THE LIVING WORD TRRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-26-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS GOOD"
Let me welcome you to our program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. I hope all of you are well and that you are prospering greatly, in your physical lives according to what you are giving to God spiritually. It is wonderful to be a part of God's family and to have opportunities such as this to come before Him and learn more about what He wants of us, as well as praising His name through song. As we begin our homage to God this morning, won't you bow with me in prayer?
Our first song of the morning reminds us that God is always there to help us with the trials and burdens of this life. Only with the help of our Creator can we make it from day to day. So, won't you join in with the congregation today as we sing this magnificent song of praise to our God? The name of the first song, "Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary."
(SONG # 1)
What a crazy, fast passed society we live in today. Every day we see people driving by in a hurry or rushing to get through a store. It seems like we have lost our ability to slow down, really enjoy life, or to stop and smell the roses. In fact, I think most of us have allowed ourselves to be taken over by life and controlled by it, rather than us being in the driver's seat.
I read an article once that reminded me of the fact that Jesus always had time to stop and help those who needed it. Even though he had the greatest task ever known to man, he still had time to stop and give time to others, as well as to give time to God. Think about the many times we read about Jesus stopping to heal the sick or to care for the needy. Think about the times he was willing to stop and listen, and furthermore, willing to give his time in answering questions when he was asked.
His type of living brought joy, peace and a calmness to life, unlike the hectic and frenzy living of today. We need to all take a deep breath, reevaluate, remember that there is nothing in this world worth loosing our soul over. Jesus said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul," Mark 8:36? The next verse goes on to say, "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
I fear many of us have been willing to jeopardize our own souls for the sake of the things of this life. What have you been willing to sacrifice your soul for? Choose today to put God first, and get your priorities in order. Let's all slow down enough to study God's Will, to realize what He wants, and to live lives that are pleasing to Him. Always remembering, there is nothing in this life worth loosing our souls over!
Today, we will be continuing our study together concerning "God Is For Me." Our next lesson in this series is entitled; "God is Good." So please stay with us and after our next song I will lead our thoughts in this study of the morning. Now let's again join in song together. The name of our next hymn, "Blest Be The Tie That Binds."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We again thank you for continuing with us today as we again go back to God's Word and learn of another great truth as David spoke about in understanding that our God is for us in many different ways and that He has done so much for us and continues to do for us every day, things which make us better and give us the opportunity to accomplish the works of His law unto salvation.
And so this day we begin with a story of Moses. We know of the great work that Moses did and certainly Moses, as a Bible character understood a lot about what God did for the people, the people that He loved, the people that He proclaimed to be God over. Certainly we are talking about Israel. And so as Moses there is talking about the things of God and things pertaining to God and the delivering of the law to the people, we find out several things that happened. One specific event that stands out in my mind is when he is there speaking with God and when he speaks with God, God says that, "You are a chosen servant." There in the book of Exodus chapter 33, we even see that Moses says, "I want confirmation, God, I want to see your glory." Certainly the Bible tells us that no man has ever seen the face of God, but here God says that He is going to allow Moses to see His essence or His glory at least from behind. And certainly there are many reasons why we would understand that a man could not see the glory of God. We find what happened to Saul in the presence of God when He was blinded by the light. Certainly we know that Moses, after he came down from the mountain the first time with God, was illuminated just from the very presence of being before God. So here when we see that he says, "I want to see your glory," He allows him (verse 23) to see His back. So He guards him with His hand as He places him in the cleft of the rock, He passes by and Moses sees the glory of God.
Now as we'll notice there in chapter 34 of Exodus, I want you to notice who He proclaims Himself to be. In other words, what does God say about God Himself that we might know Him, that we might understand who He is identified as. In verse 5 beginning, the Bible says, "Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord and the Lord passed before him and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquities, transgressions and sins, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the father upon children, and children's children to the third and fourth generations. And so what does Moses do? He "makes haste and bows his head (verse 8) toward the earth. He prostrates himself and worships this God."
