GOD is Good! (Matthew 19:17)
Choose the good always
"And behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:16-17 KJV).
Upon arising on this particular morning, this thought was lodged in my heart, and mind, and I am continuously being filled with new wonder of how great God is!
We sing this song "How great is our God", and it can be a question, yet, it is a question that I know I can’t answer in full, because He is too marvelous to fully comprehend with a finite mind, my spirit and soul knows that He is good, great and mighty.
If I took all the adjectives which define goodness, greatness and perfection, I still would not find a word that could adequately describe God absolutely. We learn to make use of the words, which can grant us the deepest expression that our spirits, and souls can comprehend and articulate.
Jesus Christ is our path to understanding and being the good which we have been made partakers of. God shares His nature with us and it informs us how to conduct ourselves. The nature of God is our code for all conduct.
What is good? It is to be decent, respectable, moral, upright, virtuous, noble and blameless. Qualities only obtainable through faith in God. You would have to believe in His divine nature to exhibit it. Operating in good is moral excellence which comes from God alone.
How can we do and be good? Jesus addresses this aspect in Matthew 19:17b, but if thou will enter into life, keep the commandments. The commandments inform us what good character is and what is needed to demonstrate good character, we develop values that steer our lives. The commandments direct us into righteous character that God deems to be right. Following the commandments won't necessarily make you a good person if it is merely rote, it is believing in the quality of life the commandment produces when obeyed. Thou shalt not steal, produces a person of quality when stealing can't motivate you because God said it is wrong to do. If you don't steal you make a choice to obey this commandment, it is a good thing to do based on God's counsel. Good is based on what God declares good. He is good all the time, good is a part of His benevolent nature.
Society has this law in motion and breaking it and getting caught can land one in prison. Negating the same law spiritually lands one in a different imprisonment spiritually.
Jesus lived these accounts in Scripture and He provides us with parables and stories to illustrate God's response to a world of humans which have been and are disconnected from the original intent of creation. While all the horrible things are taking place in the world, we are still at the same time looking for and finding reasons to hope for good and celebrate life. Deep down with us, intuitively we don't believe that the way the world is going is the way that it is supposed to. Why? God is our reason why or we would just accept the horrors of this life as status quo, that offer no resolve. Resolve to every problem can only be found in God.
Many people who followed Jesus for answers for theirs lives knew how He personalized God ascribing to Him Fatherhood. God as Father expresses His care, protection and provision for Him as only begotten Son. Jesus knew the goodness of the Father and was adamant that goodness be seen in the right light. Foundationally, God is good and any other good would have to rest solely upon and be the result of the Father's goodness. The fact is that Jesus' belief in the Father is revealed and is being revealed to us through Scripture. Scriptures contain the revealed plans and purposes for all life. It is revealed to pervade every aspect of our lives, human comprising of social, economical, political etc., and spiritual.
When we think of the attributes of God there are those that are specific to God and Him alone. Remember, Jesus told the man, "there is none good but one, that is God". Goodness is an communicable attribute which we can communicate to others. It is interesting, to look closely at who informs us of goodness so that we know where to draw from. The goodness of God informs us how to credit our value system with the principles of goodness to acquire it.
The man in this verse who came to Jesus asked Him this question, commenced with a salutation of Good Master; Jesus in turn asked him why was he calling Him good? Then explained that there was only one who was good, God the Father. This verse is loaded with information to make one think. Here Jesus is the Son of God incarnate, knowing that He is God in the flesh, but this man would have to believe that He was in fact God to make the declaration and statement that He was the "good master" or they were merely good words he was speaking concerning Jesus. Words alone do not qualify that one believes. In this case scenario this man needed faith, he that comes to God must believe in God.
