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Vol.  10  No. 3 March 2008  Page 11
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Dean KellyGod Is Good

By Dean Kelly

    Paul wrote to the Roman church and said, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Romans 11:22). The context of this passage is a warning concerning that the brethren in Rome needed to stay faithful or they would be cut off as were the Jews who failed to follow God. We must be balanced in our preaching.

    Severity: There is indeed a time and a need for “Hellfire and Brimstone” preaching. There is a time to clearly point out the consequences of disobedience, or simply a failure to obey God. A good portion of the New Testament is dedicated to that. Sadly, many have gone to a “feel-good only” preaching and teaching that ignores this very adamantly scriptural fact: God will punish those who “know not God and obey not the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

    On the other hand, however, we must not become unbalanced to the other side either. Paul calls the Romans to remember the GOODNESS and the severity of God. The first time that I remember singing the little song, “God Is Good” was in India, and I heard it first in Telegu, the language of the state of Andrha Pradesh in South India. It has simple lyrics: God is good, God is good, God is good, He’s so good to me (or sometimes a variety of that). Throughout history the gods of paganism have been presented as vengeful, hateful, uncaring deities who love to make life miserable for people. The Greek gods are a good example. I believe that the same is basically true of the Hindu gods. One of the great contrasts between those false gods and the God of Heaven is that the God of the Bible is a God of love (see 1 John). While demanding obedience, the true God is not “out to get” man. He does not delight in the troubles of humanity. He is truly good.

    Christians can understand in their daily lives that God is good. We have the struggles and problems that everyone has. However, we also have blessing beyond measure. It is very easy when things go bad to wonder, “Why is God letting this happen to me?” The fact is that sometimes I truly wonder why God blesses us so much. We can be so stubborn, ungrateful and just plain “ornery.” We can blame Him for the bad and never thank Him for the good. We can become so lost in our own problems that we forget how much He has truly blessed us. A human would have given up long ago on all of humanity and gone ahead and just burned us all up.

    Yet, God loves us. He loves us with a pure love. God is abundantly good. Even those who are not His enjoy certain blessings from God, because He loves us. “Every good and perfect gift” comes from God, according to James. If we made an honest list of things that are “good” in our lives, and things that are “bad,” I truly believe the good would far outweigh the bad. It is just that the bad gets all the publicity—it is the bad upon which we concentrate.

    Tonight, when you lie down to go to sleep, “Count your many blessings.” Tonight when you close out your day and drift off into the welcome relief of sleep, thank God for how good He is. Further, dedicate yourself to “continuing in His goodness.” God is good. Will you be good for Him?

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