Don’t you just love good news? I know I do. It seems our world comes up short these days when reporting on good news. If you watch the news at all, it can often leave you feeling anything but good. One thing I tend to say quite a bit is, “God is good.” I really don’t say this flippantly. I choose to proclaim God’s goodness because He truly has shown me His goodness in countless ways throughout my life. As I continue to walk in relationship with Him, his goodness is more apparent to me day by day and because of it, I want to declare it to everyone.
Lately I’ve done quite a bit of pondering on the goodness of God. I looked up the phrase “God is Good” on the computer and nowhere in the Bible is that phrase found. Yet, the bible does tell us that God is holy (Psalm 99:9), righteous (Psalm 145:17) and that everything he created is good (1 Tim. 4:4). It says that there is no evil in him (Psalm 92:15), and that all his ways are good (Psalm 119:68). God is the complete embodiment of goodness.
Wow, if God is the embodiment of goodness, what a sharp contrast there is to me. I used to think I was a pretty good person. I was raised to believe there were levels of sin and that some were worse than others. I would compare myself to others and think, “Well compared to a murderer, I’m not that bad. Or compared to so and so . . . well, I’m better than that.” Well quite honestly, that kind of thinking did nothing but make me a judgmental of others.
God had to undue my way of thinking by showing me what the bible says about this . . . “We would not dare put ourselves in the same class with, or compare ourselves to, those who recommend themselves. Whenever they measure themselves by their own standards or compare themselves among themselves, they show how foolish they are” (2 Cor. 10:12). Yep, God just said my old way of thinking was foolish.
When we compare ourselves to others, we may think we are good, we may feel proud because we think we are better, but the bible says this about it . . . there is none righteous not one (Rom. 3:10) and that all of my goodness is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). Comparing ourselves against others is sin, and all sin is rebellion against God. The bible says we are all sinners and in need of God’s saving grace in our lives. Sometimes I think God has to show us the depth of our own sinfulness so that we can fully appreciate the riches of his grace and therefore be able to extend that grace to others.
Now when I compare myself to God, this is where I see who I truly am. He is holy, I am not. I am an unworthy sinner, saved by the unmerited grace of an amazing God. I know I fall short, daily, hourly, moment by moment. The bible says we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. I know there is no good in me except what is imputed (given) to me by God through my relationship with Him.
Being religious means, we have to earn our way to God by being good enough . . . or try to keep some sort of standard by which we think keeping all the rules we are justified. But if we all would be honest with ourselves, we would know that we cannot. As hard as I might try, I’m far from perfect and I fail God daily. God is the only good and perfect one. Instead of being religious, God wants a relationship with us. We gain a right relationship with him only by believing what He did for us on the cross and walking in relationship with him . . . it’s pure grace. I can’t earn it and I definitely don’t deserve it.
I know I have a sin problem and God provided the solution by coming to earth to die for me. He paid for my sins so that I didn’t have to. We have a choice to either except his free gift of salvation by believing what He has done for us or we can reject him. It’s pure and beautiful unmerited grace. The bible says…By Grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man could boast. Romans 8:28 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. It also says…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
Basically I now know that there is no good in me apart from God. This is something that God had to work out in my heart and life. He had to change my thinking by showing me who He was through his Word. When I admit my sinfulness and therefore my need of Jesus (a Savior) only then can Jesus come and and work in our heart and lives. As we walk in relationship with Jesus, he then helps us to grow up in our faith (Eph. 4:15) and to overcome the sinful patterns in our lives (Rev. 12:11) through the powerful work of his Holy Spirit in us.
Many days I feel undone by God’s goodness and grace to me. I am thankful that he has removed the blinders so that I can see myself as I really am, a sinner, saved purely by His grace. I deserve nothing, yet He gives me all things. His goodness fuels my love for him and therefore my desire to obey him. He paid for my sins on the cross so that I didn’t have to. I can’t earn or merit my own salvation, it’s purely the work of God’s grace on our behalf. All we have to do is accept it. God loves us and wants a relationship with us. That’s the Good News of the bible.
God’s amazing love gives us all things, redemption through his blood, forgiveness of our sins, eternal life with him and he also promises us abundant life in the here and now. How amazing is that…it’s almost a too good to be true kind of goodness. And the thing is, it is too good to be true and it’s only because of God’s amazing goodness towards us. That’s why it’s called the Good-News! When you have good news, don’t you want to share it?
I am not ashamed of the Gospel (Good News), because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…Romans 1:16