Good master didn't speak that this man perceived or believed that he was indeed speaking with God in the person of Jesus Christ, or that he acknowledged and ascertained that Jesus was the Son of God and the express image of God the Father. Jesus wanted to know why was he calling Him good. In a literal sense was the man aware why he was addressing Him this way. of course this man had to have heard good things about Jesus because His name was spread abroad. Most people knew of the miracles and wonders He wrought and that all were good will and intents for all whom He encountered. The man would have just cause to refer to Jesus as good, but not to Jesus, He wanted to know the man's reason, motive and intent. He wanted this man to know why he was calling Him good. Anyone can call us good but how do we qualify what they are saying. We too must attribute all goodness to God, and in the same instance deem it a privilege to be used for goodness sake. We acquire our goodness from God. We qualify goodness through God, it is a principle we need operating in us to qualify our value system. We value goodness because God is good all the time and His goodness informs our value system of its worth.
This was more than a question, it was a faith question. In essence Jesus was saying that good equals God, only He is good. What Jesus was not saying is that He was not the good the man referenced. But, rather if the man perceived Him to be good, than he also perceived and understood that He was God to call Him good. We know on the other side of the cross and in reading this account, that Jesus is good, but we know and understand this by our faith. This passage didn't suggest that the man was quite there, where believing Jesus to be God would not have made his salutation a concern to the Lord.
Salutations are essential and should contain sincerity and honesty. We all know of the salutation used in correspondence, dear sir or madam. This salutation does not mean that you perceive or believe the person you are corresponding with to be dear, or that a person writing to you perceives you to be dear. It is the same premise in this story. The term was a good and cordial one, but was it a heartfelt one and was it of faith.
We should always qualify the words we speak and make certain that we speak them with integrity and honesty. We should never speak idle words that we do not mean. Idle words lack the power to qualify truth. if this man was a disciple who had asked this same question there would have been a difference. Jesus asked the disciples who do men say that I am. The response was a prophet etc. Jesus asked who do you believe I am. Simon Peter answered, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. In that response it is understood that the association by the disciple was satisfactory to Jesus, he replied, flesh and blood could not have revealed this to you, only the Father who is the good that I am.
Today and every day is a good, great and perfect day, because God created it, and He is good, great and perfect. Everything He has made, and all the works of His hands are majestically expressed. It is not the activities of our day, that make it a good day, or all the events, and happenings of the day, that balance out, and line up with the good that really counts, it is God Himself, the Creator which orchestrates the goodness of the day.
It is Jesus Christ who has absolutely chosen, and executed the good, and refused the evil. Those that came to Jesus and called Him good master intuitively knew that He was good, however the response that Jesus gave them was thought provoking; why do you call me good, there is only one that is good, God the Father. They didn't believe He was God in the flesh, or the Son of God, how would they believe in His good to qualify it. The response which Jesus gave alludes to this premise, if you believe I am good, then you must also believe that I am God incarnate.
"Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good" (Isaiah 7:15).
It is a good life, because God is the master and maker of life, and when He designed life, His blueprint for it was absolute good. The earth is a good place, because God created it good, and it brings, and springs forth good in every season. I realize that my spiritual zoom is needed to bring into manifestation, the focus which only, and solely is on God, and who He is. At this present time, I am going through a season of struggles and trials, being partially employed and experientially not dwelling in the financial forte or strong place desired. A song of encouragement came into my spirit, as I am pressing through, my heart and soul resounded;
“I will make it through this storm,
Because, Jesus is my shield,
The climate is getting warm,
My all to Him, I yield.”
The opening verse articulated a climate of weather contrary to what is normal. The resolve being Jesus as the shield and protection from this adverse condition. He brought the sunshine with Him and the climate changed and became warm and inductive to surrender. Not long after another aspect of this spontaneous worship song was birthed in my spirit, and my need to worship Him for whom He is came forth;
“Lord, You are Holiness,
You are Righteousness,
You are Glorious,
The spring of life to me.”
You are the Prince of Peace,
Lord of Lords to me,
You make the winds to cease,
My way I can now see.
Lord, You are Greatness,
You are Goodness,
You are Perfect,
A fountain of love to me.