Now there certainly are many wonderful ideas about the character God has or what God is for us and what characteristics stand out as wondrous before us, but as we mention here in this list of mercy and graciousness and being longsuffering and truth, I also want you to notice our topic of today. Our God is good. You know none of us would certainly be confused with the fact of understanding that our God is righteous or that He is pure or merciful or gracious or holy, but when we think about just the concept of good, we say, "Well that doesn't mean a whole lot." It means a whole lot in scriptures. When the Bible says that our God is a good God. So what does that indicate to us as we go throughout scripture? We find out what the Bible says that this goodness is all about.
David proclaimed it throughout many place in the book of Psalms. One that we would look at at this time would be found in the 31st Psalm as David there proclaims the idea that "the Lord is again a good and wondrous God."
There in Psalms 31 and verse 19 the Bible says this. "Oh how great is your goodness which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have prepared for those who trust in you in the presence of the son of men." What is it that is spoken of here that has been laid up, prepared and made ready for who? Those who are sons, those who need to know you. It is there the great goodness of God, the great wonder of God, the willingness to provide that God has.
Just a few psalms over in Psalm 33 we read this in verse 5. "He loves righteousness and justice and the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." Now when you begin to look at the application of "the goodness," what is represented in God and by God as goodness? All that He has done, the creation, our lives, the characteristics that we have already continually began to mention, all of these are about just how good God is to care enough not only to make us but to provide a plan and a way that we can overcome sin and be accepted in His sight, that we can respond to the goodness of God.
Again in the Psalms we find in Psalm 52 another great challenge there in verse 1 about the goodness of God. There verse 1 says, "Have mercy upon me oh God according to your loving kindness, according to the multitude of your tender mercies and wash me thoroughly from my iniquities and cleanse me from my sins." Here we see that David speaks in Psalm 51 about this great care and washing and cleansing and then again as we mentioned in chapter 52, he clarifies further the ideas of the goodness of God that endures. Then finally going on in to the next chapter as he continues the thought in saying, "Only a fool would reject such a good or the goodness of God."
You see we do serve a great, a mighty, a glorious, a wondrous God. Time and time again in Psalm 65, in Psalm 107, we find that God is clarified as being a good, a mighty and a wondrous God.
Not only do we know that the Bible speaks of God being a good God, we also learn that there is great extents into the goodness that God has given to man and in what man is to receive that goodness. Off the surface we might first say, "Well, certainly those who are faithful are recipients of the goodness of God." We would certainly understand that in the fact of blessings that God gives or the care or the protection or the way that He provides for His children as scriptures show us, but again as we go throughout the scriptures we do find that this goodness is not only for the faithful but this goodness is really for all man that whoever will respond to the glory of God's goodness can find salvation.
In Isaiah chapter 63, we find there in verse 7 this being proclaimed, "I will mention the loving kindness of the Lord and the praises of the Lord according to all that the Lord has bestowed upon us," and notice this, "and the great goodness toward the house of Israel." He goes on to talk about what He has done for Israel and the mercy and how He has provided. Think of all that God continued to do for those people although at times they were wicked or they rejected Him or they would not follow His plan or they would not worship Him as was given in the law, but yet God continued to forgive time and time again and He continued to show that goodness, that ultimate love that was willing to overlook the sins that they repented of and willing to forgive and even as we well know in New Testament times even to forget those things that would keep someone from the throne of God, the presence of God, that sin that separates. Oh yes, the goodness of God, the goodness of God that was promised to servants of God.
In 2 Samuel 7 and verse 28 we read there that God promised that great goodness to even His servant David when he was there yet being appointed and chosen and beginning his work as king. We find that he was one who was a recipient continuously of the goodness of God.
Then throughout all the time, what is the results of the life that David and Israel have under his command? There in 1 Kings 8 verse 66, we again learn that Israel and King David are well blessed. By what? The goodness of God. The great mercy extended, the favor, the grace, all those things that God continued to do because He did love them and He did care about them.
