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Good Lord - A Devotion

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Psalm 145:8-9 (NLT)
The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.

I wonder what this world would be like if everyone knew that God is good! What if it was more than a mantra in the church but became a fully vested venture in our heart. If we could just get some sign or guarantee that what we hear about God is true, it would be so much easier to love and trust Him more. The Word of God tells us that He is good, but after all it was written by mere men. The preachers in the pulpits say the very same thing but if that were so they would be practicing what they are preaching in their personal lives, too. If God is good, then why aren’t more people chasing after Him? Where is revival? Where is the renewed lives of the redeemed in full splendor and demonstration before a watching world? The Lord is mercy full. Thank God there was a fresh batch waiting on me when I woke up today after exhausting it all the day before. He is compassionate. He loves me warts and all. He is slow to get angry as the Grace of His Son, Jesus Christ flows through my life – God forgets what we were fighting about anyway. He is filled with unfailing, unconditional, unwavering, unending love for me. There is nothing that I can ever do to separate me from the Love and Goodness of God through Jesus Christ. I know this because I love the Lord. I have spent some time getting to know Him intimately, personally and intentionally. But did you know that the Lord is good to everyone? Somebody reading this today whether hot off the press or found in buried in the internet, will find hope in this realization. The Lord is good to everyone. Well, maybe you are thinking that if this is true, why is my life a living hell right now? I hear you. I feel you. I am right there with you. He showers compassion on all of His Creation… including you. If you have decided to accept the consequences of your life as due punishment for your mistakes, don’t bother. Sin is unforgivable outside of grace and punishable only by death. So if you are still breathing, you are experiencing the love, compassion, mercy and even goodness of God whether you “feel” it or not!

Psalm 145 is all about God’s Goodness. If men and women could truly digest the simple and basic truth that God is good and intends to share His Goodness with them – their total perspective of life would change. When you begin to see the divinity of your existence rather than merely surviving day to day, you will begin to thrive in this life. We do not expect good things in life because we are born into sin. We do not remember what it was like in the Garden as Adam and Eve once did. We may remember our grandparents or great grandparents but they were all human born into this terrible separation from God that we are experiencing. We are told that bad things happen to good people accepting this as truth. To some extent it is, but when we come to the foundational knowledge that God is always good it will change life as we know it forever. It has changed mine but sometimes it is natural to quit and focus on the so-called reality of life rather than the overwhelming Goodness of God for His People. Guilty as charged…

Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT)
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I must admit I bang on God’s Door a lot these days. I keep asking why, when and how? I keep seeking His Answer to these problems that plague my life, unsatisfied when told to “wait” on His Timing allowing Him to perfect what concerns me making sure every detail works together for my good, so I keep pounding on the door. Sometimes the knock is soft as not to disturb or disrupt the Lord when I am afraid that my life will evoke an angry response, but still I can’t help myself. There are other times that I keep yelling through the closed door hoping that He will hear my cries of desperation and do it my way instead. I know that if I keep seeking, I will find what I am after. But the real question is what is it that I am after… Am I asking for the right things? Am I seeking only Him? Am I knocking on the right door? The door that I stand at will open if I am persistent. Everyone who asks will be answered. Everyone who seeks will find something. Everyone who knocks will open a door. Our task in this life is to come to choose the right way. There is only one way to experience the fullness of God’s Love and Goodness. “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) What are you after from the Lord today? God’s Goodness is intended just for you. But you must go about it the right way to find out how good the Lord really is.

Acts 17:27-28 (NLT)
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

God’s Purpose has always been for His People, His Children to return to Him. Why? So that His Love, Power and Goodness could reach them. Sin separates us from God’s Goodness. We accept less than God’s Best because we feel that we are unworthy of God’s Love and therefore do not accept His Goodness in our life. When my son is in the midst of older patients battling cancer due to smoking or other hazardous lifestyles, they have compassion for my son calling him “innocent” implying that they somehow deserve the disease that invades their body. This is simply not true. God did not give them this disease as a punishment for bad choices or sin. God gives us grace and healing because He is good and that is His Overwhelming desire for each of us. The enemy has lied to us all by telling us that we can never receive all that God has for us because of our life. God moved your sins as far as the east is from the west. He does not see past the Blood of Jesus to pick them out again. He is motivated by His Unfailing Love for you to shower you with grace and mercy to keep you close by. Tell the enemy to shut up. God is love. God is good. These are His Intentions for all of His Works to know this love. In Jesus Christ, we live, move and exist. I don’t see the word “die” in the list. But because we know only life’s lessons taught by our natural upbringing, we are ignorant of the true potential of God’s Love and Goodness for our life. Living in this lie can kill you. It is spiritual suicide.

In Psalm 145:7, it says that everyone will sing of your glorious goodness. You can see God’s Goodness in the Land of the Living crossing over to live in His Presence forever or you can be a bystander watching when it is all over. God’s Goodness is no respecter of persons as the rain falls on the just and unjust. God loves every single person who He created. Sin is sin and not some complicated chart of do’s and don’ts. Sin is the only thing that separates us from God’s Love and withholds His Goodness from our life. It’s not the Lord, it’s us. Jesus Christ is the only remedy to our sinful condition and the only cure. Once we accept the Love and Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life, turning from sin to seek the Lord, His Goodness finds us. It was there all along pursuing us. (Psalm 23:6) It was not a “Him” thing, but an “us” thing. His Goodness is great and stored just for us. It is our inheritance designated for us specifically so no one else can have it but you. (Psalm 31:19) No one else can have your blessings and promises. We must abandon our shameful ways to fully embrace His Goodness in our life – it belongs to us now we must just ask for it, seek it and knock on the door to His Presence to continually bask in the overflow of His Unfailing Love.

