GOD IS GOOD
Psalm 86:5 “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”
The greatest accomplishment perpetrated against humanity by the devil, is getting people to blame God for the evil that the devil does.
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Jesus makes it abundantly clear: God is good and the devil is bad.
It sounds like a very simple preposition, but there is not a single one of us who have not thought at least once, that God was punishing us when something bad happened to us.
We are living in a day when the line between good and evil is so blurry, that we need to return to the basics in order to understand what is going on all around us.
Matthew 6:9 “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…”
Simplicity is the key that keeps us from getting confused: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The word father means originator. God is our Father in heaven from whom all good things originate.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Jesus uses the word resources to identify that which flows out of, and originates from the word father. That is why its so critical that we understand that only God is good, and that He is the source of all good. And that the devil is the father of all lies, and the source of all evil.
Mark 10:18 “So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.’”
The Jews of Jesus’ day knew the basic principle that only God is good, so when a man came and knelt before Jesus and called Him a good teacher, Jesus responded by saying to him, Are you calling Me God?
Of course, the man witness the good works that Jesus was doing, so he called Him good. But Jesus wanted to make sure that His disciples understood this principle: that only God is the source of all good.
We know that Jesus is the Son of God, so He is good also.
It is only when we are able to identify who the sender is from the resources he is bringing, that we will be able to discern the difference between the work of God and the work of the devil.
Matthew 7:15-16 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…”
So far everything sounds very simple, but is critical that we get the basics of this spiritual principal, that is, if we want to be able to discern the truth and keep ourselves from being trapped by the end-time deception that we are warned about—is coming— in the Word of God.
Here is what I am talking about!
Psalm 86:7 “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.”
How can we know that God will deliver us when we call on Him, if deep within our heart we blame Him for our troubles?
Although there is a personal application here, our focus in this lesson is about the soon return of Jesus to take us home. In our opening text we are told: Abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
This is a reference to those who will call upon the Lord during the shaking of the heavens and the earth, as our Lord returns.
Acts 2:20-21 “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I often ask this question of my readers, In the midst of the sun turning into darkness and the moon turning red as blood, would you see Jesus coming to save you or to judge you?
The answer depends on whether we see God as good and the only good, or whether we have doubts about His love and commitment toward us.
In a time of crises our initial response is a reactive one. And it will reflect that which we firmly believe deep within our hearts.
Do we run from or towards? If deep within our hearts we believe that Jesus is coming to rescue us, no matter how great the chaos all around us is, the more diligence we will employ in calling to Him, for we know that He is: Abundant in mercy to all those who call upon Him.
But if we are not sure, our instincts will betray us, since His love and His goodness has not been perfected in us yet.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
How do we get to the place where His perfect love casts out all my fears?
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive.
In order to personally know that God is good, we need to know deep within our hearts that He has completely forgiven us all of our sins.
No sin, no judgment, no torment, right?
Jesus came to give us life, and abundant life!
The devil does not come, except, to steal, to kill, and to destroy.
If no evil resource can come from our Father who is in heaven, and if no goodness can come from the father of lies and murder, is there a way to know the difference between when I am being disciplined by God and when I am being attacked by the enemy?
Psalm 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite (singleness of heart) my heart to fear Your name.”
Salvation gives us access to our Father in Heaven, who gives us His Holy Spirit, in order for us to learn how to walk in His ways.
His ways are simple, God is good and He wants to do good to us.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
Calling upon God and knowing that He will hear us, is based on our belief of this fact, that God wants to do us good and not harm.
1 John 5:14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
What is His will for us? Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
All that is left is for us to unite our hearts to fear His name.
How do we do that?
We make a conscious choice to receive the things of God’s kingdom, and to reject the things of this world system.
2 Corinthians 4:4 “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Since we all got saved out of this world system, we were all once blinded by the god of this age and mired in its corruption.
Both our souls and our spirits make up the heart that needs to be united.
Our spirit man was reborn the day that we got saved, and bears witness from the Spirit of God, that we have been delivered from fear of the torment of God’s final judgment.
Our souls are still in the process of salvation, and will continue on that process until we die or the Lord returns to take us home.
1 Peter 1:9 “Receiving the end (goal) of your faith—the salvation (unification of soul and spirit) of your souls.”
The idea is that our souls—which are still connected to our human senses—are so interwoven with our spirit-man, that when it perceives fear from the world around it, instead of fret, they turn to the rest in which our spirit-man resides, which is in the Holy Spirit who continuously reminds it of God’s faithfulness to His promises.
Psalm 86:2 “Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You!”
Notice how the spirit-man intercedes for the soul to which is firmly united: Preserve my life (soul), for I am (the spirit-man is) holy.
What is it that connects the two? Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Trust in the Word of God, in the goodness of God, and in the good promises of God to us.
If the Lord returns this year, and according to Scripture before He appears, the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, how will you react to the coming cataclysm?
How you react will depend on whether you have a united or divided heart when He returns. As long as it is called today, you can still do something about it. I hope this lesson helps you make the right choice.
Hebrews 4:7 “Again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’”