Lord, You are Merciful
You are full of Grace
You are wonderful
Salvation, You will always be.
Lord, You are Magnificent,
You are Miraculous,
You are Marvelous,
You are everything to me.
Good shifts the atmosphere
There was a shift in climate and it became warmer. The first song was the ammunition, and reassurance I needed to make it through the stormy weather. The other verses provided the rest, needed in knowing that He is the Great I AM in all-weather, sunny or stormy. Jesus is likened to an umbrella on a rainy day, yet, God ordained the rain. The essentials of this experience is drawing from the spring of life where the living waters of God’s goodness refreshes and renews every day, and in every way, and being cleansed by the outpour and downpour daily.
This is a time when the reality of the floodgates of heaven being opened, and pouring down rain. It is now a new perspective of the storm, it took on a higher meaning that replaced sorrows symphonies with the glorious downpour of spiritual rain meant to wash away all that is not happening in my life, and declares that all things are working together for my good, because I love God. If I only looked at the happenings or the occurrences within a day, and attempted to equate them with the goodness God is, I would fail to see Him, and appreciate who He is. He is greater than my situations, circumstances and all the conditions which are assailing me to respond other than in worship and thanksgiving.
It is up to me to magnify Him above, and beyond all that I can ever ask or think. At this place of exalting and extolling Him, I am ushered into His presence, and He gives me His grace as a pillow and I rest my soul in His strength and power, and I am comforted by His greatness.
The typical or natural order of thinking, and reasoning is to evaluate the occurrences in a day, and measure the activities which line up for good, in order to agree with it being a good day, but that is not where the glory lies, it is expressed best by God, who created the day, and night, and said that it is good. Why? Because everything He does, and has made is good, great and perfect and is an eye opener, and packed with revelation and light to walk, and live in His paved path of good.
Nature and all that it communicates is the most glorious of illustrations of greatness our physical eyes can ever see. We are seated in high places with Christ Jesus, but we are positioned in the earth where glories of God greatness still speak loud and clear.
The source of all goodness, greatness and perfection is El-Olam (The Everlasting God) who dwells in eternity, yet He is present everywhere. Even in our spirits. His goodness does not rest in our expectations of the things desired, and what we anticipate in any given day, because He is goodness manifested in our hearts to desire all the good that He can provide in any given day that can bring hope that goodness will materialize in all of our endeavors.
Through faith we hope that all of our days will be filled with His goodness, and not what the world system defines as goodness, anchoring good in material things, or those things which satisfy our flesh.
The flesh really lives as a king, and queen as it receives all the good things it needs everyday, according to the riches of His glory in, and through Christ Jesus. As touching needs, not the things we want.
Wants and needs are totally different, we always can attest to our needs being met, but what we want, may take a little longer sometimes, and we know that we will just have to wait on Him, and that He will give us the desires of our hearts. His will would be an imperative aspect of the equation of wants. Is what we want His will or ours? Nevertheless, He is and ever will be the everlasting God.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Qualify goodness in your own heart. It is always a wow, golly, gee, oh my moment, and promotes a positive response and reaction. The happiness and joy that it brings is overwhelming, when you receive the things most desired. Good is an adjective, which describes the word and gives more information about the object, signified. We like and love the word good, as it is applicable in the earth, and means better, best, virtuous, satisfactory, moral excellence. These definitions describe aspects and attributes of what we need to comply with God’s goodness, but they do not describe the good we learn to appreciate in God alone. The good we worship and praise knowing that His good is powerful, and that atmospheres and environments shift that are producing anything other than His goodness because we praise Him for who He is, and not just what He gives us.
There is a song I love to sing entitled, “Because of Who You Are” in this song the writer conveys that it is because of who God is that he will give Him all of the glory, and praise, and because of who He is that they will lift their voice and say, Lord, I worship You because of who You are. I thank, praise and worship You because You are good, great and perfect. There are songs that we sing in which we sing about God, and all of the things He has done, is doing or shall do. Then there are songs we sing to God describing and ascribing how we feel about Him, these songs are directed to Him, praising Him with the emotions we’ve reserved only for Him.
