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We are now thirty days from coming together as a church family to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God.  It is a time when people of Christian faith reflect on God's great mercy and grace in sending Jesus, God incarnate deity, to pay the penalty for our sin through His death on the cross.  We celebrate with great joy and thanksgiving Jesus' resurrection from the grave and His ascension to the throne of heaven where He rules and reigns as King and Lord over creation.  We rejoice that right now Jesus is interceding for us, as believers our sins are forgiven, and we are welcomed as heirs into the family and Kingdom of God.

How should we devote our time then as resurrection Sunday approaches?  I would encourage us to establish time for intentional devotion, Bible reading, and prayer.  We need to reflect and clearly understand that once we were sinners and enemies of God, enslaved by the powers and evil of this world and could not by our own effort save ourselves or be reconciled to God.  Jesus in Matthew 5:6 provides the right direction for our us in our devotions saying: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled."  We must be intentional about our faith as the world around us descends further into spiritual darkness and moral decay.  The church in America has been slowly drifting away, assimilating secular culture, practices, and values.  As a result, the church has allowed itself to be infected with cheap grace.  The author of Hebrews offers us a timely warning and motivation for proper understanding of the resurrection stating: "We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard [the gospel] so that we do not drift away...for how shall we escape [God's judgement] if we ignore such a great salvation."



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Is God Good?

Have you ever heard or thought to yourself "I'm a good person?"  Words of course have meaning, so what does "good" mean in this context?  I would suggest something like: "I take care of my family", "I don't do drugs or rob banks", or "I'm basically nice to others."  What we think of ourselves is frequently what we would also like others to think of us.  In essence these are moral and ethical qualities we believe we demonstrate and try to live by.  But where do these moral qualities come from?  In today's secular world morality loosely defined resembles the state of apostate Israel in the book of Judges where "Everyone did what was right in their own minds."

Let's take our discussion to another level and ask what does it mean when we say "God is good?"  Too often the "goodness" we ascribe to God becomes a close reflection of the attributes we ascribe to ourselves.  God becomes nice, a caring Father, someone who meets our felt needs.  This God becomes at best too meek and mild and at worst our head butler.  If this is our "good" God then it is the God described in J. B. Phillips' classic "Your God is Too Small." 

What then is God's "goodness?  Moses was our "gold standard" of someone who had an intimate relationship with God until the Advent of Jesus.  Moses always sought a deeper knowledge of God and on Mt. Sinai he asked God: "Show me your Glory", meaning reveal to me your being, the essence and presence of who you are.  God responded that "no one can see me and live", so He shielded Moses while His "goodness", His glory passed by.  When we declare that God is "good" we are affirming that God is Holy.  He is infinite moral purity, power and unfathomable love.  How can we know what the moral qualities, and the true "goodness" of God are if we like Moses unable to "see" God due to our sinful nature?  God in mercy and grace has revealed those qualities to us in Scripture, but we "see" God in the face of Jesus. God fully divine and fully human who stood before us as sinners so that we could "see" the glory and holiness of God.  By Jesus sacrifice we  can come into God's holy presence in our lives today through prayer and worship having the assurance that our sins are forgiven, and we are covered by the blood of Christ.  We can know, "see" and live in the "goodness" of God because we can affirm along with John Newton: "I am a great sinner and Christ is a great savior."  Our God is good!




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Tags: good, holy, moral