No doubt that is why when we move into the New Testament we begin to find equally this same topic being taught about just how great our God is according to His goodness. Just how much that goodness extends to mankind and how it gives all men everywhere the chance to know a good God who offers salvation to the lost.
There in Romans chapter 11 and verse 20 we find here a great stance by the apostle Paul as he challenges the people to know who this God is and he tries to help them to realize just how good this God is. Verse 20 begins by saying this, "Well said, because of unbelief, they are broken off and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty by fear, for if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you. Therefore, consider the goodness of God." What was He wanting them to do? Just who this God is. We're going to come back there to those verses in just a moment specifically to the three verses we read, verse 22, but to understand exactly what this goodness can do. But here we know again that even to those of the New Covenant, even Christians, that goodness of God was expressed. No wonder then that we find that God's goodness is seen in physical things today, in spiritual blessings. All physical blessings are from where? God! All spiritual blessings are from where? From God! In fact, it rains not only on the just, but the Bible says there in Matthew that it rains on the unjust. You see, our God is a good God. He is a good God who continues to provide opportunity that man might respond and that man might get his life in line, in tune, in reference there to the good sacrifice of His Son Jesus.
Certainly that would lead us to our final point that Jesus Christ is probably the greatest expression of the goodness of our God. Why? The Father allowed His own Son to come, to die as a sacrifice. For who? Sinners. He gave His life a ransom for you and I. That is the goodness of God in a nutshell. Showing just how far God will go, how far God has gone, that we might see His goodness, and through His goodness have what? The challenge of obedience unto salvation.
Romans again there in chapter 15 and verse 14 helps us with this goodness as it there proclaims, "Now I myself am confident concerning you. All the joy and peace in believing that you may abound in the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. That great goodness here that we might what? Have that joy and that peace that what? Has been promised to who? Not only the Jews in the context, but also to the Gentiles. You and I. You see, that is the hope. That is the promise to know that that reward can be ours. To understand that that reward can be ours like it was even the church there at Thessalonica.
If you turn there to 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, there in verse 11, we are again challenged to know this. "Therefore, we also always pray for you that our God would count you worthy of His calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power." There's that same mention of the power that God has given for who? Jew and Gentile alike. To do what? TO know the goodness of God. To know the good pleasures, know the will, know the truth. Unto what? Salvation. And so no wonder as we consider these things that we understand that this great goodness of God being extended to us is truly a wondrous blessing, a wondrous blessing that benefits us today and forever more with the promise of eternal life.
However, as I mentioned earlier, we do want to return now to the book of Romans there, Romans 11 and verse 22 looking specifically at what he goes on to say here about the goodness of God because the goodness of God is also in line with a just God. As God has said, "If you do this, you'll be blessed." A just God who is good also says, "If you don't do it, you'll be cursed." The cursings are just as important as the blessings because what is the goodness of God worth to those who are blessed if there is no such thing as a punishment for those who are not willing to obey the things of God? There in verse 22 he says this, "Therefore, consider the goodness of God and the severity of God. On those who feel in their life that they are not doing what is right and contrary to the will..." we read here that, "They are those who will see His severity." But those who continue to do His will or going to see what? To see His goodness. One being cut off. One being rewarded.
And so I challenge us all to know the goodness of God, the goodness of God that helps us to know His word and His truth unto salvation, unto the reward, but also the severity of God that challenges us as well to want to know that truth, to see the goodness and then in our own lives do what? Demonstrate the same goodness. No wonder Paul in Galatians chapter 5 spoke of one of the fruits of the spirit as goodness.
Are you willing to demonstrate the goodness of God in your life so that you might have an eternal home with Him in Heaven someday?
(SONG # 3 - "Count Your Many Blessings!")
I hope our time together this morning, has been an encouragement and blessing to all. Thank you again for choosing to be with us in giving this time to God. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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Let's all be thankful for the good and great God we serve. Furthermore, may we each learn to practice the goodness of God, that we will be known as His faithful children and thus be found pleasing in His sight!