These emotions are exclusive, because you can never, nor will you ever love anyone like you love God, that makes praise and worship to God an exclusive emotion, unused in this life, and aimed towards the heart of God only, it is our response to His love for us. The Kingdom of God is more than what we want, it is more than what we need, it is more than meat and drink; it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Treasure and appreciate all the good in life
We learn as children to appreciate goodness as expressed through our parents; Jesus makes a parallel to this kind of giving, if you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will God give good things to those who love Him, it is not the things He gives us, but God Himself. We can become spoiled by parents who endow us with gifts, and can carry that mentality over into our walk with God.
We learn as we progress from childhood to adulthood, how to appreciate our parents for who they are, not for all the things they give and have given us. Maturity speaks through us when father’s, and mother’s days, or special days approach, to tell them how much we love them, and not for what they have given us; or every day, or whenever possible to tell them that we love, and appreciate them.
Appreciation of good received is always an expression necessary in life, and especially towards God. King David knew for himself, unless he believed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living, that he would have fainted. I completely agree with his assessment, if I had not seen God’s goodness,and come to know that such perfect goodness existed, yes, I too would have fainted. The thing that I have learned, and still am learning is appreciation for God’s goodness, and that it is not a temporal fix; it is the expectation of eternity.
God’s attributes are not temporary for when He feels like being good, goodness is what He is. The thing about human nature is that it is whimsical, and relies of feelings, if one feels like being, or doing good things, so it is. Life under the control of God is not based on how we feel or when we feel like doing, or being good; it is really our lifestyle.
Goodness is a standard the Spirit raises for us to resemble God, as He conforms us into the same image of goodness. Even when we are not able to see all the good in others, because our knowledge concerning them is in part; we will always be able to know, that we know, the goodness of God, because that is what He is. I have seen the goodness of others, and appreciate it absolutely, but it is not equal to the goodness God is, because His goodness is not fleeting, or minimal and doesn’t appear in stages, or temporarily, when He feels like being good, He is good!
Waiting for the events, or happenings of the day to align with His good is a major deception, God doesn’t stop being good, because our circumstances do not line up and comply with a good assessment or outcome, and may even go sour. That is the equivalent to basing happenings on the ability to feel happiness. There are times in a season when everything seems to go wrong, but it what we do in those seasons that will matter.
Did God change? No, He is immutable and changeless, and He is the same yesterday, today and He will not change tomorrow. It is me who will have to change. This gives us blessed assurance which is our compass to seek Him the more. The word circumstance denotes some interesting aspects such as circum which means to surround, or accompany; and stance (our stand); Imagine standing in a lion’s den filled with lions, there you are standing, and surrounding you are packs of lions crowding the territory.
Distinguishing where you are is helpful, because there are questions which need be answered. Why am I in a lion’s den? And for what purpose am I here? The situation speaks loudly that I am not in my own territory, where I have jurisdictional authority, but rather where the lions have it.
Circumstances crowd our walks, and challenge our stances. Daniel the Prophet would be an example of someone placed in that environment, and not by choice, and only knowing the goodness and greatness of God to deliver Him, and give him dominion over territories where he could operate within legal, and right authority, and change his stance to freedom.
Circumstances always have a crowd of conditions which can surround us shouting defeat, and opposing victory. The word itself is a situation, and declares that we should be on the lookout for a mob of prevalent obstacles. Circumstances influence climates, and affect atmospheres in ways we cannot see, and what we need are breakthroughs to manifest and change the circumstances for good.
It is the anointing of God that breaks yokes, opens portals, doors, windows and gates; and assigns angels to reinforce us to advance into new levels, new territories, and new realms, and commission breakthroughs in our lives. Only the goodness of God changes a storm, into a Son filled life. Choose God and choose the good!