be doing it.