Psalm 145:13-20 (NLT)
For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The LORD always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all he does. The LORD helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; You give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, You satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in everything he does; He is filled with kindness. The LORD is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them. The LORD protects all those who love Him, but He destroys the wicked.

The Lord ALWAYS keeps His Promises. This is the foundation of His Goodness. If you can find it in the Word of God, it belongs to you. How will you know the potential of His Goodness without the Word of God, you won’t. You won’t know what to ask for. You won’t know where to look. You may be struggling to open the wrong door and knocking is wasted effort. (Psalm 119:39-40) Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, read Psalm 145 in context today. I encourage you to seek out different versions i.e. New Living Translation, Amplified Version or even The Message. Read it backwards and forwards without any distractions and allow the Lord’s Spirit to speak to your heart. In this Psalm, God promises to help those who have fallen to get back up. He has promised to life those who are buried in their burdens. He provides everything that we need. The Lord will satisfy us inside and out. He desires those who want to know Him so maybe we should work on that, too. He comes close to us when we call to Him. He protects us from the enemy and sometimes even ourselves. All this in a quick three-minute read, imagine the potential of the whole book!

Romans 14:17-18 (NLT)
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.

The Kingdom of God is not religion or religious for that matter. The church we attend or doctrine that we subscribe to does not impact God’s Goodness in our life. The Kingdom of God begins inside of us and works its way out. So when a church is filled with baby believers who do not spend time eating the Word or exercising the Spirit then you have a dead or dying church. You get out what you put into it. Faith is the investment necessary to produce confident hope. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Faith without works is dead meaning nonexistent. I say all this to say that until we begin to cultivate the Kingdom inside of us, we will miss the point of His Goodness altogether. A brand new car, great big house or fancy vacation is not always an indication of righteousness. Do the right thing and you will get some of these things. Budget your money and you can have things. Work hard to produce monetary wealth and you can buy stuff. Know the right people and it will look like you have done all of the above in their overflow. To serve Jesus Christ and experience the true revelation of God’s Goodness begins inside the heart and mind of every single person. It is a personal experience. Serve Christ. Please God. Live in His Goodness. He withholds NOTHING good from those who do right. (Psalm 84:11) Even in rebellion, God will still give us the goodness that He has. (Acts 27:23-25) He wants us to have it. It is intended for us. We must want it and intend to have it, too.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

We are given the Holy Spirit to lead us to the Goodness God has reserved for us. (I Timothy 4:4-5) Once we have the Holy Spirit, He will produce it continually in our life as long as we remain close to Christ. He takes the Word and makes it work for us as we follow Jesus. He takes our mind and conforms it to the attitude of Christ. He changes the way we think and even our desire. The Holy Spirit produces or manufactures love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, GOODNESS, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our life to live the life God prepared for us rather than the one that we are naturally born into. We must transfer our life to the Kingdom and let His Spirit do the rest. We must ask the Lord for more of Him. We must seek Him wholeheartedly and we will find Him. We must keep knocking on the door to His Presence refusing to leave until He comes. The Spirit helps us in our weakness to stay focused and keep on keeping on. He produces those things in our life that we are after so we will be satisfied and complete in our Knowledge of God beginning with the Truth that the Lord is good!

Hebrews 6:4-6 (NLT)
For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

This verse used to make no sense at all. What is grace for if not repentance? When I read it today, it was with clarity for the first time. Once you are enlightened, you have experienced the good things of Heaven and received His Spirit, tasted the goodness of His Word, and His Power – it is impossible to come back. Don’t be alarmed. This is not for those who tried before and failed. This is not for those who fall along the way. It is not referencing those who wander. This is for those people who truly believe that God is good and have experienced His Divine Goodness first hand. It ignites faith and becomes confident hope instantly. We have faced some very difficult times in the last three years. It has been a very long journey with many ups and downs. To be perfectly transparent and honest, I am worn out in waiting, tired of wondering, and overall done with this test. I was complaining about it to God the other day in conversation as anyone would do to a friend. In my spirit, I heard the question. “Well, do you want to give up?” It was then that I realized I cannot give up. I cannot walk away from the Lord because through this trial, I have become dependent on our relationship like never before. I cannot ever walk away from God. I could not live, breathe or exist without Him. He is everything to me. It is the very thing I hate that we are presently enduring that has brought me to this place. In the midst of it all my thinking has changed from wondering if God is good to knowing HE IS GOOD! I have no doubt even when bad news comes or presented with a delay. I have somehow in uncertainty found confidence in the Lord and you can, too. It all begins with knowing that He is good! The Goodness of God is not demonstrated in what I have or have not but rather in the love, joy and peace of Jesus in everyday in every situation of my life. He is good – He is God!

I Timothy 4:4-5 (NLT)
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.

Psalm 84:11 (NLT)
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

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